About a month ago, a customer sent me an e-mail asking if I would consider stocking Kinetic Sand. I’d heard of it but I’d never seen it first hand, so I decided, before committing to stock it, to see what my facebook friends made of it. I posted up a question about it and got nothing but positive feedback. Enough to convince me to stock it. I approached a distributor who said they were sold out until mid-November and so the long wait began!
It arrived yesterday, so today, as the rain poured and the winds raged, I opened a 2.5kg box of Kinetic sand to see how my daughters (aged 4 and 5) and my nephew (aged 2) liked it. I choose the 2.5 box (which is supposed to be for 2 people) and found that there was plenty in it for the 3 kids and myself to enjoy. At no point was there any complaining that ‘so-n-so has more than me’. There was lots for all of us in this size pack.
The pack recommends that the Kinetic Sand is for children aged 3+ but my nephew isn’t a kid that puts everything in his mouth, so I reckoned we were safe enough. He really enjoyed just moving the sand, but wasn’t able to achieve making shapes the way the older girls were. I didn’t open a pack of the Kinetic Sand Castle Moulds (although I may put it on my kid’s wish lists for Christmas). Instead, I took out our collection of cookie cutters and they worked a treat. In fact, they worked even better than when you use them with pastry or cookie dough. My problem with using them with cookie dough, playing dough or pastry is that it tends to stick to the details in the cutter, so, when you eventually get your dough out, it’s stretched from you pulling it out and doesn’t look like the shape you intended it to be. They are also a nightmare to wash – especially if they have loads of little angles and details. Using them with the Kinetic Sand was a different story altogether. It didn’t stick at all to the cutters but stuck really well to itself, so when you lifted the cutter, the sand shape stayed intact on the table and when we were finished, I didn’t even have to wash the cutters – they looked spotless (I think if I knew I was going to be using them for baking next, I would have given them a rinse, but I suspect they’ll be used lots with the Kinetic sand between now and our next baking afternoon). We did however, try and make a proper tall sandcastle and didn’t really succeed. We used duplo blocks and filled them for the turrets and that worked well. However, we couldn’t get the wall to stay up. I guess that’s where the Castle Moulds really work. You can make bricks with them and the cylinders are designed so the sand is evenly spaced and doesn’t flop over.
In the midst of playing, we had a power-cut but it didn’t deter the kids from playing on. We played with it for at least 45 minutes and then they wanted to move upstairs. In about a minute, I’d gathered the Kinetic Sand into a ball in the middle of the table (It’s like pastry or blu tac – you get a small ball, press it against crumbs of sand and it sticks to the ball.) I even did this on the floor with the bits that my nephew dropped and by the time we moved upstairs, the floor and table were clean and I didn’t have to worry about finding a air tight container for it in case it dried out while we were upstairs. In fact, it never dries out and if your child adds water to it, when your back is turned, it’s not the end of the world. The packet says you just let it dry out and it returns to it’s normal texture and holds onto it’s properties.
We were all very impressed with it. Later, when my husband got home from work, the girls were eager to show him the sand. He was reluctant, as he didn’t want to have to be cleaning up messy sand after they went to bed, but after a little convincing, we all took a handful and started moulding. He is not one for messy play but he loved the Kinetic sand as much as the rest of us and when it was time for the girls to go to bed and be separated from their sand, there was promises all round that we could play with it again tomorrow. This isn’t a promise that I hope they’ll forget as my husband and I really enjoyed playing with it too. Once you get some yourself, you’ll know what I mean!