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Homemade Beach Sand Sensory Bin – DIY Tutorial

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The last few weeks we’ve been talking about the beach and ocean with the 3 year old co-op class. Talking about it is fun, but getting a chance to play in the sand is even better, right? Unless you live hours and hours from the beach and you don’t want to buy a ginormous bag of sand.

homemade beach sand recipe

Instead we made something quick and so simple (I promise you this is so easy!!), that kids can help make it with you.  AND If they ingest a little, it will be ok too, since it uses non-toxic ingredients!

homemade beach sand sensory box fun

Items Needed for Homemade Beach Sand:

  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cooking oil (we used coconut oil)
  • mixing bowl
  • large plastic tub or trays
  • Seashells Toob or real seashells
  • Plastic crabs (I wouldn’t recommend real ones – grins)

Mix the flour and the oil together in a mixing bowl (dear moms, this can be highly therapeutic and relaxing – just sayin’). You can add up to 1 cup of oil to your ‘sand’ – it just depends on how sticky you would like it to be.

homemade beach sand sensory box-1

The kids in our class loved it. We added a bunch of seashells and a mini crab to the bin just for fun, along with a few things to scoop and build little sandcastles. Our homemade beach sand is stored in a 15 quart Rubbermaid container (we made 3 batches).

homemade beach sand sensory box-4

When there were too many kids wanting to play in the bin, we poured some out on a tray so they could continue with the fun. You can see from the picture above that the ‘sand’ does a great job sticking together so kids can form and create, just like they can with real sand!

Free Ocean Printable Pack

Ocean CollageIf you’re planning a beach or ocean theme, you might be interested in the Ocean Printable Pack.

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Find more fun Preschool Packs on my website along with many other helpful {and free} Preschool Printables. Enjoy!


Note: This beach sand recipe does contain gluten, so those of you with gluten-free kiddos will obviously not want to use this. Sorry!

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

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  1. Hey I too am a homeschooler. I I enjoyed reading your articles and blogs.

  2. Emma Craig says

    How fun! This would be great when the colder weather comes and you can’t make it outside to play in “real” sand!

    • That’s exactly what I’m thinking, Emma! Or maybe I might catch myself filling up a small tub and running my own feet through it. :)

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