In this post, find out all about the sensory play benefits of edible sand and how you can replicate this taste safe activity at home!
Try my other taste-safe sensory play activities:
- Lemon, Ice and Water Sensory Play
- Chia Seed Frog Learning Sensory Play
- Jelly Fruit Bowl Sensory Play
Not Just Edible But Nutritious Sand Sensory Play!
Sand play indoors is perfect for wet weather and sick days. Because Gwen is fond of putting everything into her mouth at this oral exploratory stage, I wanted an easy, edible and safe homemade sand recipe.
Most recipes circulating online recommend flour or crushed oats. These are edible but not great for digestion in its raw form if accidentally ingested. Then a brilliant idea struck me.
My one-ingredient, completely edible sand would be made of
Flaxseed can be consumed raw. Not only is it edible, it's highly nutritious and yummy, with a rich nutty flavor.
I almost can't tell the difference between this and real sand!
Gwen helped herself to copious amounts of edible sand throughout this activity! 😂
I'm sure this activity will be a hit with your child!
As pointed out by a fellow mum, the downside though is that flaxseed can be costly. I buy flaxseed in bulk from a wholesaler so it's more cost-effective. Check with your grocer! I would also recommend this activity when you have flaxseed that is near expiration date. Lastly, so it's less wasteful as a one-off activity, you could store the flaxseed in a cool, dry place for subsequent play.
Benefits of Sand Sensory Play for Toddlers
- Promotes physical development (Large muscle groups develop as children dig, pour, sift, scoop, and clean up spills with brush and dustpan. Small muscle control improve as children learn to manipulate sand accessories.)
- Eye-hand coordination
- Social skills (when played in a big group setting)
How to Set Up this Sand Sensory Play Activity
- Fill a shallow tray with ground flaxseed (you can ground whole flaxseed using a food processor)
- Place toys and utensils that children can use to dig, pour, sift, scoop and clean up spilt sand near the tray
Ways to Engage Your Child in this Activity
- Show your child how to move sand around with their fingers and hands
- Demonstrate to your child how they can manipulate tools to move sand around
Sand play is pretty intuitive, so give your child the chance to explore how to have fun on their own!
How to Level-up this Activity for Older Toddlers
- Hide objects in the sand and ask your toddler to locate them
- Trace letters or numbers in the sand and ask your toddler to identify them
- Build sandcastles! (Add coconut oil or just any form of edible oil into the ground flaxseed. That would make it moist enough to take the shape of the containers.)
- Play pretend (Ask your toddler to imagine that this is a construction site or the beach and do some storytelling)
Clean-up of the spilt sand is easier than it looks! Just arm yourself with a vacuum cleaner. If you have a dog, this would make a healthy, omega-3 packed meal for your furry friend 😂
I hope this is a fun learning activity for your baby or toddler! Gwen sure did, she had a sand buffet I think.
More Edible Sand Variations
Eventually every mama would develop her own preference for edible sand to make and use! Here are other variants of edible sand you could create for your little ones - if flaxseed isn't your thing, is for some reason out-of-stock at your local grocer's or just doesn't work for your pocket (which I totally get!!!):
- Flour-based Edible Sand Sensory Play by Bumkins
- Cracker Edible Sand Sensory Activity by Happily Ever Mom
- Corn-based Edible Sand Sensory Activity by A Little Pinch of Perfect
To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram), save our pins or join A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.