United States: Navajo Sand Painting Craft

We made this fun Navajo Sand Painting craft for our week on the United States of America! Well, not this one, the below painting was done by my dad, he’s done sand paintings for years and this was one he gave to me for my birthday! Thanks Dad!


It is super easy and fun, but a bit messy so be fore-warned!


  • Colored Sand (I found small colored bags at Michael’s hobby store)
  • Small wooden square for canvas
  • White craft glue mixed with water (70/30) to thin glue, but not too runny!
  • Paint brush
  • pencil (to draw on design before adding glue and sand)
  • Optional: cookie sheet or plastic tray to work on!



STEP 1: The night before, paint entire front side of wooden block with water/glue mixture and cover completely with white sand. (Or whatever color you wish). You may have to do 2-3 coats to get the board completely covered. Let dry overnight! I recommend doing this activity on some type of tray to keep your sand contained. Mine are from Lakeshore Learning you can click here to see them.


STEP 2: Set up your area before calling in the kids! I put my sand in small bowls so it was easy for the kids to pinch a small amount.


STEP 3: Have kids lightly draw image onto the canvas with a pencil.


STEP 4: Using paint brush, paint glue mixture on to one area at a time. Sprinkle small amount of sand on to glued area and then tap off onto paper towel, or back into bowl. It is helpful to work with 1 color of sand at a time so they don’t mix on the canvas, unless you want them to mix ;o)



STEP 5: Display your works of art!


Click here to see the rest of our United States Geography activities!


  1. Your rainbow sand looks like my Rainbow Rice! Check out what I just did for my preschooler, leave me a comment if you wish! :)

  2. Where did you get the cool colored trays to do the crafts on?? We need those with 4 little ones.

  3. christine says:

    Wondering where you got the wooden squares? Thanks!

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