On the (very short) list of kid products parents actually enjoying playing with alongside their children, kinetic sand easily makes the top three. Like Play-Doh and molding clay, kinetic sand is a form of sensory play that strengthens your child’s fine motor skills through creative exploration. It’s not unlike the beach sand you bury their toes in or build castles with, but you won’t need to pour bucks of water over these tiny grains to garner that satisfyingly sticky consistency. Rather, kinetic sand is ready to be molded, sculpted, poured and mixed right out of the package, and the best part about this crafty gem? Mess is minimal.
“Sand” and “no mess” rarely go hand in hand, but we’re serious when we tell you that this hands-on activity won’t end in sweeping or vacuuming your kitchen floor. Kinetic sand is sand, yes, but it’s been coated with the same kinds of silicone oils you’ll find in cosmetics, haircare products and lubricants, which is what makes it mess-free. It also doesn’t stick to surfaces (translation: your table tops are safe). What kinetic sand will do is provide your child with a creative outlet and hours of entertainment, all while strengthening their fine motor skills in the process. Here are the best kinetic sand sets for you to add to your own toy stash.
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1. Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom
If you’re going to buy kinetic sand, its namesake brand is among — if not the — most popular option. Kids will love channeling beach vibes in the comfort of their own home with Kinetic Sand’s Beach Sand Kingdom set that includes a whopping three pounds of sand to mix, scoop, pour and sculpt. The mega box also comes with six castle-themed molds to create walls, bridges, towers and the like, plus two multi-use tools to cut, dig, rake and shovel the sand. And if you’re still sweating even the possibility of a mess, chill: The packaging doubles as a confined play space. Just tease an early bedtime and rest assured they’ll keep your space nice and tidy.
2. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Ultimate Play Sand
If your children are already familiar with and love kinetic sand, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s variation comes in batches of 2, 6 and 12 pounds (just in case you were looking to stock up). Available in natural, blue, green, pink, purple and multicolored, these vibrant play sets encourage your child to explore their creative side through sensory play. The Ultimate Play Sand boxes also include six different molds, including a castle and pyramid, plus a storage tray to pack it all in when playtime is over.
3. CoolSand Mixable & Moldable Play Sand
Once your kids play with kinetic sand they’ll be begging for more — more sand, and more color. CoolSand’s refill packs come in eight different hues: black, green, pink, purple, red, white and natural. By adding a little vibrance to their sensory play, their creativity will know no limitations. Say buh-bye to castle after castle, and hello to making masterpieces outside the molds.