27 Satisfying Kinetic Sand Activities for Pre-K and Elementary School

More fun than a day at the beach!

Kinetic Sand Activities

Kinetic sand has been the hot toy for a few years now, and it’s not just kids who love it. Adults find this stuff soothing and oddly satisfying too. (Google “kinetic sand videos” to see what we mean.) Kinetic sand is regular sand that’s been coated with silicone oils. This makes it smooth and moldable, with a moist texture that never dries out. We’ve rounded up our favorite kinetic sand activities to use in your classroom. Whether you’re teaching math, reading, and writing or creativity and fine motor skills, kinetic sand works for them all.

Need to stock up before you get started? Try this two-pound bag of kinetic sand from Amazon.

Note: We’ve included Amazon Affiliate links in this article for your convenience. When you purchase using these links, we receive a tiny percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you. We only recommend items we know you’ll like.

1. Hunt for buried treasure.

This one is sure to keep them busy for awhile! Bury a variety of items in the kinetic sand and let them see what they can find. Younger kids can just dig to see what turns up; have older kids write a list of what they find as they go. Bonus points for upcycling a plastic wipes container with gold spray paint to turn it into a treasure chest!

Learn more: The Simple Parent

2. Build a kinetic sand potato head.

Kinetic sand activities like this one are fun, but they incorporate learning too. Encourage your students to name the potato head parts as they place them and use positional words to tell you whether they’re above, under, and so on.

Learn more: Modern Preschool

3. Go on an alphabet hunt.

Kinetic Sand Activities Fun Learning for Kids 3

This is simple fun for littles just learning their letters. Bury small letter beads in the sand, then have kids dig them out and match them up, one by one.

Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids

4. Chicka chicka sand sand!

Tie a letter hunt to everyone’s favorite alphabet book. Dig out the letters—try using tweezers to add a fine-motor element—and place them on the coconut tree. (Here are 10 more clever Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activities to try.)

Learn more: Toddler Approved

5. Cook up (pretend) healthy meals.

Kinetic Sand Activities The Craft Train

If you’re looking for a new way to teach healthy eating, have your students build food from kinetic sand. (You’ll want a variety of colors for kinetic sand activities like this, so check out this 10-Color Kinetic Sand Pack.)

Learn more: The Craft Train

6. Practice writing letters and numbers.

Kinetic sand activities are just more fun than a dry-erase board! This is an easy, reusable way for kids to practice basic writing.

Learn more: Stir the Wonder

7. Find Pete the Cat’s groovy buttons.

Kinetic Sand Activities Tot Time School IG

Pete keeps losing his buttons. Can your students help find them in the kinetic sand bin? This is such a fun activity to accompany Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. (Find more great Pete the Cat activities here.)

Learn more: Tot Time/Instagram

8. Use kinetic sand with 10 frames.

Kinetic Sand Activities In My World

10 frames are terrific for building math skills, and using them with kinetic sand makes things a little more fun.

Learn more: In My World

9. Count and learn with kinetic sand and straws.

Kinetic Sand Activities Left Brain Craft Brain 2

Tactile learning, like kinetic sand activities, really helps things stick for some kids. Cut sturdy plastic smoothie straws into smaller pieces, then have kids plop them into the sand as they count them out. (Love that bright pink kinetic sand? Get it here.)

Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain

10. Set up a kinetic sand racetrack.

Try sculpting sand into the ultimate racetrack for toy cars and trucks. Use cardboard and blocks to create bridges and tunnels, and accessorize with other small toys.

Learn more: In the Playroom

11. Match uppercase and lowercase letters.

Letter stamps (we like this set) are ideal for kinetic sand activities. In this one, kids draw a wood craft stick with a capital letter on it from the basket, then stick it in the sand and stamp the appropriate lower case letter next to it.

Learn more: You Clever Monkey

12. Learn to tell time with a kinetic sand clock.

Visit the link below to see how this clock is made using a geoboard and letter stamps. What a clever way to practice telling time!

Learn more: Triumphant Learning

13. Stamp and spell sight words in the sand.

Kinetic Sand Activities I Can Teach My Child

Get out those letter stamps again and practice spelling sight words. Use the tip of a paint brush or a pencil to write the letters in the sand too. 

Learn more: I Can Teach My Child

14. Create compound words for a challenge.

Learning compound words? Grab a free set of printable cards at the link below, then match and stamp or write the words in kinetic sand.

Learn more: Life Over C’s

15. Enjoy a day at the beach.

Kinetic Sand Activities A Moms Impression

Some kinetic sand activities are all about the creativity. Give kids regular and blue kinetic sand and a handful of beach accessories to see what they’ll come up with!

Learn more: A Mom’s Impression

16. Try some arithmetic kinetic sand activities.

Kinetic Sand Activities Left Brain Craft Brain

Use this set of number and symbol dough cutters to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Solve a problem, then wipe the sand smooth and start again.

Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain

17. Engineer with building blocks and kinetic sand.

Kinetic Sand Activities Fun Learning for Kids 2

The unique properties of kinetic sand make building with it a special kind of fun. Combine it with plastic building blocks for an early learning STEM challenge.

Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids

18. Mold kinetic sand into geometric shapes.

Kinetic Sand Activities Pinay Homeschooler

Help kids learn about different geometric shapes with this set of View-Thru Geometric Solids fillable blocks paired with kinetic sand.

Learn more: Pinay Homeschooler

19. Discovery prehistory with dinosaurs and plastic eggs.

Which came first—the dinosaur or the egg? We can’t say for sure, but your kids will have fun learning about their favorite prehistoric beasts with this activity.

Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids

20. Construct a kinetic sand ant hill.

Add plastic ants to kinetic sand to create a mound of busy activity. Use it to learn about how ant colonies work or just have fun playing with the ants.

Learn more: 3 Dinosaurs

21. See plate tectonics in motion.

Kinetic Sand Activities Teach Beside Me

Cut apart a plastic bin and use with layers of kinetic sand to show how Earth’s layers form geographical features, like mountains, as the tectonic plates move.

Learn more: Teach Beside Me

22. Model the planets of the solar system.

Speaking of Earth, why not mold it and its planetary neighbors from kinetic sand?

Learn more: Kinetic Sand/Instagram

23. Explore the moon’s surface.

While you’re learning about planets, drop by the surface of the moon to explore for awhile. We’re not saying you have to use this cool glow-in-the-dark kinetic sand, but why wouldn’t you?

Learn more: 3 Dinosaurs

24. Take it to the next level with kinetic sand slime.

Kinetic Sand Activities Tater Tots and Jello

Amp up the sensory experience by turning kinetic sand into slime. This slime is smooth and stretchy, without feeling quite so “slimy.” Learn how to make it at the link below. 

Learn more: Tater Tots and Jello

25. Sculpt a kinetic sand turkey for Thanksgiving.

Kinetic Sand Activities Modern Preschool

Gobble gobble! Prepare for Thanksgiving by building turkeys from sand, feathers, and googly eyes, with a pipe cleaner for a beak.

Learn more: Modern Preschool

26. Decorate a kinetic sand Christmas tree.

Kinetic Sand Activities Still Playing School

Grab some green kinetic sand and mold it into a cone shape. Then decorate it with beads and other trinkets to make a Christmas tree. Kids can do this again and again.

Learn more: Still Playing School

27. Chill out with a zen garden.

Kinetic Sand Activities 3 Dinosaurs 2

Dig into the soothing nature of kinetic sand activities by creating that ultimate calming space: a zen garden.

Learn more: 3 Dinosaurs

Play-Doh is just as much fun as kinetic sand! Here are 25 Genius Ways to use Play-Doh in the Classroom.

Love deals and bargains? (We know you do!) Join the WeAreTeachers Deals Facebook group where we’re sharing the best prices on great teacher stuff every day.

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

Leave a reply