How to Make Your Own Moon Sand

By Nikki Van De Car
Mold the moon sand to make castles, volcanoes or any shape you like

Moon Sand (also known as moon dough or cloud dough) works for creating sand castles that won't collapse -- or just about anything else you and your child can imagine. Best of all, it's easy to make, using only a few easily obtained ingredients. You and your child can make the moon sand together, and just a few minutes of stirring will supply your household with plenty of sensory play.

Use vanilla extract, almond extract, essential oils or cocoa powder to add scent to your moon sand.

Things Needed

  • 2 cups of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 1-2 pieces of colored chalk
  • Large zip plastic bag
  • Rolling pin
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Cinnamon, cocoa powder or vanilla extract (optional)
  • Airtight storage container

Mix the Base

Put the cornstarch into the bowl. Add a little oil at a time, mixing as you go. It will take a bit of work to get it mixed in evenly.

It's ready when it clumps together into a ball.

It should feel slightly oily on your fingers but not greasy. Continue mixing until you are able to form a ball in your hands.


If you want your moon sand to feel more sandy, substitute one cup of play sand for one cup of corn starch. Use store-bought, chemical-free play sand and not sand from the beach, which contains dirt and bacteria.

Crush Chalk for Color

Put the chalk into the zip plastic bag. Use the rolling pin to crumble the chalk, making a colored powder.

Add Coloring

Mix the powder into the moon sand, crumbling it into the mixture.


You can also use about a tablespoon of powdered paint to color the moon sand, or you can try using coloring the oil with food coloring, though the color may not last.

Start playing!

Finishing Touches

Sprinkle in some glitter and a bit of cinnamon or vanilla extract to make your moon sand extra fancy.


Store your moon sand in an airtight container, and it will keep for months. Mix in a tablespoon or two of water to revive it if it starts feeling a little dry.


Using chalk makes this moon sand inedible. If your moon sand is for very small children, use food coloring to color it, and avoid using glitter.

About the Author

Nikki Van De Car is a knitting and motherhood blogger for the website What To Knit When You're Expecting. Her collection of knitting patterns, "What To Knit When You're Expecting," is available from Running Press.