How to make sensory moon sand

Moon sand is a fun, crumbly material that’s sensory and relaxing to play with. Put it in a large plastic trough or a big washing up bowl, and introduce utensils or plastic toys to make it even more enjoyable.

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either in your own space or in an educational setting.

Moon sand in a tray with a cookie cutter in the shape of a flower / --

Who is this for?

This is a crafting activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities.

Why does this make a difference?

This is a creative and sensory activity that helps people learn by using their senses to connect with their surroundings, exploring touch and different textures while supporting independent choice.

How to do this activity

Coconut oil, a measuring spoon, flour in a red packet and an empty bowl

What you’ll need

  • 60ml baby oil or 80ml coconut oil (about 70g)
  • 240g flour (you may need more)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Airtight container
  • Essential oils (optional)

Note: coconut oil makes this mixture safe if swallowed (unless someone is allergic to it). Please be aware of allergens – baby oil is a good alternative, but not safe to swallow.

Adding melted coconut oil to a bowl with flour / --

Step 1

If using the coconut oil, melt it by placing it in a glass and standing it in a bowl of hot water. Skip this step if using baby oil.
Mixing together the pale yellow, dough-like moon sand by hand / --

Step 2

In a large bowl, mix together the oil and flour with your hands along with any essential oils you’re using, breaking up any lumps as you go – this in itself is a great sensory experience. Keep adding flour until the sand sticks together when compressed but still crumbles, like wet sand.
Moon sand in a tray with a cookie cutter in the shape of a flower / --

Step 3

Explore the moon sand! Spend time making shapes, using utensils and playing with toys. When not in use, store in an airtight container.

Top tips

  • This basic recipe can be multiplied to suit the amount needed
  • Make it more sensory with food colouring and essential oils
  • Moon sand should last a few weeks if stored in an airtight container, but discard if it gets dirty