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Easy Homemade DIY Moon Sand Recipe • Kids Activities Blog

Let’s make our easy moon sand recipe with the kids!

Did you know that you can make homemade moon sand using real sand? Our easy moon sand recipe makes moldable and colorful moon sand that the kids will love.

diy moon sand recipe made in a large plastic tub and being molded with sand toys
This homemade moon sand recipe is so easy to make and kids are going to love playing with it.

Basic moon sand can be made in just a few minutes with three simple ingredients that cost under $10. One bag of play sand can go a long way. You can make tubs of colorful moon sand to give as party gifts, or for hours of fun at home.

How to make moon sand

We are going to combine play sand with cornstarch to make homemade moon sand. What is great about this mixture is that, unlike regular sand, it cakes together for molding but then crumbles back into sand. This is definitely one of our more messy learning activities, but it’s so much fun to play with!

Moon sand recipe ingredients include play sand, corn starch, cooking oil, and gel food dye.
Gather play sand, cornstarch, cooking oil, and gel food dye for our moon sand recipe.

Moon sand recipe ingredients

  • 4 cups play sand
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil – we used canola oil
  • Gel food dye (optional) – or you could try powdered paint
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Disposable gloves – if you are adding food dye

If you don’t happen to have enough cornstarch on hand, you can use flour instead. You can also use baby oil or coconut oil instead of vegetable or canola oil.

Instructions for making moon sand

Step 1 for making homemade moon sand is to combine corn starch and play sand in a large tub.
Combine corn starch and play sand in a tub.

Step 1

In a large tub, combine the play sand and cornstarch. Kids will love doing this messy step using their hands or a wooden spoon.

Moon sand craft tip:  If you don’t use fine sand you’ll want to sift it especially if it has little pebbles in it. The sand needs to be as fine as possible.

Step 2 for making diy moon sand is to add cooking oil and gel food dye to the sand mixture and combine thoroughly.
Add oil and food dye to the sand mixture and combine completely.

Step 2

As we know, you can’t mix oil with the food dye because the food dye beads inside the oil.

So, you will need to add the gel food dye directly to the sand mixture. You can add as much or as little as you like. Just remember that you can always add more, you can’t take it away though once it’s mixed in. Don’t forget to wear gloves for mixing or your hands are going to be very colorful. Add the oil a little at a time as you are mixing until everything is blended completely together.

Don’t worry, once the color is completely mixed in you will find that very little comes off on your hands when you are playing with the moon sand. Make sure you put your kids in old clothes or an art smock though just in case they rub their hands on their clothing.

Sand toys are perfect to use with homemade moon sand.
It’s just like being at the beach, only the sand is colorful and fun.

Step 3

It’s time to play with your moon sand. Mold it, shape it, add it to sand molds that you take to the beach, or use cookie cutters.

Our finished homemade moon sand
Moon sand molds into the smallest shapes making it so much fun to use.

Prep Time
5 minutes

Active Time
5 minutes

Total Time
5 minutes


Estimated Cost


  • 4 cups play sand
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil – we used canola oil
  • Gel food dye (optional) – or you could try powdered paint
  • Glitter (optional)


  • Disposable gloves – if you are adding food dye


  1. Combine the cornstarch and play sand in a large tub.
  2. Add the oil and food dye and blend until completely combined. You will need to wear disposable gloves for this step.

More sand play fun from Kids Activities Blog

Have you made your own moon sand? Did you add glitter or fun colors to it?

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