Cloud dough is a lovely sensory experience to provide for preschool children.  It has a beautiful silky smooth texture and can smell divine… depending on which baby oil you choose to add to the mix.

Here is the recipe… and oh so easy!

8 cups of plain flour to 1 cup of baby oil.

Enjoy mixing!

Then place the dough into a sensory tray.

Next, add a variety of utensils and shaped containers to use with the dough.  My suggestion is not to place all of the utensils you may have at your disposal out at the same time.  If you stagger their introduction, the children have the opportunity to explore the potential of each item more thoroughly.  And then, with an element of suspense, they can be encouraged to come back each day to see what new items may have been added to the experience.

When children are developing an understanding of the concept of measurement (in this instance, VOLUME), it is important to provide them with a variety of ‘hands-on’ opportunities to explore it’s properties.  Through pouring materials such as sand, water, rice, beans, peas and corn from one container to another, children start to gain an understanding of the properties of volume.

They are also engaged in scientific reasoning as they manipulate materials and experiment with ’cause’ and ‘effect’.

A little bit of creative design…

… and much wonder!

For more dough (Play-dough) ideas you might like to check this link:

Not Cloud Dough: This is called Delta Sand!

Play-dough with Tooth-Picks

Play-dough Spider Webs



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Comments on: "PLAYDOUGH? NO, CLOUD DOUGH!" (62)

  1. Hey this looks great, it looks a bit like the modeling sand dough that came to on the market a couple of years ago. A great idea and an alternative to playdough.

  2. It is fun Suz! Mmmm… modelling sand dough! Sounds interesting, I shall have to look it up. 🙂

  3. Does it have to be baby oil or will any oil work? Looks like fun!

  4. I guess any oil would do. I think the baby oil is probably just about adding fragrance. Maybe test it out on reduced volumes just to see how it goes? (ie. 2 cups to 1/4 cup). I would be interested to hear how it goes. Good luck! 🙂

  5. Will it not dry out?

  6. Not in my experience Lis. Just store it in an air-tight container when not in use. 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for this! I tried it with olive oil and it worked really well. I’ve blogged about it and linked to this post. Great blog!

  8. That’s great Alice! Thank you for the feedback. Your photo’s are gorgeous! 🙂

  9. just be careful with the baby oil – even in small amounts its dangerous if ingested. the stuff baby oil is made of can really harm you if its breathed in, even mixed with flour!

    i would use the olive oil/other natural food based oils for this, if they work!

    • Thank-you Michelle for your thoughts and concern. I work with 4 – 5 year old children in my preschool environment and they tend not to put things in their mouth at this age and we do supervise their activities appropriately. I have read the relevant information on this and have reflected on how I use it with the children and believe that the risk is minimal. Vomiting results from children directly drinking baby oil and inhaling into the lungs relates to the possibility of vomit entering their lungs. There is an element of risk in everything we do in life I guess and we have to weigh this up in our work as preschool teachers. I think it is sad to limit children’s experiences on the basis of a very ‘slim’ risk factor. In the early childhood field we are really trying to move away from wrapping our children in ‘cotton wool’ and hovering over them like ‘helicopters’ to ensure their safety. Children need to explore, experiment and take risks… there is no learning without these opportunities. 🙂

  10. I appreciate that you’ve given it thought from the perspective of the children’s safety and respect your thought process in that matter.

    However, I would like to point out that baby oil is made from a non-renewable resource (mineral oil is a petroleum product) whereas olive oil or apricot oil mixed with some essential oil would be an environmentally sound choice.

    I respect that you’ll continue to use what you have, but it would be wonderful to encourage new batches to be made using environmentally healthy choices! We’ve only got one planet, after all.

  11. I am definitely going to try this soon! It looks like fun and I love the added benefit of a lovely scent! 🙂

  12. And I thought I had seen all kinds of dough! This is fabulous…so simple and the texture looks divine. We might have to try it tomorrow!

    • The texture is devine Rachelle, soft and silky. And the children just love they way it temporarily holds it’s shape. I’m sure you and your lovely children will enjoy the experience! 🙂

    The best fun we have had in a long while – messy and full of creative adventure!

  14. I am so bummed we didn’t get to try this today. It’s DEFINITELY in the plans for next week! :))

  15. Jeanie Butler said:

    Can’t wait to try this with my children today, it looks lovely. I so agree with your comments with regards to allowing children to take reasonable risk Karen. I really hope that we move away from this fear culture that we live in very soon. It is damaging for our children’s future. In this case the risks are so minimal and the benefits far out weigh them. As trained practitioners it is our job to carry out risk-benefit assessments so that our children can experience as many opportunity’s as possible. Taking risks helps children to deal with the harmful effects of any future failure.

    • I can’t agree with you more Jeanie. I had a wonderful childhood with opportunities to explore and discover in my local neighbourhood and surrounds. I climbed trees, scrapped knees… and everything in between! How can we possibly deny our own children an element of adventure and risk taking in their lives?

      Wilma is sounds as though you have the mix just right. Holds it shape when moulded but will crumble when pressure is applied. Sounds like your boys enjoyed it. You are most welcome to share a link! 🙂

  16. I love doing this with my boys. Is it supposed to be a bit crumbly? I could not get it to be like normal playdough. But we had a lot of fun, even got the 20 month old to join in. Daniel my 3 year and 2 months old, enjoyed seeing how he could “crunch” it together and then break into crumbs again! The change from solid to crumbs was very interesting. Thanks…will you be ok if I put your link on my blog?

  17. Came across this tonight on Pinterest – and my son is now playing w/ some at the dining room table. I did 2 cups white flour to 1/4 cup olive oil. I played with it for a bit (so fun!) & my hands are now super soft from the olive oil. This may have to be a new nightly play time ritual! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Tara, I could imagine this as being a great activity before bed time, very calming and relaxing… perhaps even more so with a couple of drops of lavender oil! 🙂

      Oh dear, I don’t know if your carpet will be safe with this Amy! You might need to use it in a container eith high sides! 🙂

  18. I just made some of this and the kids are going to love me when they wake up. I cut it in half because I didn’t have a whole lot of baby oil but I can see I am going to have to pick some more up. I threw the flour and oil in a ziplock bag and squished it around while I watched a movie.It was mixed before the first commercial break. So easy and it smells so good. Reminds me of Moon Dough the kids went crazy over last year. Great alternative to playdough that always manages to dry out in 2 days and get smashed in my carpet.

    Thanks so much for this.

  19. Great ideas and comments! I’m curious to know if this is okay for people with wheat allergies?

    • Hi Juliana. I would say it is not suitable for children with a wheat allergy. However, you could try it with rice flour! 🙂

  20. I made this up with my almost 6yo daughter and the 4yo boy we babysit. They really enjoyed it!. We added some powdered tempra paint to it for a bit of color and it turned out pretty neat.

    We used baby oil this time, but I like the idea of using some sort of vegetable oil and essential oils.

    These would make a great holiday gift too.

    Thanks for sharing!

  21. Just linked up your post via {Tinkerlab} on Craft Gossip…I love this Cloud Dough idea. I can’t wait to see what it feels like in person!

  22. […] Playdough? No Cloud Dough ~ Flights of Whimsy […]

  23. super cute idea! Definitely gonna share link with my readers for a favor for a hot air balloon theme party!

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

  24. […] I couldn’t keep my own hands out of the tub of floury goodness. For more cloud dough fun, Flight of Whimsy is responsible for giving me this awesome project to begin with and we made a Gluten-free version […]

  25. hey there.
    just tried this today, and seriously loved it. it felt so good in our hands, and kept my four year old son occupied for a long time. i was thinking about other oils, not because of any other reason than my curiosity on how it would feel and smell. i wonder if the baby oil mixture might actually store longer? i wonder how long it’s good for. maybe being mixed with other oils, it may have a shorter shelf life? hmmm.
    well, enough babbling. my boy and i loved the activity, thank you. 🙂

  26. […] stuff is all over the place around there, too. } You can find the original post about it here on Flights of Whimsy. She calls it cloud dough, I call it […]

  27. grannie elbow said:

    I think a vegetable oil would go rancid after a while.

  28. Great stuff!

    This is exactly the texture of Moon Dough–but smells terrific!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂

  29. I tried to make this just now, but in a smaller amount. I did 2 c flour & 1/4 c baby oil. It didn’t work… It was very crumbly. Any idea what I did wrong?

  30. Just made this with my 3.5 year old in preparation for a nighttime/space theme we are doing with our Mommy and Me program which I direct. We had lots of fun building mountains and moon craters, hiding astronauts and driving their little moon rovers through the dough. The texture was great and smells lovely!

  31. […] looked online for a DIY alternative of Moon Sand and came across Flights of Whimsy’s Cloud Dough. I thought the Cloud Dough would be a good DIY version of Moon Sand, so gave it a […]

  32. […] crafty ?!  if so, ‘cloud dough‘ is a wonderful sensory craft that your kiddos will LOVE playing with. even i had a hard time […]

  33. Found this on pinterest, and wanted to add my experience to the discussion on the safety of baby oil – not to discount the risk/benefit analysis you’ve done, Karen, but simply to make people aware.

    We mixed the dough, and while my kids were playing with it, I began to sneeze uncontrollably, and within minutes was having a full-on attack of sinus inflammation. The mixture was still very powdery, and I apparently was breathing in the oil-soaked flour that was puffing into the air. I know that aspirated baby oil is toxic, but I had not considered any scenario other than the ingestion/vomit/aspiration one. My kids were not bothered by it, so perhaps I am sensitive or allergic to baby oil, but have always been able to handle it without a problem, so had no idea. The sinus problems lasted several days, but I am thankful it was only my nasal passages and not my lungs that were affected.

    Just wanted to share the info so that readers would be aware of the possibility of a previously unsuspected allergy or intolerance causing problems. If this works just as well with vegetable oil and a little fragrance, it seems discretionary to use that which is known to be safe.

  34. Thank you for this!!!!! Such a fun idea!

  35. […] recently pointed me in the direction of something new to try for my girls, particularly Elspeth: Cloud dough! It’s a little bit like playdough, but softer and silkier. It’s almost a bit like sand. […]

  36. This is great; my kiddo loved it! Only problem? He now wants to plunge his hands in the flour every time we bake. ;D

  37. I just found this on Pinterest. What a fun idea! I did this but added a few drops of food colouring to the baby oil. It was so much fun to mix the colors and watch my own children mix different cloud colors together. I love mixing art and science together. I can hardly wait to try this in a classroom. Thanks for sharing the idea!


  38. […] first came across Cloud Dough last year via Rachelle at Tinkerlab, who in turn had spotted it on Flights of Whimsy. When making our Pink Valentine Salt Dough, I introduced Pari to Cloud Dough, but since we were so […]

  39. OOOH! So happy to know that olive oil worked! I dont like the idea of using baby oil. We will HAVE to try this! Thanks!!

  40. roseann said:

    Sounds like fun. Will definitely try this with my Pre-Kinder class.

  41. Posted this today to go along with our first snow!

  42. […] Cloud play dough (recipe via Flights of Whimsy) […]

  43. […] Rosemary Lavender Soap How to Make Brown Sugar Cloud Dough – I wish I had known about this when my kids were little. It must smell awesome! Crocheted […]

  44. […] (di […]

  45. […] Make your own play-dough: oatmeal, cinnamon, kool-aid, or fun cloud dough […]

  46. […] know I have posted about cloud dough before.  Of all the pinterest sensory ideas we have tried, this is by far my favorite.  Based on […]

  47. […] In order to reduce my stress of last-minute tasks,  I went to my “Concoctions” board on Pinterest where I pin recipes to make stuff like slime, chalk, and homemade paints.  I knew I would have the materials to do something on that board in my house somewhere.  The first thing I saw was “cloud dough”.  There are approximately a billion (slight exaggeration) recipes for cloud dough online.  You can find edible cloud dough, gluten-free cloud dough, multi-colored cloud dough…you get the point.  I went with the original recipe that I pinned from Flights of Whimsy. […]

  48. […] Впервые я увидела как эта смесь использовалась для игры в песочницу здесь:  Flights of Whimsy […]

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