This sensory activity is soothing and calming. It is easy for toddlers, children, teens and adults to get lost in the relaxing play which was just what we needed after a long, wet car journey. We love autumn, but feeling cold and damp can be a rather miserable shock to the system especially after the recent Indian summer. This recipe started out as a quick idea to keep my toddler entertained so I could have a hot cup of tea after we arrived home, but it was so good, my tea went cold on the side as we all joined in.
4 cups flour (any kind will do)
1/2 cup oil (we used vegetable but baby oil makes it even softer)
4 teaspoons Pumpkin spice (or other autumnal spices)
It’s so easy to make, I let Boo mix it.
Cloud dough or moon sand is so quick and easy to make. I don’t tend to measure – I just put more flour than oil in the bowl and then let my toddler give it a mix. If you use baby oil, it becomes super soft but also moldable. Vegetable oil works just as well but it isn’t quite as silky smooth. I usually use vegetable oil though as then I don’t have to worry at all if my toddler decides to sneak a bite (thankfully she seems to have largely grown out of this phase now though!). Plus, flour and oil are always in my cupboards so I know there is a quick and easy activity to rescue even the worst of days!
The difference with this cloud dough came about because we all needed comforting after a long car journey. I thought scenting it with spices would help cheer up our home and who doesn’t love pumpkin spice? If you don’t have a pumpkin spice mix, it is pretty easy to make. Alternatively, you could add just cinnamon or nutmeg or any combo of your favourite autumn spices. You can even use essential oils – but make sure you only put a tiny drop in – they are much stronger than you think! I can’t wait to try out some festive oils like frankincense or vanilla as Christmas approaches!
After adding a little of the pumpkin spice to the mixture, I let Boo start to play. I wasn’t happy though – I couldn’t smell it! So I added more – about 4 generous teaspoons in the end. I also added icing sugar to see if that helps but it just clumped together when it was heated so I wouldn’t recommend that. I could just about smell it but I wanted the smell to fill the room like when you ate baking pie. Then I had an idea – to warm it up! We were already using a microwaveable bowl to mix it so I placed that in the microwave and heated it for 10 seconds at a time. After 30 seconds it was piping hot (too hot for Boo), and smelt glorious! Gone were the grey skies and cold hands – our room was transformed into a cosy den full of childhood memories. But that wasn’t even the best of it: Cloud dough feels amazing; warm cloud dough is out of this world. After I let it cool a little, we got to work molding, rolling, squeezing and generally enjoying our warm pumpkin spice cloud dough.
I actually reheated it 5 times as it cooled. In total, we were playing for 45 minutes. I will definitely be doing this one again!