Kinetic Sand vs Playdoh

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Kinetic sand and Play-Doh are two favorites in this house, but only one can be played with unsupervised…can you guess which?

Kinetic Sand vs. Playdoh

kinetic sand vs playdoh

If you’ve had experience with both, it’ll come as no surprise that my preference is definitely the kinetic sand. That’s not to say we’ve gone so far as to ban Play-Doh for the house, but it’s tempting sometimes.

Both are great, though, for sensory play. Sensory play stimulates the senses – taste, touch, smell, sight, or sound. What’s excellent about kinetic sand and Play-Doh is that they also bring in the opportunity to strengthen motor skills.

While they’re both fun to build and mold with (and there’s no doubt the kids love both!), this mama is all about the kinetic sand!

What Is Kinetic Sand?

Kinetic sand, also known as magic sand, is mostly what you’d expect – sand. But if you’ve ever touched it, something magical about it seems to defy expectations. It’s able to be molded like clay but feels silky. At times, it almost seems magnetic!

This magic sand is sand that’s been coated in silicone oil. The oil makes kinetic sand so great – it’ll stick to itself but not other things, like tabletops or clothing!

Is Kinetic Sand Messy?

Not only is it not messy, but any clean-up needed is an absolute breeze! Because it sticks to itself, you can use a wad to “grab” whatever tiny bits might be lying about.

This stuff defies physics. You can mold it into various shapes, but hold it up and let gravity take over to see it turn back into what appears to be regular sand.

ball of blue kinetic sand

Why Kinetic Sand Is Better Than Playdoh

Beyond the fact that it’s easy to clean up, many other benefits make kinetic sand better than Play-Doh. For one, it’s gluten-free. I hadn’t even thought about this until I saw a mom selling a HUGE lot of Play-Doh at a garage sale. When I asked about it, she mentioned her daughter had a gluten allergy; I was floored!

Another thing I love about kinetic sand vs. Play-Doh? No shards. We’ve all seen the memes and jokes about stepping on Legos, but let’s be honest – NOTHING hurts like stepping on a shard of dried Play-Doh. Kinetic sand doesn’t dry out, even when forgotten!

shard of dried orange and green playdoh
Why God, why?!

Kinetic sand is also incredibly relaxing. As weird as it seems, there’s something very chill about playing with this sand. I’m unsure if it’s due to the feel, how it moves, or what, but it’s a lot of fun.

Play Dough I Do Like

So, I don’t want to say that Play-Doh is the worst; it makes for a tremendous candy-free Halloween handout!

But if you opt to have it over kinetic sand (or in addition), I recommend the Kiddy Dough brand. It has a great cloudy feel and is far more affordable than Play-Doh. It’s still not better than kinetic sand, but it is fun.

Regarding kinetic sand vs. Play-Doh, each parent chooses for their little ones. That said, if you’re debating on which to give as a gift to someone else’s child, go with kinetic sand. Always! It also makes for a great gift choice because of the variety offered. (*psst* In case you’re wondering, yes, I will fully accept sparkly pink kinetic sand for my next birthday!)

Which do you prefer – kinetic sand or Play-Doh? Or neither?

Let us know in the comments below!

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The post-Kinetic Sand vs. Playdoh first appeared on Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / David Tadevosian

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Amy Ives is a vibrant and resourceful writer known for her engaging home hacks, travel insights, and money-saving tips. With a knack for turning everyday challenges into fun, practical solutions, Amy's articles are a go-to for readers seeking clever tricks and life-enhancing advice.