Ask Maxwell: Great Present for a 9-Year-Old Boy?

published Apr 28, 2021
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My Nick is about to turn 9 years old! He’s very artistic and creative. What’s a unique present that only you would know about?


Dear Nell,

You’ve come to the right place because, as you may know, I love to find weird and interesting things to give away and delight people (AND it also makes for a very easy column this week :)).

Somewhere over the past year I was going through house tours on our site, Apartment Therapy, and saw in the background this really cool sand sculpture thingy. After a lot of sleuthing and searching, I tracked it down to this colorful fellow named Klaus Bosch (aka The Sandman) who’s been making these really advanced sand art things in Austria since 1988.

Credit: Maxwell Ryan
This is my first one (I now have three) and it's from his Deep Sea round series...

It is called “framed moving sand art” and he’s created a large collection of many different versions that all feature a unique and beautiful mix of sands in a glass frame with liquid and air. The result is hard to describe, but let’s just say it’s mesmerizing to watch the sand make its way through the air bubble and the results are many iconic landscapes that truly delight.

Check out this little video of one of his round pieces:

My daughter thinks I’ve gone a little crazy over these things, but, heck, she’s 14 and since my brain is often much closer to a 9-year-old’s, this should really surprise Nick. You can get the original Klaus Bosch through his Amazon shop or a much wider selection from his “gallery” online shop,

Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

Best, M

Credit: Maxwell Ryan
This is my latest one. It's small, rectangular and has super cool golden sand mixed in. He calls this the Horizon series. This is just after a few minutes and then...
Credit: Maxwell Ryan
... it began to make a new mountain.... it will often go for hours and sometimes days depending on how the bubbles line up with the sand and if you jiggle it or not.

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Maxwell Ryan is a father and was an elementary school teacher in NYC before founding Apartment Therapy. He’d love to answer your question: This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.

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