Looking for a fun art activity to entertain your kids? This project is easy, requires only a few supplies, and will entertain kids for quite a while.

You will need:

paper (we used construction paper, but cardstock would work as well)

an aluminum tray (like a disposable roasting pan) that is slightly larger than your paper

craft sand in various colors (you can buy online or at some craft stores; call first to ensure they have it in stock)

white glue

newspaper (or something to cover your work surface)

optional: glitter, a pencil, paper plates or empty salt shakers

Project Notes: this project is a lot of fun, but it can get very messy! You may want to try this outside, if there’s a sheltered spot that’s not too windy. If you choose to try it inside, you might want to cover your work surface with newspaper or place mats of some kind.

Directions:

Step 1: Start with one piece of paper. You can draw out a pattern, picture or just random lines using your pencil. (Or you can skip this step altogether and just use the glue to draw patterns.)

Step 2: Place the paper into the tray. Take out your sand and either pour a little bit of each color onto a paper plate (I’ve found that it is easier for little hands to have one plate for each color of sand, instead of sharing plates with multiple colors of sand), or adding colored sand to salt shakers (I would use cheap and small salt shakers from a dollar store, if you choose to go this route).

Step 3: Trace over the pencil lines with the glue. If you skipped drawing on the paper, use the glue to create patterns or random lines directly onto the paper.

Step 3: While the glue is still wet, sprinkle craft sand over the glue. You can mix the colors together, or you can cover different areas of the glue with one particular color (for example, if you drew a flower, you might add pink sand to the petals, and green sand to the stem/leaves). If your kids are using the sand off of the plates, this is a good exercise for practicing fine motor skills (pinching the sand between fingers is great practice!) Salt shakers work will for little hands too, and can help with hand/eye coordination in using the salt shakers to add sand to the paper.

Step 4: Once you’ve covered all of your glue with sand, shake the excess sand off of the paper and into the tray. You’ll end up with all the sand colors mixed together, but you can always use the rainbow sand to decorate a new glue picture (this looks really pretty on random abstract glue lines!) If you really want the colors of sand to stay separated, you can dump the excess sand off of the paper before adding a new color. Store sand in ziplock bags for limited mess. Optional: Use glitter in place of one color of sand to add a sparkly pop to your artwork!

Step 5: Set aside to dry. This type of art project will not last for a long time, unless you want to seal it. You’d need to buy Modge Podge or another type of sealant in order to keep the sand from drying out and falling off of the page. They do look pretty while they last, and kids have a blast working on their art. This project kept my toddlers and preschoolers entertained for more than 30 minutes at a time. A great way to “save” these types of projects is to take a photograph.

 

 

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