14 Different Cloud Dough Recipes

Cloud Dough is a wonderful messy play activity – known as edible sand; the children love to mould it, fill and empty containers and use various scoops to explore the texture of Cloud Dough.

This post focuses on the different forms of cloud dough that we can make – from using food colouring, to making fake snow, hiding dinosaur fossil toys or adding various food flavouring – the fun is endless!

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

Please remember to have a bowl, tray and cover to hand – especially when using food colouring and vinegar (for the fizzling cloud dough activity).

1. Simple Cloud Dough

It may sound simple but this form of cloud dough is a favourite! It looks just like sand, but it’s edible! Lots of fun for little ones – you can even add sprinkles to make it colourful! The recipe is simple – it’s just three steps!

  1. Step One Add 2 cups flour to a large bowl.
  2. Step Two Mix 1/4 cup of oil and stir.
  3. Step Three Knead the dough with your hands to fully distribute the oil.

We used simple cloud dough in our Christmas Messy Play Box.  

2. Coloured Cloud Dough

Adding colour to cloud dough makes it a wonderful activity and engages the children to explore. Why not making different colours for a colou recognition activity? 

  1. Step One Add 2 cups flour to a large bowl.
  2. Step Two Mix 1/4 cup of oil with 1 Tsp of water colour food colouring – gel colouring isn’t affective
  3. Step Three Add the coloured oil to the flour; stir to combine.
  4. Step Four Knead the dough with your hands to fully distribute colour and oil.

An example to use the different colours would be a ‘On the Farm’ Tuff Spot Tray – you could make blue cloud dough for the pond, brown for the mud and green for the grass.

3. Scented Cloud Dough

There are so many wonderful food flavouring’s you can add to the cloud dough. My favourite are lavender, vanilla, lemon, strawberry and apple to name a few!

  1. Step One Add 2 cups flour to a large bowl.
  2. Step Two Mix 1/4 cup of oil with 1 Tsp of the food flavouring.
  3. Step Three Add the scented oil to the flour; stir to combine.
  4. Step Four Knead the dough with your hands to fully distribute the scent and oil.

This is a wonderful activity for the children – it brings the sensory side to messy play – bringing various, wonderful smells for the children to explore.

4. Birthday Cloud Dough – Using Cake Sprinkles! 

This is such a wonderful activity to celebrate a birthday.  The children can add party hats, pieces of birthday cake, sprinkles, cake cases, the list is endless! 

To make this lovely activity, use

6 -8 cups plain flour (depending on how much you want to make!)

1-2 cups vegetable oil (or baby oil if you’re sure the kids won’t put any in their mouths)

4-5 drops vanilla extract

confetti sprinkles (optional!)

As mentioned in the previous recipes, add the flour into the bowl, then mix the vegetable oil with vanilla extract…. once you have placed the mixture in a tray of your choice, place all the other birthday items and sprinkles onto the tray.  This makes the perfect Messy Play Birthday!

Your child/children will spend a long time with this activity – I have made it for many birthday parties I have previously planned.

5. Christmas Cookie Cloud Dough

This was made for our Christmas Messy Play Boxes – the smell was amazing!

For this recipe, I found a Cookie Dough Food Essence to add! The cloud dough mixture included some Christmas sprinkles to add in colour.  I used the same recipe as the Birthday Cloud Dough but with the Cookie Dough, rather than the vanilla.

6. Hot Chocolate Cloud Dough! 

This smells amazing – very tempting to eat!

  • 5cups of flour
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • mini marshmallows

Place the 5 cups of flour into a bowl, add the half a cup full of cocoa in next. Then add in the 1 cup of vegetable oil and then give it a good mix. Mini Marshmallows can be added for children with supervision as it’s a choking hazard to babies.

We used chocolate cloud dough in our Woodland Messy Play Box.

7. Fizzing Cloud Dough

Please use an old sheet under this activity.

What you’ll need:

  •  2 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 Cups of flour
  • 1/2 Cups of bicarbonate of soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food colouring

Firstly, add the flour and baking soda to a bowl and then in a separate cup, add the oil and water food colouring, before giving it a mix.  Once the oil and colouring have mixed well, add the oil mixture to the flour, Mix and knead it well until the colour is bright.  Now, add the vinegar!  It will bubble up  – what an amazing experiment!

8. Pumpkin Cloud Dough

This is such a wonderful activity, particularly for Halloween and the Autumn Season. We added this type of Cloud Dough into the Halloween Boxes and the texture was fabulous. A lot of learning involved for the children; the colours and smell encourages the five senses.

You need:

  • 7 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • Pumpkin Spice

Just like the other activities, follow the recipe of adding the oil to the flour and then knead the pumpkin spice in. If you really wanted to, adding orange water food colouring (I find any supermarket brands work brilliantly with the colour orange) will make the cloud dough more vibrant.

9. Scented Cloud Dough

This type of Cloud Dough is very fluffy. All you need is Conditioner and Cornflour.  Using two cups of cornflour and one cup of conditioner, mixing it together and then giving it a good knead…then voila, you have some very fluffy cloud dough – which smells wonderful!

10. Gingerbread Cloud Dough 

This smells wonderful and could be an exciting activity to go with the story ‘The Gingerbread Man’!

The ingredients you need for this activity are:

  • 8 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger
  • 2 cups Vegetable oil
  1. Step One Add 8 cups flour to a large bowl.
  2. Step Two Mix 2 cups of oil
  3. Step Three Add the ginger and cinnamon and give it all a good stir.
  4. Step Four Knead the dough with your hands to fully distribute the scent and oil.

11. Sparkly Cloud Dough

This recipe includes edible glitter or sparkly edible confetti/sprinkles.

  • Step One Add 2 cups flour to a large bowl.
  • Step Two Mix 1/4 cup of oil
  • Step Three: Knead the dough with your hands to fully distribute the scent and oil.
  • Step Four Add the edible glitter or sprinkles.

12. Gluten Free Cloud Dough

  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

This is perfect for allergies or dietary requirements, Cornflour is a great alternative but is also extra messy when you open the packet. I have been covered many times during the messy play sessions!

The coconut in this cloud dough smells wonderful – perhaps you could add a food colouring to it

  • 2 cups corn flour
  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup vegetable oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons silver glitter

13. Dinosaur Digging

Using the same recipe as simple cloud dough:

  1. Step One Add 2 cups flour to a large bowl.
  2. Step Two Mix 1/4 cup of oil and stir.
  3. Step Three Knead the dough with your hands to fully distribute the oil.

I used the dinosaur fossils to make marks in the edible sand and hidden the fossils for the children to find. The little ones can be a Palaeontologist!

14. Hot Cross Bun Cloud Dough

The ingredients you need for this activity are:

  • 8 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger
  • 2 cups Vegetable oil
  1. Step One Add 8 cups flour to a large bowl.
  2. Step Two Mix 2 cups of oil with brown food colouring.
  3. Step Three Add the cinnamon and give it all a good stir.
  4. Step Four Knead the dough with your hands to fully distribute the scent and oil.
  5.  Add some Easter Cutters, little chicks, cupcake cases and any other Easter related activity resources.

The smell is wonderful and this type of Cloud Dough will feature in our Easter Messy Play Boxes.

A number of our Messy Play boxes include Cloud dough, its a great activity!

We hope you have gained many ideas from this blog and look forward to seeing which cloud dough recipes you make!