I’ve had a bag of flour and bottle of baby oil on my kitchen counter for weeks now. I’ve received quite a few odd looks and raised eyebrows from visitors because of it. People, people, it’s not for anything weird. It’s for a kids’ activity. Really. I swear. And now that we’ve finally had a break from the oppressive heat, I can prove it.

See? Cloud dough.

Cloud dough

My eldest playing with cloud dough. “I’m making two pies.”

I’ve seen the recipe for this several places on the Internet and thought it looked fun. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s simple:

Mix together:
8 cups of flour
1 cup of baby oil

Your average five-pound bag of flour contains more than eight cups. By my sloppy measurement, it’s more like 15 cups. Based on simple math and the info on the package, it’s about 18 cups. What I’m trying to say is: I dumped the bag and mixed approximately two cups of baby oil in the plastic container and it worked just fine.

Some people suggest using a pastry cutter to mix the oil and flour. That’s probably the “right” way to do it, but I just gave the boys each a plastic spoon and had them mix it enough so the oil was no longer wet and then let them go at it with their hands.

Playing with cloud dough

I gave each boy their own container. In theory it was to give them their own space and minimize mess. In reality it just meant they kept scooping the cloud dough from one container into the other.


  • It is messy. Do this activity outside. Seriously. Out. Side.
  • Cloud dough packs like wet sand, so provide lots of scoops, molds, cookie cutters and construction toys.
  • In addition to using two large plastic containers for the the cloud dough, I gave the boys a large cookie sheet as a place to put the toys when they weren’t using them. It helped cut down on the mess. It also made it easier to carry the supplies inside once they had been wiped off.
  • Have several sheets of paper towels on hand to wipe hands … faces … clothes … shoes … bottoms … did I mention this is a messy activity?
  • I’ve read the dough will keep. I put all of it into the one blue container, put a lid on it and now it’s ready for the next time.

Have fun. I have to admit, playing with the stuff is addictive, even for Mom.


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