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"Corn meal as alternative in sandbox?" Topic

10 Posts

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forwardmarchstudios17 Jul 2017 10:40 a.m. PST

Hi all,

I was thinking about sandboxes today because I'm debating making a small one. The problem with them, of course, is that sand is heavy, and difficult to color. I found a blog post on some website for moms where some lady posited corn meal as an alternative for a childs sandbox. This got me thinking, since corn meal is probably a bit easier to dye, and weighs a fraction what sand does. Has anyone ever tried this?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

I have not tried, and won't. Are you sure you want to place in your game room a lot of something mice and insects find highly edible?

I've heard vermiculite mentioned as a tested alternative to sand.

ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2017 11:20 a.m. PST

I'm by no means qualified to give an informed conclusion but the edibility and possibly clumping/stickyness when introduced to water or dampness are two factors that would give me pause.

FABET0117 Jul 2017 11:30 a.m. PST

Agree with Mr Piepenbrink. Use cornmeal and every game you play will look like Starship Troopers because you'll be fighting beetle larva.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2017 1:03 p.m. PST


There's a reason for why grain elevators are usually far from homes.

If you develop mold on the corn meal and you are exposed to it regularly, you might end up inhaling the mold. If you do you might suffer some interesting effects, from suddenly developing allergies that you never had before, to experiencing hallucinogenic episodes with some types of mold like ergot, to developing a permanent fungus colony in the lungs (about as debilitating as tuberculosis). Plus the mold spores might spread to your AC/HV ducts, and then from there to other parts of the house.

I simply wouldn't risk it, specially if you have children and other people with delicate immune systems living with you at home.


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2017 8:51 p.m. PST

Ummmm, yes.
Just because someone puts something in a blog doesn't make it a good idea.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 4:12 a.m. PST

I would definitely NOT play in this sandbox after this kid is done with it. If the cornmeal wasn't contaminated before, it is certainly contaminated now.

PS. Sorry. Babies that put everything in their mouths, and then touch everything and everyone, simply creep me out. Don't even get me started on parents who use the kitchen sink to bathe their babies. Yikes!


forwardmarchstudios19 Jul 2017 3:01 p.m. PST

Yeesh- sounds like I better not try this!
It occured to me that fine saw dust would be a fine alternative to sand anyway- no bacterial issues, ergot or disease.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2017 9:25 p.m. PST

Just keep humidity levels to a minimum, and make sure the sawdust doesn't come from something toxic.

Or look up "reptile cage" substrates.


Zephyr120 Jul 2017 2:18 p.m. PST

Besides, per pound, corn meal costs a lot more than sand… ;-)

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