What is Play Sand? What is play sand made of + FAQs

Basana Saha


Play sand is very popularly used sand in children’s play areas and most children build castles of different shapes and enjoy playing with it.

In this article, you will learn in detail all you need to know about play sand, its composition, and several important FAQs.

What is Play Sand?

Play sand is a type of specially curated sand that children use for play purposes and mostly to build their favorite sand castles.

It is much finer in texture than the regular sand particles. Repeated processing makes it softer and cleaner than regular sand and perfect for playing with. 

What is Play Sand Used For?

Play sand is an ideal tool for the kids to play with and it greatly helps in the development of the child. Here are the various ways in which play sand helps the kids:

It helps to develop their tactile senses and kinaesthetic capabilities. Playing with the play sand helps them to discover the differences between the tactics of various materials and also detect vibrations. 

It enhances creativity in the children as they are able to create numerous objects with the play sand. That is a fantastic overall development of the child’s motor skills.

Not only engaging in play, play sand actually promotes holistic and panoramic development in the kids. 

It is the finest ingredient for the kid to move along with her creative and imaginative skills. It opens the doors of endless possibilities of creation for the child. 

What is play sand made of?

Play Sand is made of quartz sand grain and crystalline silica. It has a uniform composition, no matter which brand they belong to.

It is non-toxic and non-staining. Mostly the play sand contains sub-rounded grains as it is rendered free and non-toxic for the kids. 

Is Play Sand Silica Sand?

Yes, play sand is a fine grain and special quality sand made of Silica.

Undoubtedly play sand is a type of sand that is specially graded. This sand has been dried and screened. Play sand is ultimately sand and since sand is fundamentally silica, so play sand can be aptly called silica.

However, one of the major differences between regular sand and silica sand is the size of the grains and the texture.

The regular sand particles are much larger and coarser than the silica sand to create a better feel for the children. 

How long does play sand last?

There is practically no fixed shelf life of play sand. However, since the kids are dealing with it, the best tenure is one year.

So, one should plan to replace the play sand every year. Also, you should smooth it out on a regular basis.

The play sand loses its property like color and shape quite often. It even gets devoid of its sanitary properties. If you are too conscious, you can also change it twice a year. 

Can Play Sand get wet?

Yes, play sand can get wet at times. Wet play sand can be a potential breeding ground for bacteria. Also, the wet play sand can clump together spoiling all the fun of dealing with play sand.

So, the ideal way is to check on the sand every time and then.

The sand should be raked on a regular schedule to prevent any moisture build-up and keep it out of contamination, clumps, or debris accumulation.

However, the wet sand does not necessarily ruin it. You can simply air dry it or put it out on sunny days to make it ideal for use. 

How do you make homemade play sand?

Here is how you can create the perfect homemade play sand with minimal ingredients.

The Ingredients to make Homemade play Sand are:

  • Cornstarch and
  • vegetable oil.
  • food color(optional)

Here is the recipe:

Simply mix 4 cups of flour with 1 cup of vegetable oil. You could also use baby oil instead of vegetable oil.

In case, your kids love it colorful, you could also add colored chalk gratings/food color to the mix.

Here are some important notes while preparing this recipe:

  • The flour actually makes the play sand possess its perfect desired texture.
  • Mixing these two ingredients in the right proportion(4:1 of corn flour and vegetable oil) will get you the right homemade play sand.

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Basana Saha