Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

Sands Alive: Not In Our Apartment


I totally get that sensory play is important for kids and it’s also really fun! We’ve made homemade play dough, bought store bought play dough and tried out those little tiny sticky balls that stick together and hold shapes.  I started hearing about this newish product that was suppose to be ah-mazing and a really great substitute for play dough/rice/sand tables.


Apparently this stuff didn’t dry up and it was non toxic and super easy to clean up. People raved about how easy it was to clean up! I was hooked and went on line and searched for a set of Sands Alive and bought the biggest set possible for the kids. Here is the excerpt from Sands Alive that I totally ate up.

“Bring all the fun of the sandbox indoors with Sands Alive! Easily make and mould shapes, patterns or creative sculptures with this unique indoor play sand. The texture of Sands Alive is similar to cookie dough, but completely dry to the touch. Mould it into hard durable shapes and with a soft touch, it will break apart and appear to move! This product a parent tested, parent approved award winner, and is water-soluble, 100% non-toxic and anti-bacterial”.

Let me tell you the truth, Sands Alive is what it promises in the above description. It does feel like cookie dough, it does mould into shapes and it is completely dry. However, it also tracks all through your home and onto the tiny feet of the children playing with it. After the first couple play sessions with Sands Alive I was cursing it and the tiny white splotches that I found everywhere. Ground into the carpet, mushed into the grooves of the hardwood floor, slathered onto the clothing of the kids. Heaven forbid if they wore cords while playing with it! Just imagine tiny white stuff melded into each groove of the cords.

My kids do love playing with it but I absolutely hate the clean up and the mess that comes with it. I would much rather make a batch of homemade play dough than clean up Sands Alive from the entire apartment. It’s pretty amazing how a short play session can track so much Sands Alive through out the entire 1200 sqf of our condo.

Yesterday morning I foolishly decided to take it out from the storage room for the kids to play with. They were all ready for school and we had a bit of time to play before we had to leave for school. They loved it and were playing so nicely together. In that moment, I didn’t care about the bits of white fluffy stuff that I saw landing at their feet!


Fast forward about 5 minutes and I soon realized the school boy needed a completely new outfit and I had a mega mess to clean up. It also got on the bottoms of Josie’s feet and she walked about the dark wood floor leaving tiny little foot prints and a Hansel and Gretel type of trail from the area they had played in, into the bathroom, into the bedroom and then back down the hall.

I  am officially done with the stuff! I’ve packed it up and, since it isn’t suppose to dry out or go bad, I think it will sit in the storage room until I have a moment of insanity and drag it out for a total gong show of a sensory play time. Do I think you should run out and buy a case of this stuff…no, not really. However, if you find out a friend has some then definitely go over and let your kids have fun mushing it through their fingers and tracking it through their home. Your kids will absolutely love it and your friend will remember why they too had put it away.



About the author

Hi! I'm Andrea, a 30 something girl who loves living the downtown lifestyle and didn't want to give it up once I started a family. Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!


  1. How did you get it out of your carpet? My basement is covered! It’s completely ground in and I can’t get it out!

  2. I totally agree. What a big fat mess. I have laminate flooring and it made a greasy type film on the floor. I’ve mopped it 4 times and still looks greasy and smeary looking.

    Mine is going in the garbage!

    • I had to do the toss of the stuff too. I really wanted to like it and I’m all for supporting sensory play but this stuff really was messier than expected. I think I’d rather be sweeping up rice all over our hardwood floors than Sands Alive.

  3. Blue! All through the carpet. I hate this stuff. Banished to outside, play clothes and apron. How, how, HOW do I remove it from my carpet? Help please anyone.

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