Homemade Edible Sand for Preschool Sensory Play

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Homemade Edible Sand for Preschool Sensory Play

We decided to try making our own edible sand for sensory play with my toddler and preschooler. It was so simple & cheap I just had to share it with you.
2 Ingredient Homemade Sand for Sensory PLAY

This fun, colorful kids activity is fun to look at and play with! It is a great sensory activity kids can use to practice making letters, build, or celebrate spring.

2 Ingredient Homemade Edible Sand

2 Ingredient Homemade Sand that is edible, moldable, and with vibrant colors

Just mix about 2 cups pure cane sugar (found next to regular sugar in the baking isle) and 10 drops liquid food coloring in a Ziploc bag.

Preschooler mixing homemade sand

Now shake up the bag to mix the colors.

HINT: Allow to dry completely once to ensure there is no chance of food coloring bleeding on your child's hands.

Fantastic Texture for PLAY

Homemade Sand has the texture of fine sand at a fraction of the cost!

The cane sugar makes a fantastic texture for play. The small grains look like sand and the colors come out super vibrant.

Sensory Play with Homemade Sand

Sensory Play with homemade sand

I love that this sand recipe uses things found in the kitchen, used in normal food preparation. Everything is edible, so if your toddler (or preschooler) decides to taste it, it’s okay.

Homemade sand is even beautiful when the colors mix.

My daughter LOVED the beautiful colors.

 Beautiful sensory material for preschoolers

This is a wonderful sensory activity for a rainbow or colors unit in March or April with preschoolers. They will love the bright colors.

Homemade Sand holds it’s shape like regular sand!

Build sandcastles inside with homemade sand

Because of the slight moisture content from the liquid food coloring the homemade sand will hold it’s shape to build into sand castles! You can always add a teaspoon more of water if your sand isn’t “sticking” together.

Homemade Sand produces vibrant, bold colors
It is such a fun sensory activity for kids!!

Learning Letters with Homemade Sand

Tactile Letter Learning for Preschoolers with Homemade Sand

Homemade Sand also makes a great medium for practicing making and tracing letters and numbers for preschoolers.

Homemade Sand is simple to make, cheap, safe, and fun to play with.

Even after your child plays with the homemade sand and mixes the colors, it is still beautiful. Check out the individual grains of sugar – still beautiful!

NOTE: This is not intended for your child just to sit there and consumer. The beauty of it being edible is that if your young child decides to taste it, you won't have to worry about what chemicals they are ingesting.

More Sensory Activities for Preschoolers


  1. Your photos are gorgeous! Was it sticky at all?

    1. Thanks Amanda - and NO not sticky at all =)

  2. Word to the wise: let them play with it in the bathtub! Cleanup is horrible!

    1. Let the sand dry completely at first to make sure colors don't bleed some.

  3. But it is straight sugar and food coloring! Fun to play with but I would not tell my kids it is edible. Most food coloring is made from petroleum byproducts and have been linked to hyperactivity and cancer. Please use truly natural, organic food coloring like beet juice and chlorophyll.

    1. Oh, it's not intended to eat! The idea is that if your child ends up with some in his mouth, as so many kids try to do this age, it's not a crisis. And of course you can use natural food coloring =)

  4. How long is this good for? If I used it in the sand table in my classroom, would it last for a month or would it go bad, small bad?

  5. It's really just sugar so it shouldn't "go bad". If you were using it for an extended period of time you may not want rainbow colors as they would mix and make closer to brown for most of the month. Of you can use yellow and blue and let them be amazed as it makes green =)

  6. This is really great!! The children love playing with it. I like the idea of the mixing of colours to see what they make as Beth Gorden said. That is wonderful. Children hands are always at their mouths so there is no real for alarm if they do that. Thanks for this wonderful scientific outcome.