How to make Cloud Dough

Jun 6, 2012


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How to make Cloud Dough




Cloud Dough, Moon Sand, Warm Snow... call it what you will, it still spells F-U-N!

We've been meaning to try this wonderful sensory experience for ages now but for whatever reason I just kept putting it off. Well, no longer, and we're oh-so happy that we tried it!

I asked my 3 year old what she thought the best name was for it after a bit of a play. She decided "Moon Sand" was the most appropriate because you play with it the same way you'd play with sand. 
You can mould it and smooth it and squeeze it and shape it, but apply a little bit of pressure and it crumbles back to flour. The difference to sand, however, is the wonderful silky smooth texture and lovely scent if you use a scented oil. This is where we see the cloudy nature coming in.
I've also seen moon sand elsewhere made very similar but with half play sand added.


cloud dough recipe. how to make cloud dough


So, how do you make it? Easy! 



Ingredients: 8 cups of plain flour to 1 cup of oil. 
***We used baby oil for the scent and also because I was able to keep a constant watch of my daughter whom I trust not to ingest any. In a preschool/school type setting or with younger kids who might ingest some, I would suggest a Canola or vegetable oil.***


Method

cloud dough, cloud dough recipe




 Now play!

                   
 Moulding with the Cloud Dough   



 Patting it down flat



Smoothing out a hill



Maddie (3y/o) loved the texture of the Cloud Dough. She just wanted to keep playing with it and touching it. She insisted on laying down so she could get up close to it and observe as she played with it.





Here are 6 more fun ideas on other ways to play with Cloud Dough for you to check out


We turn our Cloud Dough into super cold Fake Snow!


Familylicious shows you how to make Coloured Cloud Dough


My Small Potatoes uses Cloud Dough for a baking sensory bin


My Buddies and I coloured their's green and added some dinosaurs!


Happy Hooligans took their Cloud Dough outside for a sensory group activity

Critters And Crayons made these HUGE tubs of cloud dough for their amazing Super Hero Birthday Party.
(This looks like such a fun party, you must check it out!)



Handy Tips:

- Simplify- To simplify this activity, make the cloud dough for your child and then let them explore

- Extend- To extend this activity ask your child to half the recipe to add in some extra math. You could use cloud dough in a sensory tray to write letters, words, numbers etc. Build sandcastles with it. Can they build any with multiple levels? etc

- Begin- For your child's first time playing with Cloud Dough, I would recommend letting them play with it and explore it before adding extra tools for them. See first if they have ideas they want to do with it and if they ask you for items. (ie. I was specifically asked for a, "spatula to smooth out a hill.") You never know what your children might think of on their own. If they don't seem sure of what to do with it or how to play further, try adding some cups, a spoon, trucks, dinosaurs, popsicle sticks.. the list goes on.

- Colouring- Apparently, food dye just doesn't really work at colouring it very well. Powdered paint appears to be your best option. I'm happy with it being white. I'm planning on adding silver glitter with it next time we play.

-*** Supervise- Always supervise young children around things they could ingest. Baby oil shouldn't be ingested.***

- Mess- Eeep, this seems too messy! Yes, it isn't a completely mess-free activity but if you take adequate precautions the clean up should be minimal. If the weather is good, I recommend taking it outside as you won't have to worry about it then. Otherwise, we did ours on a tiled floor on a plastic mat. I knew some would come out of the dish so I just made the rule that none was to go off the mat. This worked fine. The small amount that went on the floor I vacuumed up in a second and the rest on the mat tipped back into the dish when we were done. Many people use it in big tubs which could also help contain it more. Don't allow children to walk on it on tiled or laminate surfaces as the oil in the dough makes it slippery.



Happy playing,
Debs :)




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43 comments:

  1. Looks like u had fun! My son loves cloud dough but its all about the trucks in his;-)

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    1. We did :) That's the great thing about it. Simply add whatever your child is interested in with it and they'll be entertained for ages! :)

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  2. Something we learned from doing this activity in large quantities (the super hero party-and also in our front yard for play dates- because the cloud dough lasts and lasts- 8 months later, we are still playing with those party bins!), is that it is really handy to put a large tarp, sheet or something you don't care about getting soiled. I wouldn't recommend washing children's clothing with the cloud dough on it- Definitely have the children wear "play clothes"- kind of like you would if they were going to work with messy paint. The properties of the baby oil and flour don't seem to dry well- it can leave a sort of linty appearance or can cause fibers to stick, actually. And, we have also learned that leaving cloud dough on surfaces over a long period of time makes it much harder to clean up- the oil will actually solidify- so wash it away when you are done. We always set up where the hose can reach. :) Those are just tips for folks that plan to have kids "swimming" in it like we did. :) Great tips and super post! I've never met a kid who didn't love cloud dough!

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    1. Thank you for the extra tips! Good to know. Can't believe you're still using the same batch 8 months on!! I can only imagine all the foreign bits and pieces ours would have picked up by then lol. Thank you and thanks for letting us include your super party post! It really was amazing :)

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  3. we just made this yesterday! sooooo fun!

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    1. I know. Sometimes we try these things and think, why didn't we ever do this sooner? haha. It really is fun to play with!

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  4. Thanks for including us! Your post looks so nicely organized. We have had our moon sand for a long time, too, years actually. I have added some essential oils to it. We've only used it inside and it has kept pretty clean, but when it falls on the floor it goes to the garbage so that helps. There's no way to sift through it to remove debris, so it has to go.

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    1. Your welcome. Thanks for that. Essential oils would be good. I was actually thinking about adding a Eucalyptus Oil to ours for the next time we play. Although I'm not sure how many countries stock that apart from Australia (?) haha :)

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    2. We have that here. I used tea tree oil, I thought it would act as a preservative - anti-bacterial, and anti-viral, right? Other things would smell nicer, like lavender.

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  5. Just a quick note for those with little babes who put everything in their mouths...I make my cloud dough with cooking oil and flavoring extract (for the smelly sensory). This way when my 12 month old puts it in her mouth, and she is sure to give it a taste or two.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Yes, absolutely. As I said in the post, if it's going to be used by anyone who might ingest some they should use a cooking oil not the baby oil. The flavouring aspect sounds like a nice idea although it'd probably be a once off as it'd likely entice my kids to want to eat it haha

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  6. We made it in the sensory bin for preschool summer camp this week & they LOVE it! My word of warning - it did get on the floor and caked into the grooves of their shoes which made the tile floor and the hand washing step stool VERY slick. We just moved the sensory table outdoors and hosed down the pavement when we were done. Problem solved!

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    1. Ahh, good advice. I was quite careful with ours that we contained it to one mat and that any that went on the tiles was swept of vacuumed up pretty much straight away so that worked well for us. I could see the potential for the slickness of the oil though :)

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  7. Great round up! thanks for sharing, some fab ideas there.

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  8. I've been wanting to make cloud dough with my little guy for some time...it's on our Summer Bucket List. Thanks for sharing your simple recipes and tips for play! We'll have to make it very soon. :)

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    1. Thanks Gina. Hope you and your little man have fun :)

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  9. We're going to have to add this to the bucket list for things to try this summer.

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing. Ever since Amanda received her cloud dough as part of a LOVE BOOKS exchange I've been wanting to do it. Now it's added to our Summer Bucket List. Can't wait! http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/06/afterschool-express-summer-bucket-list.html

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  11. I haven't bought baby oil since childhood -- ha! Can't wait to try this!!

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    1. hehe, you can use other cooking oils instead if you like :)

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  12. great round up. Goblin and I only discovered cloud dough recently and he loves it. I'm off to My Buddies and I to find out how you colour it as mine didn't work at all

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    1. Haha, that's the great thing about us all doing it. Everyone has different ideas and knows different ways to do things. I love how we can all share. Good luck with the colouring! :)

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  13. What a great post - love your example and clear instructions, and the other ideas you've highlighted as well. I'm sure my toddler and baby would both love it.

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    1. Thanks Jenni! I hope you all enjoy it. Remember to switch to a cooking oil for use with the littlies :) (sorry, being sure to be safety concious ;) )

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  14. Boy, oh boy! We had a blast for 2 hours straight with this stuff today. Thanks so much for sharing this great idea!

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    1. Fabulous Cynthia! Thanks so much for the feedback. Happy you guys had a great time :)

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  15. We haven't made this yet! Thanks for the tips, especially on using other oils. My kids are young, so I was shying away from baby oil.

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    1. You're welcome Bethany. I'm giving cooking oil a go next time too so my baby can have a little supervised play too :)

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  16. Well I can see why this is such a popular post! Well done mama! Fantastic photos!

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  17. This is fantastic, thank you! My little girl is a bit young for this (I fear she'll spend too much time trying to eat it :) ) but very soon she'll be old enough to try this. Im pinning it for future use, thanks!

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    1. haha- yes, I think my 7 month old is going to have to wait for this activity too. Once we're past the everything in the mouth stage we might be right :) You're welcome by the way :)

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  18. This looks great! I will be trying this soon with my 3.5 year old son. HE is going to LOVE IT!! I have a question how long can I store this up for if I use the baby oil? or the Canola oil? Would a plastic bin be a good place to store it in? Thanks for sharing the recipe! ;)

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    1. You're welcome Jessica. As far as I know, storage would be the same for both. A plastic bin/container with lid would be perfect. This batch you see here is still going fine for us and some of the comments here by people indicated it will last for a lot longer. Some people are still using their's 8 months on! Hope that helps. :)

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  19. Hi there,

    I have just linked back to you here:
    http://www.love-and-lollipops.blogspot.com/2012/11/cloud-dough.html

    Now I'm off to explore some more of your blog :)

    Take care,
    Georgia

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  20. I blogged about your cloud dough experience at http://365daysofmotherhood.blogspot.nl/2012/11/cloud-dough-and-measuring-cups.html

    It surely is a wonderful sensory play isn't it? :)

    greetings,
    Lana

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  21. I can't wait to make this with my grandchildren. I'm going to try it with cooking oil first and I'll try and pop back to let you know how I got on. :)

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  22. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe and all your play ideas! I've got two little ones not feeling so well at home today, so this was an excellent activity for us! (I may have enjoyed it even more than my boys!)

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  23. This is so much fun! My 2 and 4 year old daughters played in it for at least an hour building sandcastles, making cakes, and all kinds of other great stuff too. Thanks for the idea!
    www.bestbitesforever.com

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  24. Can't wait! I think I'll have more fun with this stuff than my 18 month old daughter, Kendra! Lol Has anyone thought about using chalk for coloring? Anyone use it? Just like crush it up or use the cheese grater to make it into powder then adding it in with the flour. Probably need a bunch of it, so would I include the chalk in place of the flour as far as the measuring goes? Like if I had 2 cups of chalk I would use 6 cups of flour then? Usually when u get chalk wet it makes the color brighter, so do u think if this is tried the oil would brighten the color so it's not like a faint pastel? How much does this make and how much would half the recipe make? Sorry for all the questions lol. Last one, is this more than one 1lb bag of flour? Thank you so much! I hope someone on here can answer all my questions. Lol HAVE FUN EVERYONE!! •~•Heather&Kendra•~•

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.