Painting with Sand – A Fun Kids Crafts Activity

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Painting with Sand – A Fun Kids Crafts Activity


Paint.  It is a staple of every childhood and is almost a right of passage for all of them. Children love to paint.  They will paint at home, on sidewalks, and at school.  In the classroom, it seems to be the one area that draws all the kids to it and no matter how many interesting toys are out in a preschool room, the children are always willing to done a paint smock and get busy creating.

I love painting myself, although I lack a lot of the skill needed.  Still, whenever I get a chance to paint with my children, I am there doing it.  Sure, they have far surpassed me in a lot of areas, I can still create a nice abstract piece without too much problem.

Although painting is so popular with children, I find at times that it can become rather boring.  This is probably why I am always thinking up new ways to take a break from the norm.  Painting doesn’t have to be with paintbrushes, it doesn’t have to be done on paper, and it doesn’t have to be just painting.  What it does need to be is creative and most children bring more than their share of creativity to the painting table.

This craft, while it still relies on paint brushes, is a popular craft with children.  It brings in both the creative and a sensory stimulation that is not always there in a painting craft.  In addition, the finished pieces have a 3D-effect to them and it looks amazing under the glass of a frame.  My personal favorite is to use blue, white and silver, since the children often create pictures that resemble beautiful ocean scenes.

Painting with Sand : How to Break from the Norm with Paint



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  • Paint (acrylics work well but you can use any type of paint except oils and water)
  • Sand
  • Paper (try to use a heavier paper since this paint has some weight to it)
  • Dish Soap
  • Container(s) for paint (I find that old Popsicle makers work well because they take enough paint and you can put a lot of colors in them.  Also, you can wrap them in saran wrap for storage if you don’t use all the paint.
  • Paint Brushes (one for each color)


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1 – Decide on the colors that you would like to use and pull out the paint.  Pour the first color into the container (if you are using separate containers, simply put the paint in and then repeat in each container you have).


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2 – Repeat until you have all the colors that you want to use.  Make sure that you only fill them up between a quarter of the way to half way since the sand will increase the volume quickly.


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3 – Now for an old teacher’s secret (shh…don’t tell anyone), place a few drops of dish soap into each container of paint.  This makes it a bit easier to clean off of things and whenever I use paint, except oils and water, I use dish soap in it.


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4 – Once you have your paint ready, add in the sand.  This is usually done to the eye but you will probably want about 2 teaspoons to every 3 or 4 tablespoons.


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5 – Repeat with all the paint


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6 – Stir the and into the paint until it is well blended.  You will want to have a paint that has a lot of texture to it but is still wet and easily applied to the paper so add more sand if necessary.  Repeat with all the paint, using a different paint brush with each paint color.


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7 – And now your paint is ready for painting.  Have your child paint whatever they would like but encourage them to really play with the paint.  You will find that it has a bumpy texture on the paper and it will clump at some parts but don’t try to remove them, this is the whole reason behind the sand paint.


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8 – Allow the art piece to dry completely on a flat surface before you hang it up.  This is very important since the paint is heavier than others and it can ruin the picture if you hang it before it is ready.


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One of the best points about this paint is how it blends together.  Since the paint is so heavy, it keeps most of the color and when you blend, you are less likely to have one big brown mess and more likely to have a range of shades.  This makes it an excellent paint for blending and other painting techniques that rely on pulling colors into another.

Here is our video on How to Paint with Sand

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