Easy 2 Ingredient Cloud Dough – Ready in 5 minutes!

2 Ingredient Cloud-Dough: the ultimate sensory dough!  Cloud dough requires only 2 common household ingredients, and it’s ready in minutes. It smells heavenly, and it’s a delight to run your fingers through!

I’m a sucker for a good, homemade sensory play recipe, and this flour and baby oil Cloud dough is something I’ve been waiting all winter to make!  I’ve seen it cloud dough on plenty of other blogs, and every one mentions the mess-factor so I’ve been for warm weather so we could make it, and take it outside to play with.

2-ingredient cloud dough with baby oil and flour

 

What is Cloud Dough?

Cloud dough (also known as moon dough or moon sand) is silky and mold-able and takes just two ingredients to make.  It’s an amazing sensory dough!  The Hooligans absolutely loved it. I’m not kidding when I say it kept them engrossed for well over an hour.

Since first writing this post, I’ve also come up with a coloured cloud dough recipe and a toddler-safe cloud dough for little ones who still put everything in their mouths.

You’re going to love how easy Cloud Dough is to make:

ingredients for cloud dough - flour and baby oil

Cloud Dough Recipe:

Add one cup of baby oil to 8 cups of flour.  Stir well.  I used a pastry cutter to mix mine, but a spoon or whisk would be fine.

mixing cloud dough with pastry cutter

Transfer your dough to a bin or basin (I purchased this kitty litter box at the dollar store, and it’s perfect for sensory activities), and that’s it.  You’re done!

Set out some containers, scoops and molds and let the little ones at it.

cloud dough set up on DIY Activity tables

There’s something so soothing and relaxing working with this dough.  The Hooligans were so QUIET while they played!

Kids playing with Cloud Dough

cloud dough in the back yard

You’ll want to wear old clothing or an apron.  Check out the aprons I make from the legs of our old jeans!   This is definitely messy play.  I personally suggest taking it outside.  If you want to use it indoors, I’d advise putting down a plastic table cloth to contain any spills.

kids gathered round a bin of cloud dough\

Overview of cloud dough bin

I had another activity set up as well.  I filled the wagon with warm soapy water, and added containers, spray bottles, sponges and some farm animals.

washing up in a wagon

The Hooligans went back and forth between the two activities but the Cloud Dough bin was by far the most popular place to be today.

craft sticks in cloud dough

How do I store it, and how long will it last?

Cloud dough will keep indefinitely when stored in a container with a lid.

cloud dough recipe- happy hooligans

For your convenience, I’ve included Amazon Affiliate links in this post:

 

Want to make some coloured Cloud Dough?

Since writing this post, I’ve figured out how to colour a batch of cloud dough!  It took a few attempts because traditional water-based food colouring won’t work due to the oil content of the dough. Get the coloured cloud dough recipe  here!

 

If you liked this cheap and easy activity, you’ll love our:

Homemade Giant Bubbles Recipe

2-ingredient Ghost Mud

Homemade Watercolour Discs

Expanding Ivory Soap Experiment

Dino Dig – melting Ice with Salt

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Comments

  1. says

    What a great set up with all of the molds and scoops! We love Cloud Dough here at the Clubhouse, and it really does last a very, very long time… which is always a bonus. Glad you all had fun with it!

    • happyhooligans says

      Thanks, Liz! I’m glad to know it lasts a long time. I have a feeling we’ll be pulling it out often in the next few weeks. :)

      • sandi says

        I would like to know if this would work with cornmeal. I have used flour……but on this this day that I choose to make this again I’m all out! I love your work and you really encourage me to be a better provider. Thank you so much for all you do! Sandi

      • happyhooligans says

        Aw, thank you, Sandi! I’m so glad you’re enjoying our activities! I’m not sure if it would work with cornmeal. You could certainly try. It would definitely produce a sensory play substance of some kind, I’m just not sure if it would be as silky soft as it is when you use flour. I’m also not sure about how absorbent cornmeal is. You might end up with more of a sticky dough kind of material. I would suggested testing your idea with a couple of tbsps of cornmeal and a tbsp of oil to see how the two ingredients mix together. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. says

    My kids experienced this stuff for the first time recently, and like the Hooligans, my son was engrossed and busy with it for a long time. It smells good, feels neat, and the baby oil has the added bonus of making your hands soft! (Well, if you’re an adult like me that also gets your hands in it; the kids’ hands are already pretty soft.)

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing this post. I’ve been meaning to give cloud dough a try for ages and this has given me the motivation to get on it! I want to play too 😀 Pinning this to remember it and i’ll link to your post when I eventually get around to posting about it. Debs

    • happyhooligans says

      Thanks, Debs! I was the same – had been wanting to try it forever, but needed to wait for the warm weather. Have fun with it!

      • Amber says

        why would you have to wait for warm weather to make it? can it not be used the weather is not warm?

      • happyhooligans says

        Because of the mess factor, Amber, I would only ever set up this activity outdoors, and really, the less clothing your child has to wear, the better. If the weather is cooler, and your child is fully dressed, I would recommend an apron or a smock for sure! :)

      • Amber says

        OK so We made this and the kids loved it, however we made it inside in our sensory table and it wasnt as messy I expected from the posts I read. We did however take it outside for water day on friday all the other classrooms want to make it now.. Thanks for the idea

      • happyhooligans says

        So glad you gave it a try, Amber! Glad your class enjoyed it. Sounds like you might have started a trend! :)

  4. happyhooligans says

    I’m going to experiment with adding some food colouring to the mixed dough to see what happens. Apparently you can’t mix food colouring with baby oil (think oil and water), so I don’t think it can be done before you add the oil. Thanks for dropping by!

    • says

      Tried this today. Goblin absolutely loved it and played for ages, but I can confirm that paste food colouring doesn’t work either. It just goes clumpy.
      I loved playing with it too, it feels so nice – must be great for your hands – especially as the only oil we had in the house was olive oil!

    • happyhooligans says

      Aha, speckled! I guess that’s because oil and food colouring don’t mix (similar to oil and water). I’m just figuring this all out today, after hearing about someone else’s experimentation with colour. Thanks for letting me know, Katherine!

  5. Amber says

    I’ve not done this to cloud dough consistency so much but I have added more oil so it’s more gooey. It would form to the container. We didn’t cover it so after a while it was more like playdough consistency I think. It was a great sensory/discovery activity. The kids helped mix it with their hands and both the kids and adults really liked it. It smelled good and was good for our hands too.

    • happyhooligans says

      Oh yeah, Adrienne! You have to try it ouside!! It’s such a great backyard activity for summer!

  6. critters and crayons (@critterscrayons) says

    Jackie- as a mom who made 3 underbed bins containing 170 lbs of cloud dough for a birthday party, I want to say (because the sheer volume we used makes me an expert, of course) that I have never met a kid who didn’t love cloud dough! haha! Glad you guys finally made it! Y’know what else? I still have all three of those giant bins filled with the original cloud dough and we still roll it out into the yard and play as a family 6 months later. Cloud dough is the best!!!! But, you do have to wash away the excess otherwise the oil and flour will clump and dry on the sidewalk!

    • happyhooligans says

      Oh my gosh, Tricia, that is a RIDICULOUS amount of cloud dough! That is crazy (and yet so wonderful lol). I love that you literally “roll” it out to the yard to play with it after all this time. :)

      • happyhooligans says

        When you’re confident that you child isn’t going to be tempted to eat it, Jan. You could supervise very closely, but if you’re not certain that your child won’t want to taste it, I would hold off.

    • happyhooligans says

      That’s super that they asked you to do that! Bet they could get TONS of great ideas off your blog for the classroom, Rachelle!!

  7. says

    The kids had fun when we did this couple months ago. The smell of it was great to….lol. Nothing like that fresh baby smell. (Momma’s Fun World)

    • happyhooligans says

      I’ll use name brand baby oil next time, Catherine! I keep hearing about how wonderful the smell is, but we used a knock off brand of baby oil. It felt great, but there was no scent to it. :(

  8. Bella says

    Hiya Happy Hooligans,
    I needed an activity fast and came across this. THANK YOU.
    We actually didn’t have baby oil, so I used Olive Oil instead. Toddler was most pleased.
    Reading the comments here, I will have to try some.
    People aren’t kidding when they say it is messy, though are they? :-)
    Have a good one.

    • happyhooligans says

      Hi Bella! Great thinking – improvising with the Olive Oil! Glad your little one had fun with it! Apparently it stores for a long time in an air tight container too! And yes! It’s messy!! Definitely an outside activity!

  9. Kelli Munro says

    Thanks for this great idea! Both my boys loved it (ages 5 and 2) as did I! Wonderful! Thanks again!!

  10. Amanda says

    Just had a great Sunday afternoon with our batch of Moon Dough. Kids loved squishing and smashing!

  11. elaina says

    My daughter loves to play with cloud dough! I also use olive oil instead and added a few drops of Lavender for a relaxing scent. :-)

    • happyhooligans says

      I love the idea of adding a scent, Elaina. That would work well with the no name baby oil that I used because it didn’t have any scent at all. The lavender would add to the whole sensory experience. Thanks for the great idea. :)

    • happyhooligans says

      I believe Valerie and Alex from Glittering Muffins tried that, Sue, and the resulting colours were very pale. Wait a second! It may have been jello powder that they tried. Or maybe they tried both. I can’t remember now!

      • says

        That makes sense, as I now notice there are 8 c. of flour involved here, and I use just one envelope of the unsweetened drink mix for 1 c flour in the play dough recipes. I guess the proportions would of mix to flour would have to go ‘way up and perhaps the flour amount adjusted accordingly to get a good result for the cloud dough, but my kids are in their 20’s now. Not a good chance of my testing it in the near future! hahaha

      • happyhooligans says

        Hee hee! No, I guess at this point, you just have ’til the “grands” come along, and you can test it out on them. lol

  12. Jess says

    I just made this now but I did 1/8 cup of oil and 1 cup flour because I didn’t want to make a lot in the first round (only 1 child would be playing with this) and WOW this was amazing! First off it is exactly like the moon dough stuff and secondly, it smells soooo much better than the moon dough lol. So thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  13. says

    This just warms my heart! I love it! My son goes to an in home daycare and although the kids are all a little younger than the ones you watch, she is like you and loves to take them outside to explore and do fun crafts. I can’t wait to mention your site to her for future “big kid” playtime. I am an art teacher and love all of the sensory play and crafts. Great stuff!

    • happyhooligans says

      Your comment means a lot to me, Leah. Thank you! I’m so glad your son is in a daycare where he gets to explore and create like we do. What a wonderful time he must be having! Thank you for passing my blog along to your care-giver!

  14. Sasha says

    I’d never heard of this stuff! Sounds great!
    There IS a way to colour it, but you don’t use the usual food dye in a bottle, as that contains water.
    However, you CAN get powdered food dye, which is used in chocolate making, as chocolate needs to not touch moisture, or it’ll clog up and ruin it during the melting process.
    The stuff I have comes in very small bottles, so might be a bit expensive if you need lots of it, but it’s perhaps something to look into.
    The powdered food dye for chocolate making can be bought from anywhere where chocolate molds and other such supplies are bought from, like Robin’s Kitchens.
    I’m also pretty sure you can obtain much larger amounts of powdered dye to colour water (or anything else) with, but I doubt it’d be food safe.
    It was just a vague memory from pre-school that I had and remembered about it just now. The powder came in big plastic jars and only a small amount was needed to colour a whole water trough. (it seemed big back then, lol!)
    Hope this helps. :)

  15. happyhooligans says

    Thanks for the tips, Sasha! I’ve never heard of powdered food dye! I have heard actually that you can tint the cloud dough with powdered tempera paints. Could that be what you’re remembering from your pre-school days? I have quite a few tins of that. I should really try adding some to the bin when we play with this again next spring.

  16. tana says

    We just made cloud dough, in our kitchen. We put down a table cloth and went to town!! Even my 6 month old wanted in on the fun!
    I wonder what some pumpkin pie spice would do to the smell. Might be good!

  17. Leanne says

    Your blog has been a blessing this year for the summer break from school. Im a childminder and ive found lots of inspiration for new activities. Thankyou and I will be making a batch of cloud dough this very evening :-)

  18. Wendy says

    If you use vegetable oil instead of baby oil it is safe for those little ones who like to taste things. I have special needs kids with sensory issues so we adapt all sensory bins to make them safe for tasting.

  19. Katherine says

    This looks like an awesome idea! My three year old son loves the packet of name brand Moon Dough that he got as a free gift with another toy, but because you lose a little every time you play with it, what was once a decent amount is now a small ball :(. So I think I need to make some more for him!

    On that note, has anyone tried using a powdered-type colorant with this? I’m thinking even something as simple as a finely-crushed dollar-store eyeshadow or blush would mix well with the flour and produce an even color. Also, what about color-appropriate scents? I know of a FANTASTIC company that makes amazing fragrances for homemade soaps, candles, and other items. Perhaps an unscented baby oil with a little blueberry, grape, raspberry, lemon, apple or watermelon scent would take this stuff to the next level?

  20. Colette says

    Tried this with my little boy and he loved it! He then added water to it and created a sticky mess..lots of fun! :-) thanks!

    • happyhooligans says

      Hi Kathy, the recipe is close to the top of the post. I’ve just made it stand out a little more so it’s easier to spot. :)

  21. leslie b. says

    Any idea if this could be done with baby powder instead of flour? I have a ton of never touched baby powder and am looking for something to do with it.

    • happyhooligans says

      I don’t think I would use baby powder as it’s much finer and the dust can pose a health hazard if inhaled, Leslie. I would personally stick to the flour as it’s natural and not nearly as light and fine.

      • Leslie b says

        Thanks. I didn’t think of the inhalation issue while mixing. Going to blame it on baby brain. Guess I will have plenty of powder for my beach bag for sand removal.
        Can’t wait to mix a batch of this for my toddler.

    • happyhooligans says

      I believe you can add chalk dust or tempera paint powder, Nicole, but it won’t take food colouring well because that’s water based, and well, you know the whole water and oil don’t mix thing…

  22. Kaylee says

    This looks so incredibly fun! Due to food allergies, we have cut out most play doughs, and boy do we miss them! It’s a long shot, but has anyone had success using a gluten free flour for this?

  23. gay lynne says

    Enjoy in this site, will pass it on. Leslie b , one with an abundance of baby powder, I just saw where you could use it to kill ant dens .haven’t tryd it myself . Mite work…

  24. sarah garner says

    It’s cold out here today but I just made some for my 2 and 4 yr old put trash bags down on the kitchen floor and they have been playing ever since without making a huge mess :) I just told them to keep it in the container. this is my new favorite stuff!

  25. says

    hi .. never heard of this and am looking forward to making this for my 18 month old granddaughter… l have read some of the contents.. l own a bakery and yes there is such a thing as powdered food coloring which l use quite often .. also use powdered tempra paints for window decorating l think l am going to make small batches of 1 cup of flour and one eighth of oil like the lady above and see which works better ..the powdered tempra paint or the powdered food coloring .. so glad l ran into this column

  26. catapurple says

    So going to make this tomorrow for my 2 boys, my third has to wait awhile before he can join in on messy play which his brother’s absolutely love to do, think dirt water and flowers and leaves, my almost 5 5 yr old calls it his recipes, going to make it with vegetable oil or rice bran oil as baby oil is a by product of petroleum. Need to purchase a big air tight container and we have a container with wheels, and the lid has cracked so be great to put in while they are playing, need to go op (opportunity) shopping (u call thrift) and get some second hand kitchen gadgets or a cheap variety shop.
    I love your FB page which sends me to your blog and links awesome!
    Want to do this now but it is 1:21 am :(

  27. Tracy Acevedo says

    I did this with my daughter last year and she loved it! You can also get side walk chalk, crush it (you can take a butter knife or even a cheese slicer) once it is dust like, mix it with the sand so you can make the moon sand into different colors as well.

  28. maggie says

    I made moon dough for my boys years ago when they where little.its been around for years as i remember playing with it at my grandma’s house..We use to add food coloring to it and they loved it..

  29. Jessica T says

    I’m wondering if this would work with rice flour for those children affected by regular flour/gluten allergies/intolerance

    • happyhooligans says

      I can’t be sure, Jessica, but I think it might. You could try mixing up a very small amount – 1/4 cup flour and a tbsp of oil to see what the consistency is like.

  30. Jessica says

    My step daughter got this in her hair thanks to making it “rain” cloud dough! Any suggestions on how to get it out?? Her hair has been washed and combed… I tried dishsoap and drowning her hair with conditioner but it is still there…. Tiny little pieces. Please help!

    • happyhooligans says

      I can’t say we’ve ever had that problem, Jessica. lol Sorry! I’d try googling “getting dough out of hair”. Essentially bread dough or pizza dough would be pretty much the same thing – flour and oil, so that might turn something up. I’m surprised dish soap didn’t work, but sometimes the best way to fight grease is with grease – i.e. oil will remove oily, sticky stains, so maybe combing a little more baby oil or vegetable oil through her hair with a very fine toothed comb, and rubbing the little pieces between your oily fingers might break it down. You’ll def. need to do a dish-soap hair wash after that though, to cut the grease. Good luck!

  31. Mel Cryer says

    Love this idea! One of my girls got some store bought cloud dough a few years ago, and she loved it, but it’s too expensive to buy often, and is definitely an outdoor activity.

    When I saw this post, I thought about making this for students of mine. I have 2 classes of autistic students from kindergarten to year 5, who are often very sensory seeking, and easily bored with activities. This could be a fun change to the usual games and activities we have at lunchtime/recess. With a maximum of 7 in each class, and most of one class integrated into the mainstream playground, and two teachers on duty, this could be lots of fun! Thank you so much!

  32. Heather says

    I haven’t tried it yet but have seen it in the stores at a fairly high price tag. I think my granddaughter will love this….can’t wait to make it…:)

    • happyhooligans says

      If you take the link in my post to the Coloured Cloud Dough, you’ll see how we coloured ours, Elizabeth. We tried a few things, and unfortunately, Koolaid powder didn’t work, but we did find a way to colour it beautifully!

  33. Fernanda Arruda says

    Que tipo de farinha posso utilizar aqui no Brasil?
    Farinha para fabricar pão?? Para que se usa essa farinha na cozinha??

  34. Denise Hilker says

    Has anyone tried adding essential oils to it? For a calming activity maybe lavender? FYI I get my flour in a 25 pound bag at a warehouse store for right around $8.00.

  35. Heather says

    Going to try this for my 2 yr old today! It’s rainy out so I’ll be giving it a go indoors … Hopefully not too too messy! 😉

  36. Ann says

    We were at Space Center Houston today, so when I made it tonight, I called it Moon Sand! I made it with whole wheat flour and it looked like beach sand. My almost 3 year old is having a blast playing with it as we speak! He’s using the plastic eggs left over from Easter to make some neat little mounds. Thanks for the recipe!

  37. John & Sandy Hosey says

    Thought it was very cleaver. How did this idea come up It should be pattened. I will pass this on to a few of my friends who have tiny toddlers Sandy Hosey

  38. Jenny Stenger says

    Becky, I am glad you found something fun (and messy) for the girls to do. I am sure Sophie and Josie love it!

  39. Desirée says

    I am just wondering, as I don’t work with baby oil ever, do I need to be concerned about clothing stains? Thanks!

    • happyhooligans says

      We’ve not had any staining, Desiree, but if you’re concerned I would just have the children wear old clothing or smocks/aprons.

  40. Crystal Reed says

    For those who are scent-sitive, baby oil is just scented mineral oil. Just pick up some mineral oil instead of baby oil if you want your cloud dough to be scent-free. :-)

  41. Ginny says

    I’m not sure if this would work for coloring the cloud dough but when we make homemade play dough we add dry kook aide package to add color might work on cloud dough

    • happyhooligans says

      Thanks for the suggestion, Ginny. I tried kool-aid, but it didn’t really work. It was too pale to be noticeable for some reason. Maybe because it’s water soluble, and wouldn’t mix properly with the oil? I agree though Kool-aid is wonderful for play dough!

  42. says

    This is such a great idea! I am a contributor author on Satisfaction Through Christ and we are doing a back to school round up this week and we would like to feature this post on there! Please let me know if this is ok and if we could use the photo image in the post. Congratulations on being featured! The article will post this Thursday :)

  43. emma says

    Just made this for my 3 yr old inside and now it’s stopped raining he is in the garden loving it. And the 11 yr olds are joining in too!!
    It hoovers up great so no mess.
    Now I can make this at work in the nursery tomorrow we love sensory play.
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING X

  44. Jennifer Monger says

    Could you use an almond flour mix? I am allergic to gluten and would like to play with my children but I can’t partake if it’s flour :(

    • happyhooligans says

      I would give it a try, Jennifer. I think if it’s the same texture as regular flour, it would probably work. I’m guessing there though.

  45. Eileen says

    This week I tried cloud dough for the first time with my 2 year old class in child care. We had 16 little people wanting to join in so over an hour we had everyone having a decent amount of time to play (four children at a time). As it was very messy we played outside and once finished the broom made short work of the spills. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  46. Becca says

    I mixed half a bag of flower with 1 bottle 99 cent store baby oil and then added about a table spoon of crayola kids paint in blue it came out with blue speckles so I added another table spoon of red and mixed that in then green and mixed that in and yellow and mixed that in now we have multi colored speckled cloud dough and the speckles do not mix for what ever reason… thought I’d share! because it looks fun!

    • happyhooligans says

      I think you might have seen Kinetic Sand or Sands Alive, Michelle. Those have more of a magnetic quality if that makes sense. This feels similar to the touch, and it is mouldable, but it doesn’t have that same, unique magnetic quality that the others seem to have.

  47. Vicky says

    Just a quick question, why is it messy? Is it just because of the falling apart factor or is it because of the baby oil? We have moon dough and only my 2 kids playing with it so it doesn’t get too messy. We play with it inside because they keep it well contained. You mentioned aprons though is the oil going to stain the clothes?

    Thanks!

  48. Jessica from Milwaukee, WI says

    This is a really cool idea and my kids love the Sands Alive (similar to kinetic sand). Just wondering if the cloud dough is greasy to the touch (and can leave stains on clothes) from the baby oil or does the flour soak it up. Thanks!

  49. Lydia says

    Made this today for my 5 and 8 year old girls and they absolutely loved it. i said after school that we are buying some things for something special I will make them…. it cost met $3 (I couldnt find the colour powder stuff but the white moon sand is just as good). I did sprinkle some fine glitter into it and it worked great. They were playing for hours until I said its dinner time they have to now put it away. Not too much of it landed on the floor I gave them each a big container and some little pans and spoons and scoops and cupcake trays etc.

  50. happyhooligans says

    Thanks so much for linking to my cloud dough recipe! Looks like the Babe had lots of fun with yours! Isn’t it a bummer that food colouring won’t dye the dough? I think it would be so cool in a vibrant colour!

Trackbacks

  1. […] various ways. Some of the best ways are with flour, sand, playdoh, water, and this great idea that Happy Hooligans thought up called Cloud Dough (some call it Moon Dough). All you need is a bag of flour and baby oil! It has […]

  2. […] it also reminded me of an activity I’d seen on Happy Hooligans many moons ago (haha) called Cloud Dough, but I had renamed Moon Dust in my head at some point. I’m not really wanting to stray too […]

  3. […] 2 Ingredient Cloud Dough – happy hooligans – flour and baby oil. I’m a sucker for a good, homemade sensory play recipe, and this flour and baby oil Cloud dough is something I’ve been waiting all winter to make! […]

  4. […] time round I googled and I used another medium, Baby oil and All Purpose flour! The recipe is from Happy Hooligans I will probably try an edible version next round using vegetable oil! But this version is nice, has […]

  5. […] 2 Ingredient Cloud Dough – happy hooligans – flour and baby oil. I’m a sucker for a good, homemade sensory play recipe, and this flour and baby oil Cloud dough is something I’ve been waiting all winter to make! […]

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