Super simple and tonnes of fun, sand dough is a great imaginative play tool. Make the dough (it takes about 5 minutes) and you'll be able to create a wonderful beach scape for kiddos to play with their figures. Your kid will love playing with sand dough with ocean animals, small people figures and any other play figures your kid wants to "take to the beach".  Two recipes for sand dough are at the bottom of this post. 

Once you've got the dough, it's really simple to add a few easy to find elements that will really bring your beach to life! Here's what we did when we played with our sand dough. 


Collect a few shells the next time you're at the beach and you've got a perfect play prop for at home beach play. Our son loves this moon snail shell with a hole in it that becomes a perfect little animal cave. Small mussel or clam shells add some fun texture and realism to the scene as well. 

Sticks as Logs

I don't know about you, but we always have a bunch of sticks our son has smuggled into our home. Small sticks make perfect beach logs for weary sun seekers to rest and contemplate the ocean. 

Pictured in the background is the beautiful Grimm's wooden wave stacker. It's awesome for pretending to be at the beach or out at sea with a little boat or as little waves for ocean animals to jump through. 

Easy peasy beach towels


Grab a sheet of felt or an old dishtowel you don't need anymore and fashion a few small beach towels for figures and dolls to stretch out on and catch some rays (or chase crows away from their concession burgers). 

Wooden Block Fishing Pier

Stack some blocks and have them jut out over some blue felt water and you've got a great little pier for tiny fishermen and women. We made a super simple fishing rod out of a small stick and some thread to add to the fun. 

Sand Cave

Shape some of the dough into little hideaways and small caves for little ocean critters to hide away. 

Play dough is such a simple, amazing play tool. It's perfect on its own but it really shines in combination with play figures! 

Here are two recipes we love. One is requires less ingredients but doesn't last and the other needs a couple things you may not have around the house but lasts a couple of months in a sealed container.

Recipe 1: only lasts 24-48 hours.
  •  2 cups of flour
  • About 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • At least 1 cup of sand (beach sand looks a lot better but craft / sandbox sand works too)

Mix together all the ingredients for an awesome dough. If it is too crumbly, add some more oil or a bit of water. If it is too wet and sticky, add a bit more flour. Receipe from Creative Playhouse.

Recipe 2: last for a couple of months in a sealed container or ziploc bag.
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of beach sand (or craft/sand box sand if not available)
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of glycerine (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water

Whisk all the ingredients except the boiling water in a large bowl. Add the boiling water and mix with a spoon. Once it is cool enough to handle, dump it on a counter and knead it into a smooth dough. Recipe from


Tyler Quantz