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Magic Sand Science

This "magic" sand repeles water and therefore never gets wet!! Kids get to build sand castles underwater while also learning about its hydrophobic effect and/or water molecule properties. Very little materials needed and so much time spent playing while learning!


  • Easy



  1. Fill the bowl/container with water.

  2. Find fun ways to pour the magic sand into the water.

  3. Play with the sand in and out of the water. Have fun!


  • What are you seeing?

  • Why is the sand dry outside the water?

  • What would happen if we use other liquid instead of water? Milk? Oil?


"Magic sand repels water instead of absorbing it. Even after being submerged in water, this curious sand stays dry. To produce magic sand, companies start with standard sand, silicon dioxide, and then add a very thin layer of a chemical called trimethylhydroxysilane. This coating makes the sand hydrophobic, or water-repellent. That’s in contrast to standard beach sand, which is hydrophilic, or water-loving. The trimethylhydroxysilane may not entirely coat a sand grain, but these hairlike molecules wave their hydrophobic ends to repel the water."

- "Chemist Kathleen Carrado


  • Adult supervision required for any of these activities. Please supervise and make sure children participating are safe. Read instructions and the safety labels from each used materials.


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