Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Kid Play: Cloud Dough

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about letting the kiddo play in some cloud dough, and I've received some questions about what that actually is, so let me fill y'all in. :)

First thing, I don't have any photos. Sorry! This stuff is kind of messy, even when I'm not playing in it, and I didn't want my camera to get gunked up. Seriously, I wound up with bits of flour all the way up to my elbows the other day, and I have no idea how that happened. All I did was dump the dough into the tub for her.

Secondly, I originally got the idea (and the recipe) from Pinterest; specifically, from the blog Juggling With Kids, and even more specifically, this post here. I hadn't heard of cloud dough before, and if I've seen it before, I didn't remember it.

Cloud dough is amazingly easy to make. The recipe I found called for 8 cups of flour (presumably all-purpose flour; that's what I used) and 1 cup of baby oil. The flour I had on-hand already, and I found a tub (side-note: it's only a litter box if that's what you actually use it for) and a bottle of baby oil at the local Dollar Tree for a buck apiece.

I made just a half-recipe to start because I wasn't sure the kiddo would like it. This was over a year ago, and we're still on the same batch of cloud dough. I've been keeping it in a plastic gallon freezer bag (also found at the Dollar Tree!), and it's kept just fine on a shelf. I don't know why it wouldn't, just that I can't say the same thing about the batch of Oobleck I tried making - that stuff grew moldy in a week or two, and was gross. The cloud dough, though, is still going strong.

Based on my own experiences, I recommend this activity for kids over a year old. The first time I tried letting the girl play with it, she wasn't quite a year old yet (9-10 months old, maybe?) and was mostly interested in taste-testing. The next time was about six months later, and she loved burying my hands in the dough. No more taste-testing. She's almost two now, and she delights in using some measuring cups and spoons to help her mold the dough and make shapes in it.

When we play, I put the tub of dough into the bathtub, and when she's done, the dough goes back into its baggie and everything else gets washed right there in the bathtub, including the kiddo. She's old enough now that she helps me wipe down the flour gunk off the bathtub floor, which is nice. :) This is a great activity (for my household, at least) to do right before nap-time, because of the clean-up bath. It might just be my kid, but she loves baths and playing in the water, and it is very soothing for her.

You can find more of my collection of kid projects and play ideas here and here, and my main Pinterest page is here.

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