Cloud Dough – the recipe for this home-made sensory play material is the easiest of all the things I’ve ever made! Then, why such a dreamy, fairytale-like, even otherworldly-sounding name?
I think because when playing with it the child feels on ‘cloud nine’ – as in – on top of the world! Really, that’s how Pari has responded to this simple, sensory material.
Well, that’s just my version! Or may be it was named so due to how it looks when moulded between hands. Yes, it does look like white, silky, fluffy clouds when you take a hand-full and form it with your hand clutched into a fist.
Cloud Dough has an immediate ‘WOW’ effect on the child the moment it’s touched. The mould-able consistency and silky smooth texture between hands feels instantly soothing and pleasing to the senses. It’s kind of like wet sand – very easy to sculpt without any stickiness.
And, unlike playdough or salt dough, the child can disintegrate it without any effort. It can be sent back to its powdery form within seconds. And then remoulded at the blink of an eye!
Cloud Dough will mesmerize every child – no matter what the age. For younger kids – as in toddlers, this could be the best sensory material, I think. No exaggeration there.
Don’t take my words for it, see the pictures. (too bad I had to click with my 7-year old Point-and-Shoot camera as I left my Canon DSLR at my friend’s place – thanks to my absent mindedness. I need to go pick it up one of these days.)
Oh, and check out the recipe and the different ways to play with Cloud Dough. And even do some art and rangoli! Yes, possible!
I 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 eager to make the pink salt dough for the hearts, we didn’t spend much time with the cloud dough.
Last month though, I recalled it and made a note to buy Baby Oil (required for the recipe). And over the last few weeks, Pari has played with it very often and for hours at a stretch.
Recipe for Cloud Dough
It’s simple as simple can be! Really.
8 parts all-purpose flour (maida) and one part Baby Oil. Actually, if you don’t have baby oil at your disposal, you can use any other oil. Out of the number of times we’ve made cloud dough, we’ve used Baby Oil only once. The other times we used Olive Oil plus a little Baby Oil.
I think Baby Oil is recommended for its soothing smell and may be the texture too. But, olive oil worked just as beautifully for us. Tinkerlab had used Canola Oil and were happy with it. For the smell, I’d recommend using any essential oil. We used Rose.
See, the recipe is that simple. Can it get any more simple than this!
Now the fun begins! And, hey, it’s fun for us moms when it comes to the cleaning part, too. I say this because it’s not sticky, and can be easily picked up just by pressing fingers.
As always, I let Pari make her own. I gave her the canister of flour, the measuring cup, and a large steel tray (I use it to knead dough for rotis).
If you’re making this for a younger child – a toddler or a baby, I’d recommend using Olive Oil or any other edible oil rather than Baby Oil. For baby oil can be toxic if ingested or inhaled. It can even cause eye irritation if rubbed accidentally. I might try coconut oil next time. Although, if you want to store the cloud dough in refrigerator for later use, the coconut oil tends to harden.
So, whether you’re using Olive oil or Coconut Oil or hey even Sesame seed (lin seed) oil – the added advantage is the beneficial effect of these oils on the skin!
Pari and her friend played in their own individual trays and each used her own set of tools as per liking to tinker with.
Cloud Dough Bakery
Pari had used the cup cake moulds before so she was eager to try other knick knacks. While her friend was fascinated making the cup cakes one after the other.
And decorating with coloured pebbles…
Some dried fruits from the Casuarina tree…
Pari making Cloud Dough Pies…
Moulding with shells!
Cloud Dough Art and Rangoli
This part was enthralling! I have to admit – I want to make my own batch of clough dough to try out all the artful possibilities like these.
The impressionable texture of cloud dough lended itself beautifully to these wooden blocks meant for stamping/printing on fabric or paper.
The best part about cloud dough is – unlike playdough/salt dough – the kid doesn’t have to knead it every time he/she wants to undo the previous activity. Just rub it between fingers and its back to its powdery form again to start afresh. I think this is a huge advantage.
Some more Cloud Dough art – this time with patterned rolling pins
Back to Pretend Cooking – chop chop chop….!
All you need is a business card to go about chopping the cloud dough…
Once they were done, I collected all the cloud dough and stored it in an air tighter container in the fridge. This can be used for days or even weeks.
One batch that we made was nearly 10 days back and we’re still using it.
Have you made Cloud Dough? If not, I highly recommend. It comes in really handy on a hot boring afternoon to keep the kiddo engrossed while you get some ‘me’ time!
Some more sensory play ideas: