For a boy who has had a history of getting engrossed in sand play, has been forever fascinated by anyone who works with cement, sand or gravel, and has a most recent fascination with the art, science, and play of Ancient Egypt, working out a recipe that we could simulate stone blocks with has been a major coup!
Above is the recent game Zeal made with this sand clay, a coiled up snake waiting to be painted and played. (Rules yet to be determined)
Here's the recipe:
Super Sand Clay
3 cups sand
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 1/2 cups of hot water
Combine all ingredients in a wok or large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick and heavy (several minutes). remove from heat and turn onto cookie sheet. Once mixture is cool, it will be able to be modeled. (Don't try to use it before it is cooled or you'll just get a sticky mess on the hands - spoken from experience)
I so wish I had a picture of him making this dough and the mess that ensued when he decided he needed to sift the sand with our various-sized strainers and funnels in stock in our kitchen. Oh well -- I have the experience!
And here's the new favorite book with one of the Pyramids of Giza, which has a remarkable resemblance to the texture of real stone blocks!
He's so proud of this feat of ancient architecture!