Autumn Themed Cloud Dough

A sensory activity to try

This really simple cloud dough recipe is great to try with little learners – in fact, get them involved with MAKING the dough too!

You will need:

This cloud dough recipe couldn’t be simpler to make. We used:

  • 500g of cornflour
  • 2 large cups of cooled boiled water (check temperature of water before giving to children)
  • Red and Yellow food gel
  • Nature treasures
  • Kitchen utensils / fine motor tools
  • Large tub

Ordinarily, oil is also used to make cloud dough however as we only have expensive olive oil left in the house, I decided to omit that part of the recipe. It still worked really well!

Z made this cloud dough herself. First she tipped the cornflour in to the large tub, then started to mix in the food colouring. She then kept adding in splashes of the water to form this ‘dough.’

She spent most of her time making ‘volcanoes’ with the funnels and making prints with the pinecones. In total, she spent somewhere between 30-45 minutes playing with this sensory tub.

This type of mixture really doesn’t keep long due to the bacteria that can harbour in uncooked flour – I always throw them out after the day of play. To get a bit more out of the play, we made an oobleck like ‘soup’ afterwards which you can read about here.

Key Learning

  • STEAM: the cornflour and water will squish together to make dough. This is fun for little ones to experiment and explore.
  • Sensory play: engaging the senses to explore the materials presented.
  • Early Math: this is a good introduction to capacity, especially if extra resources are added like bowls and additional containers.
  • Language development: we talked colours, quantities, textures amongst other things whilst we played.

Age Recommendations

You could introduced this type of activity between the ages of 12 – 18 months IF your babe has stopped putting everything in their mouths. I am always cautious around raw flour because it can harbour bacteria – it’s the cooking that kills it off. This is mainly why I take the step to use cooled boiled water rather than straight from the tap.

The key to success with any of these activities is to really know where your child is at developmentally. For example, I would not have introduced this activity to E (my 17 month old) when he was in the tipping and dumping phase a couple of months back because we would’ve ended up with a mess on the floor within seconds!

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