Inside: How to set up a simple Gingerbread cloud dough sensory bin.
Need a Christmas sensory activity? Try Gingerbread cloud dough!
Cloud dough is the coolest! It's no secret that I love Christmas activities- and Christmas sensory bins make the holidays extra fun. For this easy cloud dough I just added in some holiday spices and some festive tools.
Cloud dough is super quick to make and then you can just add in some cookie cutters to jazz it up. It smells amazing too!
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What is cloud dough?
Cloud dough is a mixture of flour and oil. Some people call it moon sand. The cool part about it is that it feels soft and dry like flour, but when you squeeze it, it becomes moldable! You can press it into different shapes and even use cookie cutters or other tools to create!
What is the recipe for Gingerbread cloud dough?
You're going to love this easy gingerbread cloud dough recipe! It only needs three ingredients!
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- 8 cups of flour
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or other holiday spices)
- Sensory bin
- Gingerbread boy cookie cutters
- Vinyl tablecloth
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Here are the instructions for making this simple Gingerbread cloud dough recipe:
- Mix the flour and oil together in a bowl. You can use a wooden spoon, but it actually works the best when you just get your hands into the mixture and mix and squeeze it with your hands.
- Add in some of your favorite holiday spices. We like to add in a tbsp or two of cinnamon and then mix it up! The cinnamon makes the cloud dough smell delish and adds in a little color too.
- Put the cloud dough into a large sensory bin and add in some gingerbread men cookies cutters.
How can I contain the mess when I make cloud dough?
Before playing, I always like to put my vinyl tablecloth underneath the sensory bin to help contain the mess a bit.
Cloud dough isn't a tidy activity though. Be prepared for a little mess.
Set the expectations ahead of time. My main rule is that we keep the cloud dough in the bin. If kids start taking the cloud dough out of the bin and dumping it, they get one warning and then it gets put away for another try another day.
When I'm consistent, kids realize pretty quickly that I mean what I say. They usually are so excited to get to use the cloud dough, that they follow the rules and don't mess around.
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How long can you store cloud dough?
Cloud dough uses oil as a main ingredient. Just like oil will go rancid at some point when it's sitting on your pantry shelf, it can also go bad sitting in your sensory bin. Take note of the oil's expiration date and then just sniff your cloud dough each time before you use it.
If the cloud dough starts to smell a little funky- like rancid oil, it's time to toss it.
If you store your cloud dough in an air tight container, you can use it for several months. If I have a large group of kids playing with the sensory bin, then we only use the cloud dough that day and then it gets tossed.
Do I need to bake the flour when I make cloud dough?
If you have a little one that tries to sample everything, or you're worried about using raw flour for safety reasons, here's an easy solution.
Toast your flour in the oven. Spread two cups of flour on a baking sheet or Silpat, and bake it for about 5 minutes at 350° F. Then let the flour cool completely and you'll be ready to play with it!