Make Your Own 2-Ingredient Cloud Dough

What in the world is cloud dough you ask?  Well, it’s about the easiest stuff in the world to make!  It doesn’t really get your hands sticky to play with, yet it holds together much like wet sand so that you can create with it like making sand castles at the beach!  We made our first batch of cloud dough a few weeks ago and Luke and Lilah played with it for at least an hour!  Such a fun sensory material! 🙂

The recipe for cloud dough is simple; it calls for 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of oil, such as olive or vegetable. (My previous recommendation was to make cloud dough with baby oil; however after reading reports of how baby oil can be harmful and potentially fatal if inhaled or ingested, I now recommend using a food grade oil.  Especially if your child is under age 2 or you are concerned about your child putting the cloud dough in his/her mouth, please use a food grade oil instead of baby oil!  Close parental supervision is always recommended.)  

I know pretty much anything involving flour and kids is going to be messy, so we took our fun outside!  We hauled the (empty) baby pool out into the yard and both kids climbed in with a tray.  We split the recipe so that each child got half of it in their tray — 4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of baby oil each.  

I let them experiment with just the flour to begin with:


Then we added in the baby oil and started mixing:


We mixed it up with our hands right in the tray.  I helped.  It does get your hands a little messy, but it brushes off pretty easily.  We ended up adding a little bit of extra baby oil.  I don’t think amounts matter too much; just add enough baby oil to get a good, mold-able consistency. 

Once mixed, the real fun began.  



When their attention would start to wane a bit, I’d hand them a new gadget to play with: silicone muffin cups, emptied applesauce cups, measuring spoons.  


I helped Luke build a mountain.  Then he sprinkled it with cloud dough and said it was snowing! 


Lilah was very into “cooking” things with her cloud dough.  



“Look, Mom!  I made a meatball!”


Then we got out some trucks.  In Luke’s world, EVERYTHING is better with trucks!


Together we made a track for the trucks.  Luke also made a hill for them to drive over…and eventually destroy!!




Lilah got a turn, too.  She enjoyed burying the truck. 


Luke and Lilah enjoyed playing for at least an hour.  In the end, this is why we did this activity OUTSIDE and in a contained area:


We scraped up what was left of the cloud dough and put it into a 1/2 gallon jar to use again next time!


 Have you made cloud dough?

I first read about cloud dough here at Flights of Whimsy, though since then I’ve seen it featured on many sites, some of which call it moon dough; I like the name cloud dough better though so as not to confuse it with this commerically available product called moon dough

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Deborah says:

    Can you believe that I haven’t tried this yet? I may have to pull out some flour this week and give it a go!

  • Ali says:

    I love the way you wait for the kids’ attention to wander before adding in a new element, I am terrible at that. I love your photos.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks….what a wonderful idea.

  • Anonymous says:

    Baby oil is toxic if eaten! Besure you kids don’t put it in their mouth. It can be made with vegetable oil, you just don’t get the nice baby oil smell.

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  • I like how you put it in the kiddy pool. Great idea. I will be using it next time I do something messy! New follower. Hope to see you at True Aim.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this idea and I love that you used the baby pool. My kids come with me to work and my 5 year old has started to get bored with the same ole same ole so I think that I will have to try this and bring a baby pool to work and try this out( and maybe a change of cloths for them). New follower also!

  • Anonymous says:

    I made this with my 3 year old today. I had been meaning to try it for a while and I am so glad I did. It kept her busy for over 2 hours! She even took a bath in it at one point. Sat right down in the sensory bin and rubbed it all over her skin calling it soap. What fun!

  • Hey i love this plz do more of this kind of stuff like play doh or clay

  • Danielle says:

    Trying this tonight to use at cousin camp tomorrow! Thanks for the great tips!

  • Joyce Strickland says:

    thanks. this looks great!

  • […] used this recipe that I’ve had pinned on my Kid Stuff Pinterest Board for the longest time.  The recipe used […]

  • Tiffany says:

    Can baby oil gel be used instead

  • DR says:

    Nice article. Love to share this with children.

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