How to Make Cloud Dough

Because of all the rain we have been experiencing lately, my two boys and I have been occupying our time with many indoor activities.  A new one that we have been trying is cloud dough, a silky smooth dough that is easily moldable.  While it only takes two ingredients and a few minutes to make, it will keep the kids entertained for far longer!

The recipe calls for 8 parts flour, and 1 part cooking oil, so be prepared to get a little messy!  It is important to keep in mind that although I’ve found other recipes calling for baby oil, rather than cooking oil, this is harmful if ingested, so please stick with cooking oil!  Little ones tend to explore with their mouths, so it’s better not to take any chances.

Making the dough is fun for kids of all ages, who will enjoy running their little fingers through it during the mixing process.  This also presents a good opportunity to discuss measurements with the kids!  After the dough is made, I suggest adding various items in order to create a sensory experience for toddlers, while older kids will discover open-ended opportunities for creativity.

*This recipe produces the perfect amount of dough for one child.  Therefore, I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe for a group activity.  As long as you stick to a ratio of eight parts flour, to one part oil, you can make as much, or as little, as you need.


What You Need:

  • Large plastic container with lid
  • 8 cups flour
  • 1 cup cooking oil (Canola Oil works great!)
  • Anything to entice your kids’ minds!
    • Sand toys
    • Tweezers and magnifying glass – for picking up small objects (builds fine motor skills and strengthens fingers for writing and cutting)
    • Plastic dinosaurs
    • Flowers for planting and uprooting
    • Sensory table
    • Plastic letters


  1. Pour 8 cups flour into large plastic container.  Try to keep the flour in a mound, as it will be easier to mix.
  2. Add 1 cup cooking oil.
  3. Mix the two ingredients until the dough becomes moldable and develops a crumbly texture.
  4. Encourage kids to start exploring the dough, and its hidden treasures!
  5. When finished for the day, pile tools on top of the dough in the bin, and cover with lid.  The dough will stay fresh for weeks when stored this way.