Kids/Baby, Reviews/Giveaways

Sands Alive! Castles Bucket from Play Visions Review – Great for Sensory Play!

*I received product mentioned in this post for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Recently we got to check out the Sands Alive! Castles Bucket. Sands Alive Castles from Play Visions is a lot of fun to play with. My youngest son absolutely love it. Even I like to play with it too. Sands Alive isn’t like your typical play sand. It’s completely mold-able without water. And it is so much easier to clean up than regular play sand. It’s kind of hard to describe the feel and texture of it. It’s kind of grainy like sand but yet it’s this really cool and fluffy, sandy-like dough.

For ages 3 years and older. It’s called Sand Alive! because it can be molded into durable shapes. However, with a gentle touch it can break apart almost like it’s alive! And I have to say, it’s pretty cool.

What’s Included

The Sands Alive! Castles set comes inside a handy storage bucket. Which is really nice because the “sand” and everything comes with it can be stored in the bucket. You get 1.5 pounds of Sands Alive, a clock tower mold, turret mold, castle wall mold, and an archway mold. All the molds are one piece. 

Before You Play

Before you play with Sands Alive, it is recommended that you remove the “sand” from it’s packaging and let it breathe. For optimal play, you should break and loosen it all up with your hands. Then you should let it sit in open air for several hours. What I did was put it all in a large container tub without a lid and let it sit overnight. However, you might want to make sure you can spread it out more than I did the first time.

When my son and I were playing with it, we noticed that the “sand” didn’t look like it “came alive” when we tried to play with it that way. It molded perfectly, just didn’t “come alive” very well with the gentle touch. So I don’t think it got a chance to fully air out. So I got out a bigger container that allowed to me spread it out more. Then I let it air out overnight night again. I would have just spread it out on a table top but I didn’t want our cat to get into it.

After that, it worked so much better. As I previously mentioned, it looked really cool!

What does it feel like?

It feels really cool. It’s like a glob of fluffy sand. Not individual grains of sand – like a fluffy sand dough if that makes any sense. The reason I love this for sensory play is because depending on how you are playing with it, it feels different. If you flatten it out it feels smooth. If you break it apart and loosen it up, if feels fluffy. All the while it also kind of feels like sand. When you mold it, you can make durable shapes. Then you can see it move and fall apart with just a touch. I don’t know, it’s just really neat.

Molding Sand Alive!

Molding Sands Alive is really easy. The molds are really great. You just simply fill the molds with the “sand” and press it in them. Then just turn them over and the mold comes right out. Every once in a while you may have to tap the mold on the table top a little to get it to come out. However, it does come out really easily overall. I love this about it because it doesn’t stick inside. And as long as you completely fill the molds and press it in the molds really well, all the details come out really nicely.

Molding and Moving the Pieces

One thing I wasn’t sure on was being able to move the molded pieces. I mean, I thought that if it can fall apart by a gentle touch, how were we supposed to move it? I am happy to tell you that when you move the molded “sand” it won’t fall part. I’m not sure how it works that way but it does. We were able to move all the castle wall parts to build a wall with the arch without it falling apart. Even to make a clock tower, you are supposed to use the turret mold and the clock tower mold. Then stack the clock tower on top. We didn’t have any issues with doing that either.

It’s so weird isn’t it? With regular pressure of picking them up and moving them, they didn’t fall apart. But with a gentle touch they do! That is as long as you let it air out properly. When I let it air out the first time, it just felt really squishy. When I let it air out more, it worked much better.

Final Thoughts….

I can’t say enough how cool this stuff is and how much fun it is to play with. It molds easily. It doesn’t stick to the molds at all. And the other great thing about it is that you can also mold it free handed. Which is great because it also allows for creative play. It’s really easy to clean up too. All you have to do is take a bigger glob of it and dab up all the pieces on the tabletop/play area. It claims that it is also easy to clean up off carpet too but I don’t really know how easy that is. Our son is pretty good about keeping it on the table so I haven’t had to clean it up off the floor.

Another great thing about it is that it doesn’t stick to hands at all. Weirdly it’s all mold-able and everything but feels dry when you are playing with it. There is absolutely nothing sticky about it. Finally, the bucket is handy for storage. The Sands Alive is non-toxic, prevents bacterial growth and is made of natural materials. You can use it over and over again. I’m not even sure if this stuff can even dry out and become un-usuable!

We love it! Have your kids ever played with Sands Alive! before?

Buy It:

You can buy Sands Alive! Castles at specialty stores such as hobby and craft stores. If you can’t find it in stores, you can also buy it on Amazon. The suggested retail price for the Sands Alive! is $11.99 to $25.99 depending on the set and size of set you purchase. There are different sets! Check out Play Visions website for more information!

Play Visions


Disclaimer: DustinNikki Mommy of Three was not compensated for this post. However, DustinNikki Mommy of Three received free product(s) mentioned in this post from a representative of Play Visions in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed in my review are 100% my own.

If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway or collaboration with DustinNikki Mommy of Three, please email Nicole Anderson at danderson35 (at) columbus (dot) rr (dot) com.

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About Nicole Anderson

My name is Nicole and I write DustinNikki Mommy of Three. I enjoy writing product reviews and hosting giveaways. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 20 years and we have three kids. When I am not terribly busy running someone to band or soccer practices, I find some time to write. I also like to write about my kids, family and life. My family enjoys the outdoors - hiking, canoeing, and exploring things we haven't seen or been before. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog!
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9 thoughts on “Sands Alive! Castles Bucket from Play Visions Review – Great for Sensory Play!

  1. My niece would totally love this and will have so much fun playing it. Will gift this to her soon.

  2. This looks super fun! I would very much love to get this for my nephew on my next visit.

  3. This looks like a pretty nice activity to try. It is interactive and beneficial for the young ones. Even adults are urged to give it a try.

  4. oh this is so cool. The sand alive castles seem very interesting, fun and engaging. I will pick it up for the kids for sure. Thank you.

  5. My younger brother really loves molding and he is always requiringmore and more Plasticine. He would totally love the Sand Alive too…time to mold castles too!

  6. How cool! I know my kids will have a blast playing with this. I’ll have to pick it up to help entertain them for the summer.

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