hello sand on sandpaper!

the messy artist new jerseyAs we move though our session exploring texture, our sand on sandpaper artworks get the kids immersed in sand’s gritty characteristics. This project is lots of fun and turns out beautifully; sometimes the sand has an almost dreamy screen-print appearance.

Age Level: 2.5 – 6


  • Exploring the texture of sand
  • Following directions
  • Learning about glue

art lesson plan with sandMaterials:

  • Sandpaper – we use 60 -100 grit (coarse to medium so the texture is readily felt)
  • Glue in squeeze bottles
  • Colored sand, 2 or more colors
  • Salt shakers   (Note: We spent a lot of time finding just the right shakers to use for the sand. We learned through trial and error that some have holes that are too big, while others we tried have a shaker half and a pour half that kids like to open and dump. Good old-fashioned salt shakers are just right on all accounts: they’re the perfect size for little hands, are easy to fill, and the holes allow the sand to sprinkle out in the correct amount. At first we were a concerned because they are glass, but the glass is so thick that it’s not a problem.)
  • Trays with edges
  • Labels

Teacher Preparation:

  • Cut sandpaper to 5 x 7 “ if not already that size
  • Put sand into shakers
  • Write each child’s name on a label and put on back of piece of sandpaper, then place in tray. This makes it easy to hand out the pre-labeled sandpaper to each child, and keeping the project confined to a tray makes for quicker cleanup.

art project 4 year oldProcedures:

Talk to the children about sand – where they may have seen it before (beach, sandbox) and then discuss its texture. Ask them for words to describe it.

Explain that the sandpaper already has sand on it, but they are going to be adding more, in a special design that they create.

art studio for kidsDemonstrate squeezing the glue onto the sandpaper by holding the bottle close to the sandpaper, not high in the air.

art party for kids njThen they will sprinkle sand onto the sandpaper by using the sand shakers, mixing the colors if they want.

best art class for kids new jerseyNext they will pick up the sandpaper with both hands, shake it back and forth so the sand covers all the glue, and then finally tip the sand off onto the tray. The only sand left will be stuck to the sandpaper.

fine art classes for children nj art class and camp njIf the students want, they can add more glue and shake sand again onto their artworks.

art lesson planThese artworks take overnight to dry and we send them home the next time the class meets.


Author: hellokidsart

The Messy Artist is a special place to create art. We offer year-round art classes for children 18 months through adulthood. In addition to art classes from September through June, we offer summer art camp and Drop-In and Play art activities for kids between our regular sessions. Our bright, colorful studio is also the perfect place for a kid’s birthday party! The Messy Artist children’s art center was created and designed by Owner/Director Donna Bernstein, a professional educator and artist. The curriculum is inspired and guided by Donna’s teaching experience and research in child development, as well as her passion for art. At The Messy Artist, art lessons for kids entertain and enrich their brains, bodies, and hearts.

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