We are a homeschooling family of 5 children ages 10 and under. For our Kindergarten curriculum I am on my third round using My Father’s World. I simply adore My Father’s World especially for their preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade curriculum’s. Love them!
In the Kindergarten curriculum the children use a phonics based approach to learn reading with a song for the A-B-C’s. We are on the letter “Mm”, and the week’s thematic unit to emphasize the phonics is “M-m-moon”.
Moon Sand | Moon & Letter M Unit
As part of this unit we have added a fun hands on sensory activity with Moon Sand! I have three different recipes that you can use. 2 of the 3 are gluten-free, vegan and top 8 free. One of them contains all-purpose flour, but is otherwise free of the rest of the top 8 (soy, egg, dairy, peanut, tree nut, fin fish and shellfish).
Disclaimer: It is of note, that this is not meant to be an edible project, and that should you choose one of the flour recipe options, flour packages do warn that consuming raw flour may contain salmonella. Should this be of concern, your family may want to go with the cornstarch recipe base. If you’d still like to use the flour option and this is a concern to you, you may also choose to toast the flour in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes. Let it cool before adding in the baby oil.
Messy Fun Learning & Sensory Activity
I figured my children would enjoy this very messy activity, BUT I underestimated the enjoyment. They didn’t just like it, they LOVED it. I mean to the point of fighting over it. Literally. I ended up making each child their own batch, putting in separate plastic tupperware for them to play with individually to allow them to continue their play, minus all the fighting over the awesome Moon Sand!
Three Different Recipe Options
Now, I will say the Moon Sand that uses flour whether gluten-free or all-purpose wheat flour, feels the best and is my favorite. The one that uses baking soda and cornstarch had a “squeaky” feel that my kids didn’t mind, but was off-putting to me. I am weird about certain textures and sounds and couldn’t get past it haha!! However, I did include it because I wanted to present it as another alternative option for someone who the other recipes may not prove “friendly” ingredient-wise to them.
Also, I have to say, I can see why they were so enamored with it. It is just silky smooth soft and truly feels so good to play with and run your fingers through! It really is that fun!
Food Coloring Optional
You can also add food coloring to the mixture just for funsies, but my kids preferred it to be its natural color. Which I was surprised about, but I think they were just so mesmerized by it that they were cool with how it came, and didn’t care for any added fuss… they just wanted to play with it!
Gluten Free | Two Options
A word about the flour, you can use any all-purpose flour, or any measure for measure gluten flour blend. I tried my all-purpose flour and it felt JUST LIKE the gluten-free blend. I tried both King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure as well as Pillsbury’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure blend. Silky smooth awesomeness!
Price Variations & Options
Another note on the recipe options, I also included the baking soda cornstarch option because of cost. For a good-sized batch to have enough to play with like a small tabletop sandbox, you use 8 cups of flour. If you are using gluten-free specialty flour, that’s pricey. However, if you purchase a big container of cornstarch and a 3.5 bag of baking soda (which you can also make my playdough with), it’s much more cost-effective. As of the writing of this blog post you can purchase the cornstarch from $1-$2 depending on brand and store, for a canister that is 16oz (2 cups). You can purchase a 3.5lb bag of baking soda (Arm & Hammer) at WalMart for $2.27. Whereas the Pillsbury gluten free flour, for example, costs $4.98 for just 2 lbs. Options are options, even if you go with the gluten free flour mix in the end.
This is super fun, but also SUPER MESSY. If you accept that going into it, it’s not so bad haha!!! I used a small storage container that is rectangle in shape and about 4″ deep, the first time they played before the fighting commenced. That was awesome and perfect for this activity had they gotten along like good little siblings! Round II of the Moon Sand, I just used the large rectangle disposable/reusable type plastic containers by Rubbermaid. For individual play, they are just bigger than a 9×13 baking dish and come with a lid. The lid was key so that they could put it away until the next time they played with it. I wouldn’t personally keep the sand longer than about 3-5 days before it starts to go “bad”.
Play Toys to Add In
I also recommend using sandbox toys, bath toys, or even kitchen gadgets and utensils to play in the sand. Measuring cups, ladles, cereal spoons – they are all so much fun! I hope you and your kids have just as much fun with this M-M-Moon Sand!
Moon Sand | Flour & Baby Oil
- 8 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free measure for measure blend
- 1 cup baby oil
Moon Sand | Cornstarch, Baking Soda & Baby Oil
- 6 cups cornstarch
- 6 cups baking soda
- 4 cups baby oil
Select either recipe (baking soda, cornstarch & baby oil VS flour and baby oil). Put ingredients in a bowl, stir, knead, repeat until blended well. If you would optionally like to add food coloring, add this in and stir into the baby oil before adding to the dry ingredients.
For a smaller batch the ratio is as follows:
For the flour/baby oil option:
For every 1 C of flour add 2 Tablespoons of baby oil
For the baking soda/cornstarch/baby oil option:
For every 3/4 c of baking soda use 3/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of baby oil.