“How to Catch a Star” Moon Sand Two Ways

A Whimsical Book & Moon Sand Two Ways!

After reading Oliver Jeffers’ “How to Catch a Star” we decided to make Moon Sand. We had all the necessary ingredients to make it two different ways, so we made both! Fun fact: one recipe uses sand in it, the other does not. If you’re looking for 2 easy recipes and some fun open-ended sensory play, this one is for you. So, let’s get started…

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Summary of “How to Catch a Star”

How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers is a great book about perseverance. The little boy in the striped shirt, who appears in most of Oliver Jeffers books, loves stars. In fact, he loves them so much; he makes it his mission to get one of his own.

Throughout the book, he imagines how great it will be to have a star for a friend. Unfortunately, he quickly realizes, its not going to be as simple as he thought to obtain one. Nonetheless, he is not bothered by the challenges, instead he problem solves and keeps trying. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say, as with most children’s books, it ends happily. We are big Oliver Jeffers fans and I would recommend this book and his many others.

Moon Sand Two Ways?

baby on a blanket moon reaching for a cow.

You might be wondering… “What do you do with it?” or “How is this not just going to be a sensory mess?” There are many ways to answer these two common questions…

First, the most basic answer to “What you could do with Moon Sand Two Ways?” is… have Messy Fun. Sensory play at its finest is not about “doing” something specific. It is about exploring, feeling, listening, watching, problem solving, creating, etc… This is an open-ended activity. Just as each child has their own unique personality, experience, and preference in play, the outcome of this activity is just as special.

baby astronaut on moon holding a gold star

As for the second question, Yes, this can definitely be a messy one! But, I hear you. I’ve been asked that question many times. Therefore, a detailed answer, along with strategies for successful messy sensory play, can be found by reading, “What about the Sensory Mess?”

What We Did with Moon Sand Two Ways…

purple moon sand on top and white moon sand on the bottom with the word Moon in the center.

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. So, for this activity my daughter measured, poured, and mixed the ingredients herself. She’s had a ton of practice because I’ve been allowing her to do so since she was very little. She still spills things from time to time and occasionally needs my help. But its truly wonderful watching her confidently approach recipes in sensory, baking and/or following written directions for an activity.

Just a thought…

I strongly suggest including your child in the process of reading the directions. If your child is too young to read yet, you can read the directions with them, show them what your reading. Point to the step you’re on and read it aloud; then do that step before moving on. This will be the beginning of them understanding how to follow written instructions, doing something step by step, and gaining early literacy skills such as noticing your finger move left to right as you read.

If your child is old enough to read, make the time to allow them to read the directions. I purposely write the directions broken down into simplified steps because my daughter loves when she can read the directions on her own and I imagine your child might as well. Don’t forget, you can access our entire Free Printables Library by subscribing below.

Yes, it will take more time when your child reads the directions, but it is so worth it. A lot of times, I notice that parents tend to be in a rush to get on with an activity. Unfortunately, I think their missing the point, its not about how fast you can complete a task, its about building all kinds of wonderful skills as you prepare for, participate in, and complete the task, together.

Back to what we did…

moon sand with sand

After making both batches of Moon sand, we poured them into a large container. We quickly noticed a difference in texture between the two. As you might suspect, the Moon Sand with sand was gritty and less moldable than the one without sand. However, the added craft sand allowed us to make a beautiful purple Moon Sand, whereas; I’m not sure how to make the Moon Sand without sand colored. We tried adding food coloring but it did not work. Perhaps paint would work, but we haven’t tried that yet. I will update if/when we do.

moon sand without sand

We enjoyed both Moon Sands for their own special characteristics, but preferred the one without sand in it. It was softer and we had a lot of fun molding it into shapes then watching it crumble when we squeezed it. My daughter hid our little cow counters inside.

This bookish play was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing; so of course we got out our Little People Buzz Lightyear (Woody too), and a small American flag to add to the fun. She also used the flag as a writing utensil, which was pretty cool!

This was something she played with repeatedly for a few weeks. It stores easily, we just kept it in the large container. Sometimes we put the lid on it, sometimes not. I would suggest Moon Sand Two Ways (or One Way 😉 ) if you’re looking for a great sensory activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Bowl
  3. Whisk
  4. Large Container
  5. Glitter (optional)
    Moon Sand with sand…
  6. Craft Sand (its finer than regular play sand and it comes in lots of fun colors, but I’m sure play sand would work too)
  7. Cornstarch
  8. Water
    Moon Sand without sand…
  9. Flour
  10. Baby oil
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Moon Sand Two Ways?

Moon Sand with sand…

  1. Pour 3 cups of Craft sand into the bowl.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 cups of cornstarch into the bowl.
  3. Mix with a whisk until well blended.
  4. Pour 3/4 cups of water into the bowl.
  5. Mix with a whisk until well blended.
  6. Pour into a large container to play.
  7. Done!

Moon Sand without sand…

  1. Pour 4 cups of flour into the bowl.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of baby oil into the bowl.
  3. Mix with a whisk until well blended.
  4. Pour into a large container to play.
  5. Done!
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Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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