September, 2018 No Comments Primary Science, STEAM / STEM


Here in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire we’re almost as far from the sea as you can get in England, so we have to bring the beach here! Today’s recipe is for Aqua Sand, also known as Magic Sand. You’ll see why!



  • Coloured sand (3 different colours – you can use food colouring)
  • Fabric protector
  • Wax paper
  • Plastic bowl





NB Work in a well-ventilated area.

  1. Spread the sand onto the wax paper. Spray thoroughly with the fabric protector. An adult will need to do this.
  2. Allow the sand to dry (about an hour).
  3. Pour the sand into a large see through container of water to observe the magic.
  4. Scoop the sand out prepare to be amazed when it’s dry!

If you want to see how it’s done, have a look at the ever-entertaining Steve Spangler’s video:

Note: this ‘magic’ sand is also called hydrophobic (water fearing) as it does not mix with water. Children may already know that oil and water do not mix. They may have observed that water stays in droplets on waxed or waterproofed coats. Magic sand was originally developed to trap oil after oil spills from tankers. After the sand had trapped the oil it would sink and stop the oil contaminating the beaches.




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