I love cloud dough - it's so easy to make and it's really silky and smooth. We used some to make a sweet invitation to play for Valentine's Day.
Cloud dough is great for squishing, stretching and shaping. It's the ideal material to help little ones develop their manual dexterity and improve fine motor skills.
It's also perfect for STEM learning. It's made using cornflour, so it can be more liquid or solid depending on how it's handled (a non-Newtonian fluid). Cloud dough is great for exploring and testing theories - how it reacts to being manipulated, dropped, etc.
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As with any sensory play, handling cloud dough is extremely therapeutic and great for calming down anxieties or dealing with emotions, plus it's a great opportunity for conversations and developing vocabulary.
It's also a great tool to encourage imagination, and when children to express their ideas through creating they learn symbolic thinking (pretending that the dough is something else).
How to make cloud dough
2 parts cornflour (cornstarch)
1 part baby lotion
a couple of drops of food colouring
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Once the mixture has come together in a dough, take it out and give it a good knead until it is totally smooth. If the mixture is a little wet or dry, just adjust the amount of cornflour or baby lotion.
To our valentines cloud dough we added some heart sprinkles and mixed them in. I put this on a tray along with some fake rose petals, lolly sticks, fake roses, a wooden rolling pin and a stamper.
Mr 6 started by balling up the dough, giving it a good sniff (the smell from the baby lotion is lovely), and then sticking some flowers in.
Then he rolled it out into a heart shape. He said he put the flowers in for Mummy as it's Valentine's Day!
He found that the dough was perfect for stamping and turning into pretty flowers too.
He squished it into a square shape, made patterns on the top, then told he was cutting 'a slice of cake' which I pretended to nibble.
Mr 6 also experimented with its gluing properties by making a structure using the lolly sticks.
Luckilly he was wearing an old pair of trousers as things got a little messy! Cloud dough comes out totally fine in the wash anyway (phew!)
Want to give this fun sensory play a go? Why not pin it for later:
Looking for more ideas! Try these: