Review: Magic Sand by Anko
Great Value Magic Sand
Magic Sand is a special kind of sand that we found amongst the STEM gear at Kmart Australia and is branded with the Kmart brand Anko. In our opinion, it's a cross between sand and Play-Doh; however, it has amazing scientific properties. The age set for this toy is 3 and up and if you are interested, we have an article explaining how kinetic sand works.
Can't Help But Compare
Magic Sand by Anko is a toy in its own right, and for this review, we will try to stay focused on reviewing it as just that. However, this toy does seem like a knockoff of the original 'Kinetic Sand' (Also sold at Kmart). If you are a fan of Kinetic Sand, you may want to stick to the original, as there are a few things that aren't quite as good. But saying that, this Magic Sand gives you more bang for your buck at around one-third of the price of the original.
What is Magic Sand
Magic Sand is a kids toy that is available in pink and blue. Other than colour, it looks and feels like wet sand. You can mould it like wet sand and make sand castles just as if it were wet sand. But this isn't wet sand; it is normal beach sand that is coated in a special substance. Magic Sand does not dry out and does not stick to anything except itself. Even your hands are grit free after handling it. It is quite surreal because your mind expects it to have the properties of regular wet sand.
What's in the Box (Bucket)?
Magic Sand is sold in a bucket, a cheap bucket. You are going to want to get yourself another storage container as this bucket is fragile and almost impossible to get the lid back on.
In the bucket, you will find yourself:
600g of Magic Sand: In a sealed packet, coloured pink or blue.
6 Moulds: Small sand castle moulds in various shapes.
STEM Play With Magic Sand
Playing with Magic Sand is fun, and kids love it. Overall, it brings out kids creativity and lets their imagination go wild. As for STEM learning, there are tons of ways to use Magic Sand to learn STEM.
Science: Magic Sand itself is a science lesson. Depending on your kids' age, you could take a closer look at the scientific properties of the sand. For younger kids, there is friction, potential energy, kinetic energy and more. You can also use the sand in experiments.
Engineering: Engineering is popular with Anko Magic Sand. Just building sandcastles that stand up is engineering. You can make blocks using block moulds and start stacking them. Challenge each other to a 'How High' competition - endless engineering fun with this sand.
Mathematics: My kids are a little young for mathematics, but I have done some research, and there are so many ways to use Magic Sand for math. I have seen a number mould set, so your kids could make the numbers directly and create a fun way of doing mathematics. Fractions are fun with Magic Sand too as you can cut it up to display parts. Same goes for percentages. It all depends on your children's age, but you will undoubtedly be able to come up with some great mathematics activities with Magic Sand.
Magic Sand Video
Here is a short video we discovered of someone playing with Magic Sand. It doesn't go into detail, but you can see how it reacts to touch and how it can be moulded.
Our Review and Opinion
Magic Sand is a great product. It is fun to play with, and kids enjoy it. Magic Sand by Anko from Kmart is a great value toy. At only $4 AU for 600g, it is a lot cheaper than it's competitors.
The storage container is horrible, so you need to get something out of your plastics cupboard right away. There is no way a kid will be able to replace the lid, and removing the lid will undoubtedly result in tears.
The product itself is pretty good, just don't compare it to the original. It has a bit of a chemical smell when you first open the container, but that seemed to go away after a while.
We rate this product 4 out of 5. Kids will love it, and it will stimulate creativity.
Magic Rocks is a awesome kids science experiment from Smithsonian. A great STEM learning experiment for kids.