Fun Kids' Birthday Parties

Your guide to throw age-appropriate home-made fun kids’ birthday parties​

Moon Sand Birthday Cake

Moon sand birthday cake

Moon Sand. Have you heard of it? It’s a bit like sand that we all know, but way softer. Thus, it is great for small children. And what a feeling! It isn’t just a texture sensation for little hands and fingers; it makes for a great calming sensory play for toddlers and preschoolers.

Moon sand is a unique, crumbly, powdery soft like material. Furthermore, it’s quick and easy to make as you’ll need just two staple ingredients. So get prepared, because kids will love to pretend to make, mold, bake, and serve cakes. This can go well with our birthday party theme: Fluffy birthday cake play and Silky Ice Cream Cloud Dough activity.

I love this Moon Sand Birthday Cake Activity because it includes sensory play, fine motor skills and a pretend cake fun play set up. The dark brown color of the Moon Sand mimics one of the most loved desserts children enjoy eating: Chocolate Cake.

Moon Sand is an invitation for children to use their hand muscles for scooping and molding. Also by pairing this activity with a fabulous book called “Pip and Posy: The Birthday Party” your child and guests imagination will spark in no time.

So, what is Moon Sand?

Moon Sand is a soft and moldable mixture like sand made out of just two simple ingredients: flour, and vegetable oil. It can easily be made of a different color. Just add unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture. Furthermore, it’s a great material for children to scoop, mold, press, and, squeeze.

Have you said sand? Well, not exactly. What is the difference between sand and moon sand then? Moon sand is softer in touch than sand. Also, it is crumbly, yet moldable so it is easy to manipulate for small children between the age of 1 and above. They can squeeze the moon sand without effort.

Why Moon Sand is great to make an activity with for birthday parties?

Playing with home made Moon Sand is a calming and relaxing activity for young children. Its color (dark chocolate) and texture (a mix between powdery flour and wet sand) will make them engage all their senses, mind and body.

Because of its relaxing effect, it is a good idea to offer moon sand activities after all the dancing, running, and noisy play. Another reason why moon sand works so well at birthday parties is because it is quick and easy to make.

Importantly, you can make a big batch for many children to play with in no time. Besides, you can adapt the smell (if using coconut oil) of Moon Sand. Finally, you can spark kid’s imagination and creativity offering them some tools and toys to add to the moon sand activity.

How to make Moon Sand?

The ratio to make moon sand is simple – 8 cups/1kg of all purpose flour : 1 cup/240 ml of vegetable oil.

What you will need

  • 8 cups/1 kg of flour
  • 1/2 cup/55 g of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup/240 ml vegetable oil
  • Baking sheet
  • 1 Mixing bowl
Moon Sand Ingredients


  1. To remove bacteria from raw flour, spread the flour out on a baking sheet and toast in an oven for at least 5 minutes at 350 F/177 °C degrees. Remove from the oven and let the flour cool completely before adding it to mixing bowl.
  2. In the mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and vegetable oil.
    Make Moon Sand Step 2
  3. Mix together until the Moon Sand becomes moldable. Add more oil if it’s too dry or more flour if it’s too wet, as needed.
  4. The Moon Sand is ready when you can shape it into a ball with your hands.
    Moon Sand is ready when you can shape balls

Creating the Moon Sand Birthday Cake activity

Moon Sand Birthday Cake activity in action

What you will need

How to make it?

  1. Set up your Moon Sand activity either on a kiddie pool on the grass (outdoors) or on an easy-to-clean play mat.
  2. In your plastic container, place the Moon Sand. On the side leave the cake and doughnut molds, cups, play knife, pie server, scoops, and birthday candles. 1 kg/2lb of Moon Sand is enough for 3 children to play with at the same time. However, if there is more than three, you could double the recipe.
  3. Read aloud the book Pip and Posy: The Birthday Party before children see the set up, so after they listen to the story they can associate the theme of the book with the Moon sand activity.
  4. You are ready to go!

My child’s experience

By far, moon sand has been the mixture that my son has loved to play with the most. Spending an hour with the flour as if there was no tomorrow, he used his hands to scoop, mold, press, and squeeze. Enjoying the process of making, cutting, and serving cakes, he tried the different molds, scoops, the play knife, and pie server. It was just a hit! The best part of it is that all the mess was contained in the kiddie pool

Important information

This activity is recommended for children 1 and above because in this recipe the flour has been previously baked at 350 F/177 °C or 5 minutes to reduce potential harmful bacteria. However, adult supervision is required for all the duration of the play and children should not try to eat moon sand. If your child keeps putting moon sand in his mouth, then the activity should be put away for the duration of the party.

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