We first played with homemade cloud dough just over a year ago!  It has an amazing texture, crumbly and moldable at the same time. Bonus, it has just 2 ingredients! Cloud dough can be a bit messy but cleans up easily and feels amazing on the hands. Cloud dough has to be one of our favorite sensory recipes.


What is Cloud Dough?

Cloud dough is a simple recipe of two ingredients, flour and oil. The combination creates a silky mixture that can be packed and molded but is still crumbly. It is light and airy, and it doesn’t leave a sticky mess on the hands. Bonus, it sweeps up easily too!

There are two simple ways to make cloud dough. One is taste-safe (vegetable oil), and the other is this cloud dough recipe below {baby oil}. Both use only two ingredients and can be made in two minutes. All you need is flour and oil.

You may also hear cloud dough referred to as moon sand, although we have a different recipe for that too!

You can also make cloud dough bubble and fizz , smell like hot chocolate, or even Christmas cookies! Check out 10 fun variations of cloud dough!


Why Sensory Play with Cloud Dough?

Soft, moldable, light, and airy… These characteristics make our cloud dough recipe an amazing sensory play material. Recently our homemade cloud dough is a real favorite for go-to sensory play activities.

Sensory play makes for awesome hands-on fun and learning for young kids as they explore and discover more about the world through their senses! Sensory activities can also calm a child, help a child to focus, and engage a child.


  • Sensory play helps a child explore, discover, and create using motor skills like dumping, filling, and scooping.
  • It is great for social and independent play; sensory activities allow children to play cooperatively or side by side. My son has had many positive experiences with other children over a bin of rice!
  • Sensory play increase language development. Kids get to experience with their hands all there is to see and do, which leads to great conversations and opportunities to model language.
  • Many sensory activities include a few ways to use the 5 senses! Touch, sight, sounds, taste, and smell are our 5 senses.
  • Sensory play recipes are calming for many kiddos who are anxious or worried. You might find that one works better than another for your kiddo. Some sensory play materials can settle and soothe, while others can help keep kids’ attention and connection with you.

Easy Cloud Dough Recipe

PLEASE NOTE: This cloud dough recipe is not taste-safe! But you can easily make it taste safe by switching baby oil for cooking oil. Raw flour should not be consumed.


  • Bin or container
  • 5 cups of flour (we have used all different kinds including gluten-free and buckwheat!)
  • 1 cup of baby oil (or cooking oil for taste-safe)
  • Play tools (we chose playdough accessories, kitchen tools, and a small plastic bowl)

How to Make Cloud Dough

STEP 1. Add flour to a bowl.


STEP 2: Add oil to the flour and mix (optional add food coloring)


You should be able to grab a chunk of the dough, mold it and have it hold. If not, you may need more oil. If it is too oily, add more flour!

STEP 3. Transfer the mixture to a clean baking pan or sensory bin to play! Add tools and play accessories to your moldbale dough, and it is time to play!

  • Scoops
  • Sand Molds
  • Playdough Tools
  • Potato Mashers
  • Cookie Cutters

Make a Cloud Dough Sensory Bin

This is an awesome sensory bin to dig your hands into! I love to play with it as well. It feels soft on the skin and doesn’t leave a heavy residue on the hand. Bonus, it sweeps up easily too! Add any of your scented extracts to it for scented dough.

It’s easy to add a theme! Add seashells for a quick beach sensory bin, themed cookie cutters for a holiday, or pirate treasure and go on a hunt. Construction vehicles are sure to be a hit as well.

Check out tons of sensory bin ideas!

This sea turtle is having a blast!


Make another batch and add blue food coloring to the oil and tropical fish for an ocean theme! Now you have both a beach and an ocean.


More Fun Sensory Play Recipes To Try

Free Sensory Play Guide

Are you Looking for more cool ways to explore the senses? Try these simple sensory recipes for sensory play. Grab the free sensory play guide and get started!


  1. Hi I plan on using your great recipe for cloud dough! I have used moon sand before but recipe seems similar but more economical ! I wondered how long it lasts – can you store it for a week? Also if I wanted to make it a certain colour would food colouring work or make it too moist? Thank you

  2. I enjoy you sharing your posts that are geared towards kids learning development. Can you please email me updated. It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Noreen Brieschke

  3. I teach Jr Children’s Church so we meet only on Sunday. How long can you keep cloud dough without trouble with mold?

  4. I am not sure beyond a couple weeks. Loosely covered is your best bet so that it doesn’t get damp. It may dry out a bit, but you can add a bit of oil to it. It will be an experiment!

  5. I would just like to add that unless the flour had been heat treated even with the cooking oil it should not be considered taste safe.

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