Decorated Sand Cement

| June 2023

Children find and make art everywhere. Transience is the ultimate aspect of process art but sometimes you want to take time to admire the creativity before it is destroyed. Like the carefully decorated sand cakes our three-year-olds create, and then flatten in one flying leap. 

Here is a unique art medium for children to explore. You can create “sand-cement” right in the sandbox and preserve some of those awesome sand cake decorating skills. From mixing to decorating, our sand artists thoroughly enjoyed this activity. 



You will need:

  • Bowl and spoon 
  • Old containers—the lids worked best.
  • Glue 
  • Pretty nature items 
  • Sand 

Stir sand and glue

Put some sand in a bowl. Pour in glue, adding and stirring until the mixture clumps together.

Press into a container lid

Press the sand mixture into container lids. If you're using a deeper container, brush it with a little grease first to make sure the finished product pops out when dry.

Decorate with nature items

Poke a variety of nature objects into the “cement” while it’s still soft. We had some pinecones, pebbles, and purple corn saved from last fall! 


Push the objects into the sand mixture deep enough so they really stick. Poke a small hole through the sand while it's still soft if you wish to hang it as an ornament later. 

Pop out of molds

After a day in the sun, our “sand creations” were dry and hard. They popped right out of the molds. 

Finished product

I wonder what would happen if we had put the decorations in the container first?

Projects and Activities, Connecting with Nature, Art, Incorporating Loose Parts