Learn how to make DIY kinetic sand, a fun sensory craft, using household ingredients!


  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • dishwashing liquid
  • a mixing bowl and spoon



    1. Mix together 2 parts baking soda and 1 part baking powder along with 1 part of dishwashing liquid in a large bowl.

    2. Stir the mixture with a spoon until a sandy/doughy substance forms. Keep adding baking powder if the mixture seems too wet.

    3. Knead the mixture together until it feels sandy and dough-like but not wet. If you have to, add some more baking powder at this point too in order to make it fluffy.

    4. Store your mixture in a plastic container after you finish playing with it!

Caroline Gravino, a PBS Parents resident crafter, is a designer of creative family projects, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie and shares videos on the PBS Parents YouTube Channel. Subscribe HERE.

You Might Also Like

  • Deb

    What about detergent toxicity?

    • Messymum

      Dishwashing soap, not dishwasher detergent.

      • Dana

        The video says “detergent.” More than once.

  • Floyd

    What about NaHCO3 toxicity??

  • Ria

    Who’s eating it?

  • Lynn

    If you are worried about any type of toxicity, then choose your own products.

  • Phishbone

    Yeah some parent is going to use auto dishwashing detergent, some kids will touch their eyes which will burn and some will eat it too.I think i would stick with the old fashion homemade play-dough….flour, water, food coloring, salt, cream of tartar and a little vegetable oil. Not quite the same thing but safer.

    • Purpley

      Oh, no! Help! I just made your recipe for play dough and gave it to my kid. He immediately put it in his eyes. The salt burned his eyes! Should I take him to the ER? He’s asking me to make the kinetic sand recipe instead.

      • Phishbone

        I would grandma i would do whatever he likes , it’s your call. After all his mom did not choose to have an abortion.

      • Phishbone

        No ER …but a helmet and idiot mittens might help both of you.

  • Cary Scholes

    Can you add food coloring to this to color it?

    • Caroline

      Hi Cary, I don’t see why not! Add it to the dish soap and mix then mix with the dry ingredients. :-) Caroline Gravino

  • Marina

    My sand is very wet and sticky, suggestions?

    • Caroline

      Hi Marina! Add more Baking soda to if it’s very wet and sticky. The baking soda makes it “sandy” feeling. The baking powder gives it that “fluffy” quality found in kinetic sand. If you watch the video–it says to keep adding baking powder as you go–but it sounds like if yours is wet and sticky, I would add a little more baking SODA and see how it works then. :) Thanks, Caroline Gravino

  • Jerry

    I killed my child, so no more worries!

  • cggmommy

    This recipe is not right. We’ve wasted an entire box of baking soda because it calls for too much soap. I would suggest cutting the soap down to a ½ part instead of a whole. I also ran out of baking powder after the initial attempt. I think we ended up with probably 4 parts baking soda, 1 part baking powder, and 1 part soap before it was a usable texture.

    • Anne

      Thank you! We went to the Dollar Store and picked up the ingredients today. We used 1 cup Baking Soda, 1/4 cup Baking Powder and 1/4 cup dish detergent. This turned out great the first time so we made another batch. Appreciate the tip!

  • CC

    Agreed with cggmommy that the ratios are off, I ended up with something like 5:2:1 baking soda:baking powder:soap

  • Janene Chu Boracci


    • Keilea Johnson

      I’ve found a recipe that seems better which uses cornstarch and water rather than making powder I’m gonna try that one since this doesn’t have many good reviews.

      • Keilea

        Baking* powder

  • Amber

    This turned into a disaster!! As everyone said the ratios are far off. It turned out too wet with the soap and adding more baking soda just made it crumbly like real sand so it got everywhere. (I couldn’t add more baking powder since I used all of it in the recipe!)

    I’d rather just buy the real stuff…

  • KC

    What’s the name of the artist for the music?

  • Roxana Li


  • Roxana Li

    Play dough recipe

  • redanirish

    We will need to get more baking soda ours is still stick to your hands wet but the fun mess we had so far. Good clean hands with just water :)

  • Dana

    Hey Rhonda, I saw “detergent” it in the video, just like I said. The word “liquid” doesn’t even appear in the video. Maybe if you had read what I wrote you wouldn’t be so baffled by my comment :)

  • Monkey_pants

    Jeez, people are such Debbie Downers on the internet. This is great recipe with the ratios CC noted below, and makes a very interesting substance that is fun to play with. No, it’s not exactly like kinetic sand. Great post, PBS!

  • Lisa Walline-Blackmore

    All you need is sand, corn starch and equal parts of water and dish soap. Tons of great recipes on Pinterest