Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. ​Read my full disclosure policy here:

Painted Desert Sand Art

Learning about the different types of land textures and formations in our world can be an exciting time for little ones. Help enrich their understanding as their hands engage in feeling the texture of the sand as they create a Painted Desert Sand Art masterpiece! Just follow the instructions below to enjoy this unique craft. You’ll be pleased to end up with a beautiful piece of art for your child to proudly display when you are done.

Supplies Needed:
3 Different colors of sand (or colored sugar) *Found at dollar stores or craft stores
Glue stick or liquid glue
Construction paper or white drawing paper
(Optional) tiny plastic snake or cactus

Start out by choosing your piece of white drawing paper or a light color of construction paper. Using the crayons, draw a snake shape (long squiggly for younger tots) and make it somewhere in the center of the paper. Make it colorful with stripes, or other patterns seen on snakes.
Now draw a cactus or two in the foreground on either side of the snake to frame it or draw attention towards the snake. Use the crayons for this.
It’s time for some creative glue designs. Begin by applying shapes with the glue in long wavy lines close together. Imagine isobars or wind direction lines or even the idea of ocean currents. This type of wavy pattern will give a very colorful and pretty look to the design.
Start sprinkling your first color of sand on every other line of glue if using two colors or every third line if using three colors. There are no rules really here. Your goal is to make a pattern if you wish for a more structured painted desert, or just a colorful painted desert background with colors thrown in at random if that is what your child desires to do. I recommend helping your child gently lift the page and shake off excess sand in between changing colors.
Finish your painting by filling in all the glue areas if needed with more sand sprinkles. Some sand may shift so be careful not to let your child lift the finished picture for several hours while the glue sets and dries. Your finished design will appear a colorful, sandy desert with a smooth, wax look to the cactus and snake in the center and foreground.
Use the plastic cactus or snake as models to draw after, or to actually glue onto the picture for a fun 3D effect. (optional)

Let your child enjoy being creative and have fun! Feel free to share your finished creations with us at!

Copyright 2016 *