Moon Sand

What better way to have fun on a Friday afternoon than playing up to your elbows in sand and glitter? I wanted a fun and relaxing experiment for my class and I found this recipe for moon sand. I wish I would have seen it last year when I did my space unit but I will just tuck that away for a future date (and class!). The recipe is ridiculously easy and the mixture is slightly messy. But you aren't having fun unless you are making a mess, right? least that is what I tried to convince myself when I explained to my custodian that I had sand on my floor. Yes, I said. Sand on my floor in the middle of March and no we live nowhere near a beach.

So, a little back story before I show the steps. I ran to our local Home Depot to pick up a bag of play sand. I cannot believe a 50 pound bag of sand is under $4. After tossing the cargo into my shopping cart and pushing it to the checkout, I discovered there was a gaping hole. I swear there wasn't one when I put the bag into my cart. To my horror, as the cashier is ringing me up, sand is pouring from the bottom of my cart like my own personal sandbox. Fortunately, I was able to get a discount on my purchase and scored my sand for $2.14! I already had all of the other materials so I literally only paid $2.14 for my science experiment. Now that was a bargain. I didn't use anywhere near half of it for a classroom of 23 students. The rest is going into my boys' sandbox once the weather clears.

  • play sand (a local hardware store usually has the most bang for your buck)
  • corn starch
  • water
  • powder paint
  • glitter
  • bowl to mix
  • Ziploc

Recipe (One batch kept 3-4 students occupied at a station):
  1. Mix 4 cups of sand, 2 cups of corn starch together in a bowl.
  2. Mix water and 1 cup of powder paint together. (The powder paint is not necessary although it does make the sand look pretty. We didn't have any powder paint so I added a LOT more glitter to my mixture.)
  3. Combine water and paint mixture to dry mixture.
  4. Add a generous amount of glitter.
  5. If mixture seems to dry add a little more water.
  6. I allowed my students to take a handful home in a Ziploc to enjoy with their families this weekend.
Even though this was the messiest project we have done so far, it was so much fun! What a great way to end a very long week.
Multiple students had never touched sand before. It was quite the experience!
They got creative molding the moon sand to the sides of the bowls and creating their own little designs and shapes.
We compared how the play sand felt BEFORE we added in the other ingredients and created moon sand.



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