Creativity Today

A Different Way to Live Life

Kinetic Sand

on April 27, 2014

Whenever I am in an airport, I make sure to stop at the Brookstone store to check out the latest gadgets. Before a recent trip to London, upon arriving at the airport’s Brookstone store, I noticed a display advertising Kinetic Sand, along with a container full of sample sand that people could play with. I bought it not long after and have not stopped playing with it since.

This Kinetic Sand is much thicker and stickier than sand one can find at the beach, thereby allowing me to pick it up in clumps and arrange it into different shapes or letters without it simply falling through my fingers as if in an hourglass. Of course, these differences in the sand allow it to be used for creative purposes more easily than regular sand; sandcastles and other forms can be created almost instantaneously and additional decorations can be added to these structures after their completion without sacrificing their stability. 

My Kinetic Sand in a storage container.

My Kinetic Sand in a storage container.

If you have read my article on Thinking Putty, then you know I love keeping my hands busy with squishable objects in order to improve my concentration and relieve stress. Therefore, I was delighted to find a new product to play with, especially one so associated with a stress-free, happy life.

In Japanese Buddhism, Zen Gardens — small, rectangular spaces filled with sand, rocks, and small trees and bushes that are organized in a specific way — are commonly used to promote connections with nature and discovery of the meaning of life. Interestingly, in these gardens, the sand on the ground is meant to be raked, symbolizing the movement of water, which in turn often symbolizes cleansing or a fresh start. Today, it is possible to buy a mini Zen Garden that can be placed at a desk in order to gain the effects of these gardens in our everyday lives. 

A Japanese Zen Garden. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A Japanese Zen Garden. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Although I have always viewed the sand and putty I play with to be solely a means to an end of relaxation, after doing more research on Zen Gardens, I feel it is important to appreciate the sand and putty itself as being a metaphor for larger ideas in life, such as connections to nature. Therefore, as I run my fingers through my Kinetic Sand, I cannot help but feel this deeper connection, and I can clearly picture myself sitting on the beach on a hot summer’s day, feeling completely relaxed as I play with the sand around me.

Creative Challenge:

Buy Kinetic Sand or a Zen Garden and try to use it as often as possible. Discover for yourself whether these sands make you feel more relaxed or connected to nature — or if you have an entirely different, albeit positive, reaction. 


What was your reaction to the sand? If you enjoy playing with putty as well, do you enjoy playing with sand more or less? Comment below to discuss.


6 responses to “Kinetic Sand

  1. smilecalm says:

    i wish to encounter one playing with their sand
    rather than another playing with an e-thingy!

    • Zoe Stoller says:

      I totally agree – there are so many benefits to separating oneself from technology for a period of time in order to focus more on ourselves and our connections to the world.

  2. Eleanor P says:

    I’ve had this same jar of sand for awhile now and love it too!

  3. says:

    Nice and interesting! Xx00
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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