This week for Try It Tuesday, I wanted to share a fun sensory activity. I love how sensory activities allow children to explore, and play while building life skills at the same time. This sensory sand is something we have been playing with since well before my daughter turned two years old. You may know this recipe by the name of cloud dough, but we put our own twist on it one day when I had to get a little creative with the ingredients I had on hand. Since my daughter was so young, my number one priority was making sure the ingredients were edible, just in case she decided to put her hands in her mouth. This activity allows my daughter to squish, dig, scoop, and pour, and I have seen a huge improvement in her skills with a spoon at the dinner table. Read on for the easy peasy recipe!
- Flour ( 4 cups per batch we use both white, and wheat flour to make this “sand”)
- Canola Oil/vegetable oil (1 cup per batch)
- Large shallow storage container. We use a large 28-quart storage bucket, the kind that you can store under your bed.
- Mixing bowl
- Large wooden spoon
- White flour
- Wheat flour
- Canola oil/vegetable oil
- Measuring cups
- Small cups, gold coins, shovels, small buckets, gold rocks, measuring spoons.
- Gather your materials
- Measure out four cups of wheat flour, and dump your flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add one cup of oil to the mixing bowl.
- Stir your flour, and oil together as much as you can.
- Use your hands to mix and knead the mixture together, or pour it out in your large storage container like I did, and have your child do the mixing.
- Repeat steps 2-5 again with white flour this time. When you get to step five, your child will need to help you mix, and smash the white, and wheat mixture together by hand. I like to use both white, and wheat flour, because wheat flour makes the dough look like real sand, while the white flour makes the mixture a little less course. White flour is fine and feels like silk, and wheat flour is course, and gritty when mixed with oil. When you mix white flour, wheat flour, and oil together, you get the perfect wet, moldable sand!
- Now you are ready to add your buckets, shovels, measuring spoons, and other toys. Our favorite thing to do is hide gold coins in the sand and pretend to dig for gold.
Traditional cloud dough recipe calls for 8 cups of regular white flour, to one cup of oil. My recipe doubles the oil, because I like the sand to be even more moldable. You could always play with the flour, to oil ratio to get the consistency that you, and your child prefer. For example, this time around, I added two more cups of white flour, and two more cups of wheat flour to the mix to see how my daughter liked the texture with more flour than we usually use. It turns out she was more into our traditional recipe that I shared with you today. If you have a mixing bowl big enough, you could mix both types of flour, and all of the oil into one batch, however I love letting my daughter explore the two different textures before she mixes them all together.
This is definitely a messy activity, so you could do it outside, or you could just sweep, or vacuum afterwards. I hope we have inspired you to whip up a batch of sensory sand with your little ones. It’s always nice to have an easy go to recipe on hand for a little sensory fun! If you have questions, feel free to drop us a comment. Don’t forget to check back next week for our next Try It Tuesday activity, and feel free to browse our past Try It Tuesday posts for more fun ideas!