top of page
  • Gina

Sand Foam

In this BLOG post I will teach you how to make Sand Foam, the benefits of sensory play and my best messy play tips!

Head to our Instagram page to see more ways to learn & play at home or in the classroom! We love to see you play & share the joy of hands-on crafts & activities at home. Be sure to tag @aplayfilledlife on Instagram or Facebook if you try any of our ideas!!

XO Gina

Sand Foam is such a fun sensory experience. It is soft, squishy and textured from the sand. It works great with shells or rocks or sticks, but also works amazing with dinos, farm animals or diggers.

It is perfect for scooping and squeezing and only requires TWO ingredients!

It feels like wet sand but it is so light and fluffy. As it dries out, it changes texture a bit and it is a great base for so many different interests!

If you use a scented shaving cream, it adds an extra layer of sensory-goodness to your play! I buy the cheapest I can find, usually at the Dollar Store.

Want to extend your learning?

  • Add a thin layer of sand foam to the bottom of a sensory tray or bowl. Use it to practice writing letters, numbers, shapes or words!

  • Hide plastic letters or numbers underneath the sand foam. Encourage them to search, find and identify the letter name/sound!

  • Add in measuring cups/spoons and practice scooping and pouring and reading measurements.

  • Add in your favorite diggers and some rocks/sticks/leaves. Make a construction sight and see what they can build.

  • Add in your favorite dinos and stomp and smush inside the tray!

The possibilities for learning and play are endless!

Sensory Play supports:

  • Language development & vocabulary

  • Cognitive growth

  • Fine motor skills (small muscle movements)

  • Gross motor skills (big movements)

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Communication

  • Exploration of textures

  • One's ability to make connections

  • The concept of cause & effect


  • 3 cups sand

  • 1 container of shaving cream

  • Mixing bowl

  • Measuring cups

  • Mixing spoon

  • Sensory tray or bowl

Step 1: Pour the sand into your bowl.

Step 2: Add the shaving cream in- this is a great fine motor activity for kids!

Step 3: Mix the ingredients together until fully incorporated. If you want a different texture, add more sand or more shaving cream until you are happy with it.

Step 4: Transfer it to a sensory tray or leave it in the bowl. Add in your favorite trinkets.

Step 5: PLAY!


This is NOT a taste-safe recipe. If you have children who are still exploring with their mouths, I suggest saving this recipe for later.


It is suggested that this sensory activity does not go down the drain. Dispose of it in the trash.


Shaving cream recipes (in my opinion) are more of a one-time use activity. We set it up in the morning and play with it all day! The shaving cream ends up breaking down. You can extend it a few days if you want!

What skills are you working on during messy play?

  • Fine & Gross Motor Skills: As the child squishes and squeezes, they are developing their finger and hand muscles. Those same finger and hand muscles are responsible for self-help skills such as: feeding yourself, zippering your coat and holding a pencil during writing! Messy play can also help support spatial awareness, balance & coordination.

  • Hand-Eye Coordination: Hand-eye coordination is simultaneously using your hands & your eyes for a task. Strong hand-eye coordination helps you with tasks such as feeding yourself, coloring in the lines & pouring a drink in a cup.

  • Bilateral coordination: Using both sides of the body to complete a task.

  •  Cognitive development refers to how a child acquires and understands information; how they think, learn and problem solve. There are many opportunities to develop cognitive development during messy play through problem solving and understanding cause/effect.

  • Language Development: Messy play is SO good for supporting language development. There are opportunities to learn new words and practice phrases.

  • Social Skills: Messy play can help to establish and strengthen social skills. Children will practice using their manners, sharing, turn-taking and having patience.

Clean up-tips:

  • For easy clean up: keep wipes nearby, along with a plastic bag or trash bin to discard.

  • Wear old clothes or a bathing suit, and plan to head to the tub after this fun sensory play!

  • Take it outdoors! Wash it off with a hose when you're done.

  • Use an old beach towel or sheet under the bins to catch any spills.

How to encourage messy play?

  • Start small. Put a tiny amount in a bowl and explore with it to see how it feels!

  • Play with them! Roll up your sleeves and get messy with them.

  • Let them know that getting messy is OK.

  • Have a clean-up strategy so that they can wipe their hands quickly if it becomes too much. Maybe have a towel in their lap or wipes right next to them.

  • Encourage starting with just one finger. "Poke the Oobleck with your pointer finger. How does it feel?"

Are you looking for more BEACH Sensory Play Activities?

Check out our SAND SLIME Here!

Check out our SAND DOUGH Here!

Small objects can be choking hazards. You get to decide what is safe and manageable in your home.


bottom of page