What to Look for in Kinetic Sand Kits for Kids

Kinetic sand is a fun, imaginative, and screen-free way to play.

Child playing with kinetic sand
Kinetic sand can also make for a great fidget toy.Pexels/Julia M. Cameron

At first glance, kinetic sand looks a lot like plain old wet sand—but all those grains are actually coated with silicone oil rather than water. That silicone oil is called dimethicone, and it’s a common ingredient in hand lotion because it repels water. If you could zoom in on dimethicone’s molecular structure, you’d see long chains—and those long chains give it a honey-like quality. In practice, that means you can mold a solid object that will slowly flow out of the solid form like a super-satisfying viscous liquid. And remember how dimethicone repels water? That’s great for kinetic sand since the sand will stick to itself but not to other things, making for quick and easy cleanup. Now that you know how it works, here’s how to pick the kit for you and your kids.

Kinetic Sand, Sandisfying Set with 2lbs of Sand and 10 Tools, for Kids Aged 3 and up

Two Colors

This kit includes a wide range of accessories for molding and sculpting.Kinetic Sand

The first thing to consider when looking for kinetic sand is storage. Thanks to that silicone oil, kinetic sand won’t dry out—but since it flows like a thick liquid, you’ll want to keep it in a resealable container. Look for a kit that includes a storage container for the easiest fit (so you don’t have to calculate weight to volume).

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Play Sand - 12 LBS of Sand with Castle Molds (Blue) - A Kinetic Sensory Activity

Variable Quantities

This option comes in three quantities and seven colors for plenty of creative freedom.National Geographic

Children (or adults—we’re not judging you!) of different ages will probably have different preferences when it comes to the texture of kinetic sand. Kinetic sand kits designed for younger children will likely be softer and fluffier with finer grains. Older children may prefer kinetic sand with a coarser texture that holds its shape longer and gives the satisfying crunch that’s found in ASMR kinetic sand videos.

Kenlaimi Play Construction Sand Kit - 3lbs Sand with 3 Large Construction Trucks,16 Construction Toys & Signs,4 Castle Molds and Foldable Sandbox,Sensory Toys for 3, 4, 5 Year Old Toddlers

Building Themed

A 27-piece set provides hours of fun.Kenlaimi

Kinetic sand is fun on its own, but consider kits that include accessories to hold your child’s interest (and keep your kitchen tools from getting lost). These may include molds, squishers, and ribbon-makers as well as thematic construction kits. Some kits include multiple colors of kinetic sand for mixing.