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How to Colour Sand for Sensory Play

How to colour sand for sensory play, simple step by step guide.

How to Colour Sand for Sensory Play, is a quick and easy step by step guide on creating your very own colourful sand for children to play with. The are many different ways to colour sand and this post provides my very own DIY recipe outlining how we colour our sand but I have also provided a couple of alternatives that also works well when colouring sand.

Homemade coloured sand is so much fun and inviting for children to play with. It is great for sensory play activities using funnels and scoops or art activities using glue and other crafty items.

To make our coloured sand I have re-used the sand we used from our Sand Foam Sensory Play Activity.

What you will need?

how to colour sand

1 cup clean dried sand.

1 teaspoon food colouring

Paper towels

Tray or plate (this for drying the sand)

Two Alternatives:

  1. Colour Sand with Paint: Dilute 10mls paint with 10mls water. Mix until combined thoroughly. Follow the same steps outlines in this post. Please note that the sand turns out wetter than food colouring and will take a little longer to dry.
  2. Colour Sand with Edicol Dye: Place sand into a container and add a teaspoon of edicol dye. Add a small quantity of water to release the dye and mix through sand thoroughly. Spread sand out on a large sheet of newspaper or paper towels in the sun to dry.   Small quantities of sand can also be spread across an old baking tray and dried in the oven on a low heat.

Note: Do not leave the sand to dry out in a windy area!

Step 1:

how to colour sand for sensory play
  • Place sand into a bowl and add food colouring.
  • Using the flat part of a large spoon, make large strokes over the sand to blend the colour evening. Stir and repeat large stroke actions.
  • Add a little more food colouring if needed to achieve desired colour.

Step 2:

step by step guide on how to colour sand
  • Place the wet sand out onto a paper towel and plate or newspaper.
  • Using a large spoon spread the wet sand out evenly to dry out.
  • Place the wet sand out into a sunny place (not windy) to air dry. If the sand is still wet, gently move the sand around to expose the wetter parts of the sand to dry out.
  • Give the container/bowl a wipe and a rinse, and proceed with your next colour!

Step 3:

how to colour sand for sensory play activities.  Step by step guide
  • When the sand is dry, gently rub the sand between your fingers to break up any sand that may be stuck together.
  • Coloured sand will last for several years if stored correctly in an air-tight container or zip-lock bags.

Click here for more SAND activities & play ideas

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Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.

I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.

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