Homemade Quicksand Recipe

July 08, 2013

We have been playing and exploring with sand in all sorts of new and FUN ways, and I am so excited to share them here!

This first play recipe is one the kids can really sink into this Summer.  It is easy to make and lends itself to all sorts of play and discovery.
A new play recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose- make your own quicksand!

What kid wouldn't want to play and explore in their own pit of quicksand?  This homemade quicksand is easy to make and kept Rosie and Jewel happy and playing for a whole afternoon!

Quicksand Play Recipe:
  • 1 box of Cornstarch
  • 3 Cups of Play Sand (25 pound bags available at Home Depot for under $5)
  • Water
Part of the fun of this play recipe is mixing the ingredients.  We explored all sorts of textures on our way to getting the perfect quicksand.  We started by combining one box of cornstarch with three cups of play sand. The girls had lots of fun playing with these dry ingredients to get them good and mixed.

play recipe
Then it was time to add water. We added the water a little at a time, and each addition created a whole new play material. Adding a little water gave us a hard, almost porcelain type of sand. Adding a bit more gave us a moon sand type consistency. Just a little more and we had the perfect quicksand.

Play recipe- homemade quicksand

You can add a bit more sand for a grainier texture or a bit more cornstarch for more OOZE.  It is not an exact Science and exploring the materials is a big part of the fun.

Play quicksand has a consistency a lot like GOOP only it is much more solid and the change to a liquid occurs more slowly. It also has quite a different texture and is more mold-able.   You can walk across it's surface if you move quickly.  However, if you move slowly you will sink.

While quicksand is mold-able, once you are still it begins to OOZE from your hands.

The girls loved making quicksand castles! Fill the bucket with sand, pack it in, and flip it over.

Lift the bucket quickly and you will have a super OOZING sandcastle. It will look just like a sandcastle for a second before it turns to an oozing tower. We lined our bucket with plain cornstarch to help the castles hold their form and not stick.
The girls loved their homemade quicksand. They had quicksand races, sinking races, made castles and played catch with melting sand balls. They found all sorts of ways to play!homemade quicksand

When the girls were through with their quicksand we placed it in a closed bin for future play.  The next time we went to play all we had to do was add more water to our mixture.  I am not sure how long we will be able to keep our sand, but given how inexpensive it is to whip up, even just a few playtimes makes it well worth it!
Play Recipe- homemade quicksand

More About the Author

Crystal Underwood is the writer and creator of Growing A Jeweled Rose. She has worked extensively with children and strongly believes in the importance of play at the core of early learning. She is passionate about the early years and believes that childhood should be a truly magical time in life. For all the best kids activities connect with Growing a Jeweled Rose below!