Easy cloud dough is probably my favourite sensory dough. It is a simple and forgiving recipe, using only two ingredients. Cloud dough has consistency and Newtonian quality similar to kinetic sand: it can both hold its shape and crumble apart, allowing for many different types of play. However, it is less ‘gritty’ and far cheaper than store-bought kinetic sand. It also has a slightly fluffy texture, making it much more accessible and enjoyable for children with sensory sensitivities. And it looks so beautiful, right?
In my real-life preschool, I make this recipe at least once a week! During lockdown, we used to send a little tub of the soft stuff home for our preschoolers, to support continued play-based learning. Here’s why:
- Cloud dough is super versatile: children can play with it in dozens of different ways and it supports all types of play-based learning.
- It is made from just two supermarket ingredients, which are affordable for most.
- It is quick to make, with no cooking required.
- It is a great recipe for reducing waste: you can use ingredients that have passed their best-before date, or have been sitting in the pantry a bit too long.
- It is much more comfortable than sand or clay for children with sensory sensitivities or reduced hand strength.
- It is salt-free, reducing the temptation for children to eat the dough!
- Cloud dough is easier to clean up than play-dough because it doesn’t harden. Just let it dry, then vacuum it up.
Best Easy Cloud Dough Recipe – No Cook
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 mixing spoon
- 1 measuring cup
- food processor optional
- 8 cups corn starch Known as corn flour in Australia and UK. Use the white "squeaky" flour, not the yellow flour.
- 1 cup any oil-based and non-toxic liquid This can be vegetable oil, hair conditioner, body lotion. Use vegetable oil for children who put things in their mouths!
- 10 drops food-safe colouring You can use food colouring, liquid water colours, or your own home-made vegetable dyes
- 1 pinches sparkles For example, biodegradable glitter or sequins.
- Place flour in the bowl, and make a well.
- Add in your oil based liquid and mix thoroughly. For an extra-smooth mixture, blend on high speed in a food processor for 2 mins, occasionally scraping the sides.
- If using colour and/ or sprinkles, gradually add it to the mixture while mixing/ blending until it is the desired colour.
- Adjust the quantities of flour/ liquid until you have a consistency that is similar to kinetic sand – the dough should be able to "pour" nicely while staying connected,