How I Keep My Sanity: Kinetic Sand

When I first saw commercials for Kinetic Sand, my son wasn’t old enough to play with it, but I filed it away. See, I hate playdoh. Always have, always will. The texture and smell drive me nuts. I didn’t even like it as a kid. And the residue it leaves on your hands? Better get me to the nearest sink!

No matter how much I hate playdoh, I knew I couldn’t deprive my son or pass on my own finickiness to him. I had resigned myself to having to touch this stuff again.

Then I saw a commercial for Kinetic Sand. It was like the dawning of a new day. I hoped it would indeed be better than playdoh.

Kinetic Sand is for ages 3 and up. I got a little impatient. My son started playing with it at two and a half. I was pregnant with his sister and so tired all the time. So I found a container, filled it with the sand, and plunked it down in front of him.

Now, my son loves construction vehicles. He has, oh, 4 or 5 excavators and about 4 dump trucks and is very attached to the grader my parents gave him. He would pretend the carpet was dirt and was happy pretending with his construction vehicles.

He was a little confused by the sand. I spent about 5 minutes showing him what he could do with it. For awhile, he enjoyed watching it expand. Then he had the brilliant idea of putting his construction vehicles into the sand. A whole new world opened to him.

And saved my sanity. That little boy could spend an hour or more playing by himself. He pushed it around with his bulldozers, dumped it from his dump trucks, dug holes with the excavators, and made tracks with his cars. It was endless fun for him.

Sadly, we never really properly put it away, instead leaving it in the open container. Yes, it lasted a really long time, about 9 months. But now it doesn’t really stick to itself, hardly expands, and gets stuck in all his toys. It even started turning his hands blue, because that’s the color sand he had.

We took it away at the beginning of December. It was harsh. He was very attached. But we promised him more for Christmas. Now he has endless fun again with the sand castle set.

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