Is there any toddler who doesn’t like playing in sand? Ever heard of kinetic sand as a no mess alternative? Every toddler has his own ways of exploring with the stuff, but there’s no normal toddler who, being put in sandbox, will fail to find at least one way to enjoy it. Maybe your toddler is all into sand molds; or maybe he likes building little sand tunnels. Some toddlers love the feel of sand on their hands or feet, and can spend hours burying and unburying an arm, leg, or big toe. Others you’ll find enjoying the sandbox by sitting quietly, picking up sand and letting it run through their fingers.
Sandboxes and summer go well together. If he has his sippy cup near by and is appropriately protected the sun, my toddler can play happily in the sandbox all morning long—and I am content to let him. He is exploring, discovering, and having fun.
I’ve wished that it were possible to take the sandbox in on rainy days—all the while knowing that I don’t really want it inside, in my living room or kitchen. Just imagine all the mess there would be around it! Sand scatters like anything, and there’s no way to keep it together. It would need its own special room; a room with nothing in it but the sandbox. And I don’t have an extra room I can designate as “sandbox room”.
That’s why my ears perked up when I heard of this special kind of sand—a no-mess kind of sand, perfectly safe for toddlers. It’s sand that sticks to itself in a non-sticky, non-icky, non-messy but incredibly dynamic way; a sandthat is perfect for playing with inside the house, even on the kitchen table. It’s non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about your toddler taste-exploring this new substance.
A fun and reasonably priced kinetic sand starter is this one from Wacky-tivities—it includes one pound of bright colored variety (either purple, blue, or green—colors vary), three molds, and a sandbox tray. It’s everything you need to get started with indoor no mess sand playtimes, and it’ll hold your toddler entranced for hours.
The downside of this set? 1 pound of sand is not a whole lot. It’s enough for your toddler to enjoy playing with, but every time it’s played with a little will be lost, and eventually you’ll need to buy more. If this is the kind of thing that stresses you out, you may want to opt with a larger sandpile to begin with—see ‘Your Other Option’ below--- or just buy a few extra boxes of sand so you always have plenty.
The other inconvenience with this set is that there’s no lid to the sandbox, so when playtime is over you need to move the sand to a Ziploc bag. That isn’t the end of the world; since the sand sticks together, it’s easy to clean up. If you find it annoying, you can always transition to a new, lidded sandbox from your kitchen cabinet.
But if you already have sandbox molds and a Tupperware or Sterilite container that you can use as an ‘indoor sandbox’, you may want to buy Waba’s eleven pound box of kinetic sand instead. The price tag is higher, but you get a whole lot more sand. This way your toddler will really have enough sand to dig in, experiment, and enjoy, and you won’t have to worry if a little gets spilled and swept up after each play session. Although bright colors are fun, I enjoy the natural color of this Waba sand. It is almost the same color as beach sand, and resembles light brown sugar.
Whichever option you choose, your toddler will have lots of fun exploring magic no mess sand—it’s a puzzle that never gets old!