As a working mom, I am all over easy ideas…especially simple. Here is one of the most recent ones that we have tried…Moon Sand. I was a little skeptical that it would work. Last time my kids played with moon sand, I had soft-orange-spongy-sand all over my table, floor, craft cabinet, carpet–and I still find bits and pieces of it around. It was ok but really too crumbly to do much with it.
Hence…my apprehension. The recipe I saw uses two ingredients. Two! Flour…oil. That’s it. Really, I was even more skeptical. You can use any amount of the two in an 8:1 proportion so we used 4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of olive oil. You can certainly use other types of oil. I just grabbed what we had on hand (after quietly informing my husband I was using a good bit of olive oil…extra virgin olive oil he reminded me. The good stuff. Thankfully he had found it on an awesome sale so no I don’t typically go through 1/2 cup of olive oil without cringing!).
Okay, so the best part of this recipe is that you can easily make a decent sized container of moon sand versus the tiny crescent shaped container of orange sand that I have hidden in the very back of our craft cabinet. We used an x-large ziploc container, and it is a cinch to store now. It was not as messy to mix up as I thought, but it might be a good idea to go ahead and mix for your kids. The flour comes off pretty easily once you mix it well with the oil but my son became a little impatient during the mixing process. It took maybe a good five minutes to get it to “sand” texture. The combination is very light and feathery. My daughter is two and was able to easily compress it and make indentations with other playdough tools. My son had a blast making shapes and lines and asking me if they were “familiar” (similar).
Bottom line: SUPER easy. Low mess. No other preservatives, chemicals, smells. Technically even edible by little toddler hands if you turn your back.