While exploring on our camping holiday a couple of weeks ago, we found on a quaint little market. There sat a man allowing children to fill a bottle of coloured sand for a small price. I let Miss Possum make one while I kept the twins busy. I didn’t think he’d be impressed with the amount of mess and wasted sand the twins would have created on his table.
I felt really bad that I couldn’t provide the same opportunity for the twins so I decided to take some sand home from the beach and try to dye it myself. It would all give us the ability to explore and play with coloured sand, use it in a variety of ways (posts to come) and not worry about the mess it would create. Sand is a wonderful natural material that we haven’t really explored that much before.
Making coloured sand is actually REALLY easy!
What you’ll need:
- A bowl
- Food colouring dye. I used this Queen food colouring but I’ve heard this is a good alternative outside of Australia.
- Sand (any sand would work but white is best)
- A tray
- A cloth that you don’t mind coloured or destroyed. We used an old tea towel
How to make coloured sand
1. Add some sand to a bowl
2. Fill the bowl with water until the sand is all wet. It shouldn’t be runny, just wet.
3. Add the food colouring to the bowl and mix until you have an even colour. You will need a good amount of food colouring. The more you add the darker your sand will be.
4. Scoop the sand out onto the tray covered in a tea towel (or what ever you’ve decided to use). The colouring does seep through the material, so if you’re using a tray that could get stained, I’d put plastic in between the tray and the material.
5. Do step 1-4 to make as many colours as you would like. We used red, blue, green and yellow but if you mix the colouring in the bowl you can get heaps of different colours and shades.
5. Take the tray out in the sun and let the sand dry.
6. Scoop the dry sand into separate containers.
So easy! We have lots of activities to share in the coming weeks showing how we explored sand as a play tool. We had a lot of fun!
Coloured Sand Activities