There are so many benefits to tactile sensory play. I did a few blog posts about the tactile sensory system that you can find here and here. I’m a big fan of not only exposing students to a variety of textures through tactile sensory play, but also having them participate in preparing the material! Today, I am going to share one of my favorite sensory recipes – cloud dough. I first learned about this recipe a few years ago from a colleague when we were working summer school together! This is an easy and fun activity that you can do in the classroom or at home.
Gather your materials
For this project, you need the following items:
- Mixing spoon
- Measuring cups
The basic recipe is 1 part conditioner to 2 parts cornstarch. So, you can start with 2 cups of cornstarch and 1 cup conditioner and go from there. Scooping, squeezing and pouring ingredients into the bowl are all great ways to work on bilateral coordination and hand strength!
Mix it up!
Once the ingredients are in the bowl, it’s time for the fun part – mixing! There are a few ways to go about it. One way is to use a spoon to mix. I love encouraging the use of a spoon because it works on bilateral coordination, since kids have to hold the bowl with one hand to stabilize it, and then use the spoon with their other hand. If your child is only holding the spoon and not the bowl, cue him to use that helper hand as a stabilizer for the bowl. You may need to provide some physical assist and modeling for this part. Mixing is also a great motor planning and upper body strength activity.
The other option is to use your hands! I have found that no matter what, I will need to use my hands to fully mix everything together. If your child is interested in getting messy when mixing, by all means, let him! If after mixing the ingredients, the dough still feels sticky, add a little more cornstarch. The consistency at the end should be smooth, and should roll through your hands easily, without sticking.
Once everything is mixed together, it is time to play. Have fun rolling, squishing, pretending. We happened to use a coconut scented conditioner, so not only was this fun to make, it smelled good too! Please be sure to supervise kids appropriately when playing with cloud dough.