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

#### Kinetic Sand Math

**Kinetic Sand**Â {affiliate} is one of the most intriguing sensory play things out there. Â If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s essentially sand that clumps like wet sand, but doesn’t feel wet. Â It’s great for building sand castles indoors because cleanup is so much easier than regular sand. Â 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. Â We practiced various preschool math skills like counting, geometry, patterns and arithmetic. Â But you can make itÂ 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. Â But practice makes perfect in these. Â And how high they count is only limited by their interest :) Â We used someÂ **number dough cutters**Â {affiliate} and cut upÂ **multi-color wide straws**Â {affiliate}Â for this part of the activity, but you could use coins or toothpicks or beans for the counting. Â 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 someÂ **number dough cutters**Â {affiliate}Â Â into the sand to practice equations or number recognition. Â To try something different, erase the “board” by pushing the sand back together. Â This is easily adjusted for the grade level too…

#### Kinetic Sand Geometry

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

#### Kinetic Sand Sorting and Pattern Recognition

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

We used theÂ **multi-color wide straws**Â {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**Â {affiliate}Â and compared volumes and sizes. Â We talked about the names like tablespoon and teaspoon too… Â 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**Â {affiliate}. Â 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**.

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Joan AntonenWhere do you get kinetic sand? Or how do you make it?

Thanks. Joan

leftbraincraftbrainHi 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.

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