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.***


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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