What kind of sand should I buy?
I get asked this question A LOT, so I thought I’d just write a little post on it for all of us to refer back to as needed.
With this post, you will have a guide to all things sand for your sand trays. No guess work- just facts and my humble opinions.
I’m going to outline the different kinds of sands. You will get my opinion on what’s worth it, what’s not, prices, and other things to consider.
So let’s get started, shall we? FYI: We will go from the most expensive, highest quality to the most budget-friendly.
This is the premo- number one sand of all the sands. Its antimicrobial and is winner of the “No Allergy No Asthma Sands.” It’s made by an actual geologist who specializes in creating awesome sands for those of us who use this powerful method in our work.He’s a great guy and extremely passionate about his work (which I really appreciate).
The people at Jurassic sand are quick to fill orders. I recently ordered a couple of different sands for my office and had them at my house within about 4 or 5 days. The packaging leaves a bit to be desired, but if you are like me, this doesn’t really matter. I just want the sand.
Jurassic sand has broaden into different types of sand from it’s original red color. I’m so excited that they did this because honestly I wasn’t too jazzed about the red color. Jurassic sand is a bit more pricey than just regular sand you can pick up at your local hardware store. But, if you are going to be doing work for any amount of time in the sandtray, it’s worth it.
Here’s some of the offerings from Jurassic sand:
-Stardust sand (the newest and one of my favs):
It’s made from recycled glass and oh so pretty. It sparkles! My kids often ask if it’s made of real jewels. It’s one of their pricier sands but I HAD to have it after seeing it at APT in Houston. One of the downsides though is that it does hold shape very easily, making some miniatures difficult to stand up in the sand.
-River bed sand:
I also ordered this one for my sandtray collection. The sand feel more like very fine rocks. Many of my kids exclaim “Whooaa” when they feel it and is often the sand of choice.
The sand that started it all! It’s a burnt reddish color and is very fine in texture.
-Mojave Beige sand:
This is a basic neutral sand easily used with kids as well as adults. I love its neutral. For some reason, my clients seem to like the blank-slateness of the color and the feel.
I LOVE this sand almost as much as I do Jurassic sand. Sandtasik has been my go-to sand since I began doing sandtray therapy.
My favorite is the white sand. It sparkles and feels like beach sand from the gulf of Florida. My clients of all ages love this sand. My anxious little ones will just move their hands through it over and over.
The nice thing about Santastik its availability on Amazon so you can get it shipped through Amazon Prime, cutting down on shipping costs as well as the amount of time it takes to get to your door.
Santastik is 100% natural and environmentally friendly. The only complaint I’ve heard from other therapists is that it can be a bit dusty at times if the child moves it around in the air (like pouring). Personally, I haven’t had any issues with this thus far but just wanted to put that out there.
Sandtastik also offers many different colors, but well, I’ve given you my thoughts already on colored sands:) Not knocking it really, if it works for you then awesome:)
Amazon offers a 25 lb box of the white sand for around $32, which I can get at least 2, maybe three trays out of. A 25 lb box will last you a while with just one tray.
#3 Kinetic sand
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the sandtray world, you’ve heard about this new type of sand. You can get it at pretty much anywhere they sell toys, although I’ve heard reports of many stores being sold out.
Kinetic sand has polymers wrapped around the sand itself, allowing for maximum malleability. It feels like wet beach sand but doesn’t stick to your hands. My kids LOVE it. The adults I work with won’t touch the stuff. I dunno. It is what it is. However, I recommend it if you work with kids at all.
I bought 4 of the little packages ($22.00 a piece) which filled up a tray, bringing me to a total of $90 per tray. It may seem like it is more expensive than the Santastik sand but you don’t need as much as I bought to use with your kids. One or two boxes will do just fine.
#4 Sand from hardware stores or toy stores
I have this sand in my large 4-foot round tray in my play room. I have it for pure economic reasons. Do you know how much sand it takes to fill a 4-foot tray? A LOT. So, that’s why I went with the plain-ol’ sand from my local hardware store. It works just fine honestly. My kids love it- it’s familiar and they love to dig and build things with it.
Word of caution: if you use this for a wet tray, be sure and let it dry out for several trays or it will mold and that stuff is NASTY when it’s all moldy (but besides penicillin, I’m not sure what IS awesome when it’s moldy.)
You can buy enough sand to fill 3 trays with one $5.00 bag (50 lbs). If you are going to judge on quantity, this is your best bet. My recommendation is to change this sand every few months if not more just to decrease germs and overall nastiness, especially if you have little hands in it all the time.
There ya go folks. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the different types of sand, as well as the pros and cons of each.
What are some of your favorites? Issues with the different sands? Please drop a comment below to share any insights you’ve gleaned from working with the different types of sand.