It’s math week here at the Left Brain Craft Brain house. I realized when I pulled together the **STEAM Bored Jar**, that I had been a little lax in The Babe’s math projects recently. But she hates boring math stuff, so we have to make it fun with a combo style project. Today’s post is all about learning while playing. It’s **Kinetic Sand Math**. This post contains affiliate links.

#### Kinetic Sand Math

**Kinetic Sand** {affiliate} is one of the most intriguing sensory play things out there. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s essentially sand that clumps like wet sand, but doesn’t feel wet. It’s great for building sand castles indoors because cleanup is so much easier than regular sand. For the math activities, we used a pinky-purple color, but any shade will do.

What I loved about this activity (and The Babe too!) was that there were so many ways to play and learn. We practiced various preschool math skills like counting, geometry, patterns and arithmetic. But you can make it a more advanced activity for elementary school kids, too (like practice their multiplication tables!)

#### Kinetic Sand Number Recognition and Counting

Number recognition and counting are the most basic of preschool math skills. But practice makes perfect in these. And how high they count is only limited by their interest :) We used some **number dough cutters** {affiliate} and cut up **multi-color wide straws** {affiliate} for this part of the activity, but you could use coins or toothpicks or beans for the counting. Basically anything that you have a large quantity of so you don’t limit the kids counting abilities!

#### Kinetic Sand Arithmetic

Practicing arithmetic skills in kinetic sand is like playing with a sensory chalk board. Press some **number dough cutters** {affiliate} into the sand to practice equations or number recognition. To try something different, erase the “board” by pushing the sand back together. This is easily adjusted for the grade level too…

#### Kinetic Sand Geometry

Help kiddos learn their shapes by playing in sand. And not just the basics, but the 3D prisms and spheres! Count sides, compare volumes, etc. We used these **geometric shape boxes** which are both educational and gorgeous…

#### Kinetic Sand Sorting and Pattern Recognition

Sorting and pattern recognition skills are so important for preschoolers. Pattern recognition is considered to be the math skill most closely correlated with general intelligence. If you think about it, patterns occur everywhere… in words, in your surroundings, in sounds. Being able to distinguish these patterns helps children socially maneuver through their environment too, because they can predict what will happen next.

We used the **multi-color wide straws** {affiliate} again for these exercises because they were easy to cut into different sizes for ranking and ordering.

#### Kinetic Sand Measuring

We got out some **measuring spoons** {affiliate} and compared volumes and sizes. We talked about the names like tablespoon and teaspoon too… Baking cookies the next day was a lot of fun since The Babe really understood the amounts we were adding.

I hope your kiddos had as much fun as The Babe learning and playing with their **Kinetic Sand** {affiliate}. For some other fun ways to learn math from Left Brain Craft Brain, check out **Googly Monster Math Window Clings**, **Scratch Off Math Cards** or **10 Ways to Learn Math by Painting**.

Joan Antonen says

May 19, 2015 at 7:49 PMWhere do you get kinetic sand? Or how do you make it?

Thanks. Joan

leftbraincraftbrain says

May 19, 2015 at 9:46 PMHi Joan. I bought mine on Amazon. Here’s a link: http://amzn.to/1L8Ybqj {affiliate}. You can often find it at Michael’s craft store too.