Sensory Play Idea: Make Your Own Indoor Beach!

Feb 18, 2014

If you and your munchkins are longing for some summer sunshine and days spent at the beach, why not bring the beach indoors while waiting for the weather to cooperate? Creating your own indoor beach is not only sure to brighten long winter days, but it's really fun and easy to do. The best part is that you probably have everything you need to create your own indoor beach on hand already!

You Will Need:

  • large bin
  • whole wheat flour (all-purpose will work too, but wholewheat will give your sand a more authentic look)
  • cooking oil (something light and inexpensive)
  • whisk
  • small beach toys
  • shells and rocks (if desired)


1. Using 8 parts whole wheat flour to 1 part cooking oil, create enough "sand" to generously cover the bottom of your bin.

This step is super easy—just measure out the ingredients and whisk them together until most of the lumps and clumps are gone (the whisking is a great job for your little one!).

Our bin is actually giant wash basin and we used 16 cups of flour and 2 cups of oil, though next time we may add a little more. Don't be shy with the amount you mix up in fear of being wasteful. This single batch of this "sand" (also known as cloud dough) will last for six months or more, making for many, many days of play before it's time to replace it. 

2. With your sand created, simply add some colourful beach toys, shells, and rocks to the surface. Voilà: indoor beach created! 

3. Next, invite your little one(s) to play and explore. If you've not created sand or cloud dough like this before, it is really, really fun to play with.

The combination of flour and oil make it light and fluffy to touch, but mouldable just like damp sand at the beach. And because it's made of just two basic kitchen ingredients, it's completely safe for even the littlest explorers to investigate. 

This simple indoor beach is bound to brighten even the coldest, gloomiest of winter days. 

Enjoy your time at the beach!  

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

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Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.