Fun Kids' Birthday Parties

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

Moon Sand Ice Cream Shop

Moon-sand Ice Cream Shop

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 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, scoop, mold, and serve Ice Cream. 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 Ice Cream Activity because it includes sensory play, fine motor skills, and a pretend Ice Cream shop play set up. The dark brown color of the Moon Sand mimics one of the most loved desserts children enjoy eating: Chocolate Ice Cream.

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. For instance, just add unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture to make it brown. 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 hands.

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
  • 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 this activity I have made two Moon Sands: one white (just flour and oil) and one brown (Flour, cocoa powder, and oil).
  3. To make the white Moon Sand: In the mixing bowl, combine 4 cups (240 g) of flour and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of vegetable oil.
  4. 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.
  5. The Moon Sand is ready when you can shape it into a ball with your hands.
  6. To make the brown Moon Sand: In the mixing bowl, combine 4 cups (240 g) of flour, 1/2 cup/55 g of cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of vegetable oil. Repeat step 4 and 5 for the brown Moon Sand.
    Moon Sand is ready when you can shape balls

Creating the Moon Sand Ice Cream Shop

What you will need

Moon sand Ice Cream Shop what you need

How to make it?

  1. In your plastic container, place the white and brown Moon Sand. However, you could put the moon sand directly on the tuff tray.
  2. On the side of the tray leave the measuring spoons, prep bowl set, silicon liners, paper ice cream cups, plastic desserts cups, scoops, birthday candles, and sprinkles. 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. You are ready to go!
Moon sand Ice Cream Shop setup2

My child’s experience

By far, moon sand has been the mixture that my son has loved to play with the most. Spending no less than an hour with the sand, he used his hands to scoop, mold, press, and squeeze. Enjoying the process of making, molding, and serving Ice cream. He tried the different measuring bowls and spoons. It was just a hit! The best part of it is that all the mess was contained in the tuff tray.

Moon sand Ice Cream Shop in action

Important information

This activity is recommended for children 4 and above because it is an invitation for them to use their hand muscles to mold the moon sand into different shapes to form pretend Ice Creams. It is also a social opportunity to talk and engage in imaginary play. 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.

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