Small Crab World Invitation to Play with DIY Moon Sand

Welcome to another edition of the 12 Months of Sensory Dough Series. This month is all about Moon Sand. It was our first experience making moon sand and my kids loved it! We made our moon sand into a small crab world invitation to play to go along with a book we have been reading from the library. 

The book we picked up at the library to go along with our moon sand this month was One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab: A Counting By Feet Book written by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre. Just as the title says, it’s a counting book with the focus on the feet. The setting is a beach where a bunch of fun-loving crabs, lounging dogs, happy insects and cute snails offer their feet for counting in a number of silly combinations–from one to one hundred!

How to Make Moon Sand

There are lots of different recipes for making moon sand on the Internet. Two that I looked at in consideration when making mine were found at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning and Mummy Musings and Mayhem.

1 5lb bag of sand from Michaels (the Creatology brand) Use a 40% off coupon!

3 cups Corn Starch or Corn Flour

1 to 1 1/2 cups baby oil (I had a bottle of baby oil on hand so I used it, but any kind of oil will do.)

Mix the sand and corn starch together in your container then add 1 cup of oil and use your hands to get it incorporated fully into all of the sand mixture. If the mixture doesn’t incorporate fully, add a little more oil up to 1/2 cup. I decided to use oil in my recipe after reading comments in the other recipes about a weird smell that developed after a few days from using water in the sand. Also, I thought it wouldn’t dry out as much as using water as people mentioned in comments.

Small Crab World Invitation to Play

To go along with our counting book, I set up a small Crab World with our Moon Sand using 10 small mini crabs (which legs added up to 100 to go along with our book). I also added a small ice cream scoop, a small sand castle mold (both purchased in the Target dollar section) and an empty plastic fruit cup. During play we ended up adding another fruit cup and small scoop.



The moon sand is such an interesting texture. It really reminded me of being at the beach as a kid when I felt it in my hands. It crumbles easily, yet when packed down it molds nicely together as well. My kids played with ours for a good 40 minutes and it did not dry out at all and I imagine that is because I used the baby oil instead of water.

This activity does get a bit messy so it is best to do it outside if possible. We’ve had 5 straight days of rain so we had to settle for the kitchen table. The sand did sweep up easily though after we were done playing. Also, using the oil did make the sand tend to stick to our hands a lot during play. I’m not sure how the alternative is by just using water.  Next time I might try halving oil and water to see the difference.

In case you missed any prior months, make sure to check out our Cupcake Foam Dough, Digging for Worms Cloud Dough, Build a Ladybug with Edible Play Dough and Making Lemon Trees with Scented Play Dough.

I invite and encourage you to visit all of the Co-hosts as each will have a different take on the dough and you don’t want to miss out on all of the great ideas and insights! 

Meet the Co-hosts: 

Now it’s your turn…

Do you have a favorite Moon Sand recipe, activity or post you would like to share? We would love to see! Have you ever had a Moon Sand Fail? We would love to see those too! Please link up your posts below in the link party. You can also post a picture on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google+ with the tag #ilovesensorydough. 

Please read the following guidelines before linking up.

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the month’s theme. Feel free to link old or new posts that highlight your favorite recipes for sensory dough. Failures and unsuccessful attempts are welcome.
  • We ask that no posts are linked with copy/paste recipes from other sources. If you use a recipe from another source, please link back to the original recipe.
  • By linking up, you give permission to share your post and one photograph in future posts and through social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that others have shared. Discover new ideas and meet new friends!
The linky will remain open for two weeks. On the 12th of each month, all co-hosts will post a new dough with their spin, and will pin each post to the 12 Months of Sensory Dough Board.


Don’t forget to join us next month (June 12th) for Ice Cream Dough. 
To see the yearly schedule, go HERE.


Paper Plate Elephant Puppet Craft

Paper Plate Crab Craft with Numerical Sequence Practice