I have been wanting to make cloud dough for ages. If you haven't seen it making the rounds on the interwebs/Pinterest universe, "cloud dough" is just eight parts flour mixed with one part oil. And while oil and water don't mix, oil and flour make a soft, moldable, sand-like pile of awesomeness.
I am not (yet) a mom who owns or makes sensory bins and all that great stuff, but this activity has converted me—and you'll definitely need a container for cloud dough! We used the lid of a large plastic bin and it worked perfectly. I've listed the basic recipe below, but there are a million variations you can try, from a good-morning "Orange-and-Cinnamon" recipe to a good-night "Calming Lavender," or a fun "Shivery Snow" mix (adding silver glitter and peppermint or cinnamon) to a Pinkalicious-inspired "Pink Cupcake" recipe. If you want to add color, word on the street is that powdered paint is the way to go. If you opt for baby oil instead of cooking oil, just make sure your little ones don't try to eat the cloud dough.
You wouldn't expect it, but flour and oil combined create a wonderfully soft, superfine sandlike substance that just feels amazing in your (or your toddler's) hands. You can easily mold it with measuring or toy cups, your hands, or—in our case—half a plastic penguin. We had fun making walls with it and then (of course!) smashing them. And we created beachy landscapes where my two-year-old could drive his cars or create a forest of cut-up straws. I had fun with it, too.
Though we are cloud dough newbies, you can apparently store cloud dough for months in a closed container. We're definitely going to do that—cloud dough is a keeper!
8 cups flour
1 cup oil
Pour the flour in your bin or container, form a well for the oil, then combine the two. Your (or your kiddo's) hands work just as well as a whisk or mixer. You can easily cut the recipe in half, but if you have more than one child involved (or, if you want to play), then you'll want to make the full recipe!