activities

Cloud Dough

Jun 3rd, 2020

Smiley Riley

We tried out two different recipes for cloud dough today. They produced very different end products-one was more powdery and the other more like play dough. Riley played with them both very differently-one was very messy and the other was very neat. She enjoyed the messy one the most! Try them out and let me know which one your kiddos liked most!

Smiley Riley

Materials

Powdery Cloud Dough Recipe

  • 2 cups of flour
  • ¼ cup oil
  • Parchment paper lined baking pan to bake the flour on
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Container for the cloud dough
  • Toys and utensils to interact with the cloud dough

Smiley Riley

Play dough like Cloud Dough Recipe

  • ½ cup lotion
  • Food coloring
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap for storing the cloud dough
  • Zip close bag for storing the cloud dough

Smiley Riley

Directions

Let older kiddos help you make these cloud doughs!

Powdery Cloud Dough Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour flour onto a parchment paper lined baking pan and bake for 5 minutes. Raw flour isn’t safe to be consumed. Baking the flour ensures this cloud dough recipe is safe to taste-not that it will taste well. Riley still loves to taste everything so I definitely have to make sure the flour it cooked.
  3. Pour the flour into the play container.
  4. Add the oil to the flour.
  5. Mix. I started mixing with a spoon, but ended up using my hands to finish mixing. I also let Riley help with that as part of the play.
  6. Typically, I recommend putting down a play mat or plastic table cloth, but I would recommend playing with this outside or just plan to clean your floors afterwards. Riley sent the mess everywhere; a mat wouldn’t have contained her play.

Note: Since our powdery cloud dough ended all over the floor, I didn’t save it. But if your child plays a bit neater than Riley did, I am sure you could save if for another time!

Smiley Riley

Play dough like Cloud Dough Recipe

  1. Pour lotion into a mixing bowl and add food coloring. Stir until well mixed.
  2. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  3. Lay out parchment paper and dump the cloud dough on to it.
  4. Kneed the cloud dough. If the cloud dough is sticky, add more cornstarch. If the cloud dough is too dry, add more lotion.
  5. Once your cloud dough is the right consistency, you’re ready to play!
  6. For easy storage, wrap the cloud dough tightly in plastic wrap and then place inside a zip close bag.

Tip for repeated play: If your cloud dough becomes dried out, try adding more lotion. This can help extend the life of your cloud dough!

Smiley Riley

Riley's experience

We started with the powdery cloud dough first. I had wanted to play outside, but it’s been kind of dreary outside all week. Today was a floor cleaning day anyways so it wasn’t a big deal that we couldn’t play outside. I typically lay down a mat, but I didn’t have one. I really need to order the reusable one! Anyways, we just played on the hard wood. Riley started play the way she always starts sensory play-take as much of it out of the container as possible. By 15 minutes in, all of it was on the floor. She had a blast scooping and dumping. She loved using the basting brush to dip in the cloud dough and shake off over the floor. Her favorite was using the basting brush to sweep the cloud dough all over! She giggled every time mama would say sweep as she swept. Riley definitely tried tasting this cloud dough multiple times though she wasn’t impressed with the taste. She played with this cloud dough for 30 minutes until we couldn’t push nap time off any longer.

Smiley Riley

We played with the play dough like Cloud Dough later in the afternoon before our family run. I set it out on her play mat. She played with it just like she did with the Edible Play Dough. She pinched off small pieces of it, went to eat it, and then offered them to me. We had a little row of the tiny pieces which she would then pick up and stick back on the larger blob of cloud dough. She repeated this for a bit and then just like with the play dough, she sat on it. I don’t know why she does it, but it makes me laugh every time. I showed her how to make foot prints in the dough which she found amusing. I think this recipe will be more exciting as she gets older and more into play dough. For now, we will stick with the powdery cloud dough!

Smiley Riley

Play Modifications

For older kids: The powdery Cloud Dough can also be used for writing and drawing practice. Spread it out on the counter, floor, or a shallow tray and let them practice writing letters, numbers, words, or drawing pictures. This could be a spelling/sight word activity or a listening skills activity with you directing them what to write or draw.

For preschool and older: Use the play dough like Cloud Dough for literary connections. Read a story and then use the cloud dough to recreate characters and events from the story.

Smiley Riley

Benefits

  • Fine motor skills: With each of these Cloud Doughs, your child will be strengthening their hand and finger muscles as they reach, grab, pinch, pick up, scoop, pour, shake, fling, and roll the different cloud doughs.
  • Language development: Talk with your child about what they are doing. This teaches your child that words have meaning. Expose your child to words associated with their play such as shake, pinch, grab, powdery, soft, squishy, scoop, etc. For children who are talking, have a conversation, ask questions, and expose them to new vocabulary as you talk.
  • Cognitive development: Your child is engaging multiple senses as they play. The more senses involved the stronger the neural connections being formed.
  • Gross motor skills: Riley worked on gross motor skills as she played with the powdery cloud dough. She did a lot of standing, crouching, and walking as she played.

Smiley Riley