Green Sand Play

This activity will need some preparation beforehand but it is simple and that children of all ages can enjoy. The green sand is fun alternative to the usual sand play.

You will need:

  • Green food colouring
  • Water
  • Sand
  • A range of plastic animals


Mix some green food colouring with a jug of water and pour it over the sand. Use enough water to make all the sand wet then leave the sand to fully dry. Once the sand has dried the children can use it in imaginative play, pretending the sand is grass and using range of animals.

Older children can help prepare this activity by colouring the sand themselves and watching to see when it has dried.

Areas of learning covered:

  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World
  • Language, Literacy and Communication skills
  • Personal and Social development
  • Creative development

14 thoughts on “Green Sand Play

  1. Thanks this idea sounds great for are colours of the month as now I can change both the water and sand though must ask if the sand has been coloured once would it work again keeping in mind that blue sand mixed red colouring may make a purple shade? Thanks

  2. Kirsty – I have not tried colouring the sand twice so I don’t know what colour it will go. Perhaps try colouring a small amount first to see, this might be a fun experiment to involve the children in, see if they can guess what will happen.

  3. I tried colouring sand, but found that it didn’t not colour all the sand. What may I have done wrong? How long does it take to dry and do you not drain any excess water? Advice is much appreciated, thanks.

  4. Charlotte – If you are colouring a large quantity of sand you may find it easier colouring it in smaller batches. Stir the sand in with the water to mix the colour, if it has not coloured all the sand, add more coloured water or a darker colour.
    Drain off the excess water before drying, as this will help it to dry quicker. The time it takes to dry really depends on how much sand you have got. If it is possible to spread the sand out thinly or even put it outside or on a windowsill in the sun, this will help speed up the process. It is probably best to prepare the sand a day or more in advance to allow plenty of time for it to dry.

  5. Hi, this activity is the inspiration for one of my play sessions as part of a therapeutic play course i’m doing. I’ll be colouring the sand with a group of four children 2 boys 2 girls, 4/5 years. I’ll let you know how it goes.


  6. this is an amazing activity. i looked for ages on the internet to find an acitvity that i could do with animals apart from colouring it in. thank you soo much it has helped alot and it is visual for the children as well.
    thank you very much.

  7. An fantastic easy activity to do, this covers the EYFS areas and sounds like great fun cant wait to try it. Hope the colouring works as the new type of colourings are usually pale. fingers crossed for fun dfun fun!!!

  8. Wow I shall use this idea next week always searching for new activities for the children. Thank you for sharing this.

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