How to Color Playground Sand

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Is your neighborhood playground failing to hold your child’s attention? Is new playground equipment out of the question for your local school or community’s budget? A simple way to spice up a classic playground activity is to color the playground sand. It’s a simple project that is cost effective. Children can even help color the sand themselves. Colored sand can create a more fanciful and exciting playground experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid food coloring
  • Paper towels
  • Sand
  • Bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Large measuring cup
  • Water

Measure 1 pint of playground sand.

Pour this sand into a large bowl.

Pour water onto the sand until a thin layer of water sits on top of the sand.

Add approximately 15 drops of liquid food coloring to the water and sand.

Mix the water, sand, and food coloring together in the bowl until the sand is moist and the color is evenly distributed. You can add more food coloring if you'd like a darker color.

Allow this mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour out any excess water from the sand.

Spread the damp, colored sand onto paper towels. Double up the paper towels so the food coloring and excess water does not soak through and stain the surfaces beneath.

Allow the sand to dry. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

Pour the dry sand into a playground sandbox. Add different colored batches of sand to the sandbox so the children can play with a variety of colors.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make larger batches at a time, just make sure to have enough space and allow the sand longer to dry.
  • If you stain your skin with the food coloring, scrub the stained area with baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing the skin clean.
  • Food coloring can stain more than skin, so be careful not to drip any on your clothing or furniture.

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