Cooking and baking with children are wonderful ways to learn math concepts. Try this Cloud Dough STEM Activity at home!. Cloud dough is light and fluffy and makes for hours of fun. Its texture is a departure from the better-known texture of playdough, plus moving through the ingredients makes for multi-sensory exploration, too. Read this blog and discover the benefits of sensory play besides doing with your students this incredible STEM Activity.
What is Cloud Dough?
Cloud dough is a simple recipe of two ingredients, flour, and oil. The combination creates a silky mixture that can be packed and molded 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.
What is Sensory Play?
In essence, sensory play includes play that engages any of your students’ senses. This includes touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste. But it also covers movement, balance, and spatial awareness. When a child is born, their senses aren’t fully developed. They only mature over time as babies, toddlers, and preschoolers explore the sensory world around them. Each new experience they have with a different sense builds nerve connections that grow the architecture of their brain.
The benefits of sensory play
With sensory play, there’s always much more going on than meets the eye. Sensory activities, in addition to being fun and interesting for babies and young children, encourage children to explore and investigate. Furthermore, these activities support children to use the ‘scientific method’ of observing, forming a hypothesis, experimenting, and making conclusions. Sensory activities also allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information, helping their brain to create stronger connections to sensory information and learn which are useful and which can be filtered out.
Ingredients needed for this Cloud Dough recipe
All you need are the following ingredients to get started.
- Suave Sleek & Smooth Conditioner
- Food Coloring
- Don’t forget a Storage Box for your storage needs!
You’re going to want to use 2 parts cornstarch/cornflour, 1 part conditioner, and food coloring. (You can add a tbsp of cornstarch as needed)
How to make Cloud Dough
- Start by adding your corn starch to a bowl. If you’re using different colors, you’re going to want to use this simple cloud dough recipe in three different bowls.
- Grab a different smaller bowl and add in three drops of food coloring with the conditioner. Again, do this for each color that you’re going to be using. Once you have it added and mixed, it’s time to fold it into the cornstarch.
- You can use a potato masher to get in there and mash up the lumps to really get it mixed well.
The more you mash, the smoother it’s going to get. You can then use a spoon to mix more to get all the colors spread throughout! You can even add in a few more drops of food coloring at that point if you need it to be brighter. You can even add in a few more drops of food coloring at that point if you need it to be brighter. Depending on the colors, the brightness is going to vary. We choose a pink/yellow/blue combination but let the kids have fun with this process.
The end result is smooth cloud dough that feels a lot like playdough! This is a great sensory activity that the students can really have fun with! Use it to play and mold or add it to sensory bins as well.
- Measurement, proportions, fractions, and ratios
- If you wanted to double the recipe, what would your measurements be?
- If you wanted to make this recipe for eight people, what would your measurements be?
- Why do you think the dough holds its shape?