To make our plain cloud dough a little more festive for the upcoming Christmas season, we turned it into GINGERBREAD! Gingerbread cloud dough is as easy to make as regular cloud dough, you just add a little bit of cinnamon and ginger in with the flour and oil, and it smells great, too! Then you and your kids can create a Gingerbread Man Cookie Bake Shop for hours of sensory play time fun!
We already had cloud dough made from a previous play time, so we just mixed in cinnamon and ginger to our existing cloud dough, but if you want to make yours from scratch, you can see the super simple recipe here in my first post: Make Your Own Two-Ingredient Cloud Dough. Then just add in ground cinnamon and ginger spices — as much or as little as you want!
Once the kids had mixed up our gingerbread cloud dough, I placed it in trays so they could make gingerbread man cookies!
We gathered up some gingerbread man and woman cookie cutters that we normally use with our play dough, as well as some circle cookie cutters, and some craft materials we could use to decorate our gingerbread man cookies, like buttons, beads, yarn, marbles, bottle caps, and various other bits and pieces.
The kids sat in front of the fireplace and made cookies to their hearts content. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy, cold afternoon!
Here are a few things to consider…
- Cloud dough does not hold together as well as play dough.
- It’s more like building a sand castle with fine sand. It’s a GREAT sensory material, but depending on the age and developmental level of your child, making something as “concrete” as a cookie without it falling apart might take an adult’s help to cut down on frustration. On the other hand, it definitely builds fine motor skills and concentration, and is a more challenging material that older children will enjoy!
- Cloud dough is messier than play dough.
- I definitely suggest a tray or a big plastic tote with low sides for containing it. The first few times we used it, I even put it inside our plastic swimming pool and did it outside. My kids are old enough now, and have done enough messy activities that I know I can trust them to use something like this is a less-controlled environment. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- Cloud dough lasts for a really long time!
- This new gingerbread cloud dough is made from the same cloud dough we made back in May, so it lasts a REALLY long time and is very cheap to make!!
- If your cloud dough is very crumbly, add more oil to the mix to get it to a good stick-together consistency for this project.
- If it’s not holding together well, add oil and work it in a little at a time until you get it “right.” That worked for us. As you can see in the pictures, Luke’s cloud dough worked better than Lilah’s and it was because I took these pictures after working more oil into Luke’s. After I worked more into Lilah’s, hers was much better, too.
More Ideas & Extensions:
- Read the Gingerbread Man story book! This is the one we like the best!
- Recite lines from the book while you make a gingerbread man!
- Set up a bake shop & store for even more pretend play.
- After playing, bake REAL gingerbread cookies.
- Create a big batch of Gingerbread Cloud Dough for a seasonal play date or an upcoming birthday party!
- Create Gingerbread Man Cloud Dough Kits including gingerbread cloud dough and some materials for decorating to give to friends.
- Be sure to include a note that the items are for play only and not edible!!
Please note: Gingerbread cloud dough and the gingerbread cookies made from gingerbread cloud dough are NOT for consumption! Please closely supervise your child(ren) during this activity to ensure they do not put any of the materials into their mouths as many of the items are choking hazards. You know best the age, abilities, and habits of your child, so please use your best judgement when choosing safe, appropriate activities for your child.
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