Construction Sensory Bin with DIY Kinetic Sand

Want squishy moldable sand for your sand box? Are you looking for a kinetic sand recipe? Try our colorful construction sensory bin inspired by Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney. Penguin Kids sent us a copy for review. Affiliate links are included in this post.

Use this DIY kinetic sand recipe to create a simple construction sensory bin for kids. Inspired by Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney.

DIY Kinetic Sand

Supplies You’ll Need:

I like the Crayola Play Sand for this activity. It’s a fine grain sand that has a nice texture. The color does not come off of the sand even in a bin full of water. I’ve linked to Amazon so you can see the product details. However, you can find it at Walmart for under $7 instead of the $20+ on Amazon.

It’s okay to experiment with the ingredients and find a consistency that you like. The amount of water needed will greatly depend on the dampness of your sand. Our blue sand from last year was very dry. I bought a new bag of green sand and it was a little damp from recent rains. (They have it outside at the store.)

Here’s the kinetic sand recipe that worked for us.

To 2 cups of colored play sand, add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and mix together. Add 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and mix again. Check the consistency. If your sand was already damp, you may not need to add any water. If your sand was really dry, add up to a tablespoon of water until you get the right consistency.  The kinetic sand should be moldable and feel a bit squishy. If it’s too wet, just let it sit out and dry for a while.

The kinetic sand was perfect for our construction sensory bin. Watch the video below to see how to make the kinetic sand.

Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney

Little Excavator and his big rig friends – Loader, Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane – are busy turning a vacant lot into a busy park. Poor Little E is too small for all of the big jobs. He tries to knock down a wall, but falls over. He tries to dig a hole but falls in it. Are there any jobs for someone so small? Yes! Little E is the only one who is small enough to fit across the bridge. He carries the tree across and saves the day. My kids and I found this story entertaining and adorable. If your kids are fans of construction equipment, they will definitely love this book.

Construction Sensory Bin

Use this DIY kinetic sand recipe to create a simple construction sensory bin for kids. Inspired by Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney.

I added two colors of our kinetic sand to a storage bin – green to represent the ground and blue to represent water. We created an island and used a jumbo craft stick (sent to us by for a bridge. Little E can cross the bridge to plant a tree.

Messy play note – I would take this activity outside if possible because sand will surely go everywhere. We started outside but had to come in because of the weather. I allowed the kids to play at the kitchen table and just vacuumed up the sand that spilled out.

Lily immediately gravitated towards the construction sensory bin. She loved scooping, digging, and moving the sand all around. Aiden joined her a little while later and also had fun with the sand and toys.

Eventually they mixed the two colors of sand together, so now we have a pretty cool shade of blue-green. My kids keep coming back to this simple construction sensory bin.

Read This Next

Construction Site Build and Count – Practice number recognition and counting while building with blocks. Download the free printable.

Try out our construction site build and count activity inspired by Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. It's a great way to practice number recognition and counting while building with blocks.

More Colored Sand Activities

Subscribe to the Inspiration Laboratories newsletter. Each issue has exclusive hands-on science explorations for children, a recap of our latest activities, and special resources selected just for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *