Sand Dough

I’ve had this recipe for sand dough for quite a while – can’t remember where I got it from or I’d give them credit for it.  When I first found it I thought making sand dough sculptures would be a great outdoor art activity.  I finally remembered to make the sand dough.

I started with 3 cups of cornstarch and 6 cups of sand;

Mixed them together in a large pot and added 4.5 cups of water;

Then I heated it – the recipe said to use low heat, I used setting #4 on my stove which is just below medium.  It took a very long time, stirring often, before it started to thicken.  I think this was my favourite part.  I liked watching the thick globs fall back into the liquidy part;

Once it started to thicken it didn’t take long for the whole mixture to solidify but the entire process had taken nearly an hour!  Luckily, like all new recipes, I was trying this one on the weekend when there were no children here.

The recipe said to put the mixture on wax paper to kneed;

The dough was very hot and the wax paper melted and tore apart into tiny pieces which I then picked out of the dough as I was kneeding it on an old cookie sheet.  I had a mini panic attack because at first the dough was very sticky (and hot) and I definitely do not like clumps of dough sticking to my hands.  Eventually it became less sticky and more like gritty playdough.  I put it in a big freezer bag to keep it ‘fresh’ for the next day.  It was still very warm so I didn’t seal the bag until it cooled more;

The next day when we were outside – no school so everyone was here – I divided the dough into eight pieces and placed the pieces on trays.  Each child took a tray and chose a place in the yard to work on their scupltures.  Many chose to add other nature items too. 🙂

The recipe said it would take three days to dry — most of ours were rock hard within about four hours.  Maybe because they were sitting outside in the sun.

I haven’t yet tried to move any of them off the trays.  I’m a little concerned that they may crumble apart. The bigger pieces appear to be more solid.  Many of the added decoration may not be well attached either.

I’m thinking that maybe next time we’ll use cornbread dough — it has the same gritty texture and it is much easier to make.  It too causes panic attacks when I try spreading it in a pan.