Sensory activities can be beneficial for both babies and toddlers, helping them develop fine motor skills, cognitive skills and more. Playing with different materials can also be essential for children with an autism spectrum disorder or other disorder that includes sensory integration issues.
Fortunately, sensory play can be fun, simple and inexpensive. For instance, sand is not only affordable and easy to obtain, but it’s also an ideal open-ended material that lends itself well to many sensory activities.
However, if you have a very young child or kiddo with oral sensory seeking behaviors who puts everything in their mouth, sand is likely not the best option for you.
Edible Sensory Sand
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, one mother invented a sand substitute so her baby can play safely, even if she eats it.
TikTok user @elleannachristine — the mom of an adorable baby girl — posted the following video to the social media platform. As you can see, she simply tossed some Cheerios into a blender and chopped those little Os into oblivion, turning the cereal into a soft and totally edible “sand.” Then, placing the sand into a shallow pan with a few toys, she let the baby enjoy some sensory playtime.
The video has received more than 2 million views, over 380,000 likes and nearly 40,000 shares. And let’s not forget the thousands of comments.
“Yess!!” wrote Nelly Gomez. “So if she accidentally eats the sand it’s ok bc it’s freaking Cheerios.”
Other parents decided to give it a go.
“I did this with my little boy today after seeing this,” commented Alisha Jordan. “Amazing mama hack.”
Some moms had similar ideas using alternative ingredients.
“We do this too,” posted @Moorethanahousewife, “but with graham crackers!”
Making Edible Sensory Activities
You could crumble just about any type of cereal to make this sort of sand. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can instead pour it into a zip-top bag and use a rolling pin or even a drinking glass to crush it.
Just note that cereal sand is not exactly like real sand; it’s more light and powdery. So you probably wouldn’t get terrific results if you added water to it or tried to mold it into shapes.
But it can make for an enjoyable, safe playtime.
Do you plan to try this activity with your little one?