Looking for a fun sensory activity for your little one that isn’t afraid to get a little adventure-filled and messy? This Tie Dye Cloud Dough is just the thing; using items you already have at home, so there’s no need for a special trip to the store!
This sensory play activity is SO totally worth the mess. The dough has a soft texture, yet you can mould it to make balls—it’s incredible. I’ve partnered with Babyganics for this post to show you that you can spend less time sweating the mess and more time adventuring and enjoying the little things with your little one.
Here’s what you will need:
-Flour (regular white flour)
-Oil (I used cheap vegetable oil)
-Coloured Sidewalk Chalk
-Grater (a fine cheese grater)
-A Large Container or Basin (for you to make it in and then your child can use for play)
-Various Kitchen Accessories (to play- examples: muffin tin, spoons)
-Laundry Detergent: for clean up after because this one gets a little dirty! I use Babyganics because of it’s amazing plant and enzyme-based cleaning power.
If you want to make a few different colours like I did, you can make 2 or three smaller batches. Here’s what I did:
Measure out 2 cups of flour and pour it into your container.
Measure out ¼ cup of oil and add that to the flour.
Grab one or two pieces of the same colour of sidewalk chalk and grate it into the mixture using the cheese grater (I started by used a larger grater, but quickly discovered a finer grater worked a bit better).
Now it’s time to mix; you can try mixing with a spoon or fork, but the best way to get it all incorporated is to get in there with your hands! You’ll soon discover why I’m so obsessed with this stuff… so so soft.
And that’s it! You can leave it at that or, make another batch or two if you want to add more colour.
*Note: adding the chalk is completely optional if your little one is still mouthing everything and you rather not add it (or you don’t have any on hand- just leave it out.
It’s time to play! Simply look for a few items in your kitchen you can add to your dough. For example, a muffin tin, cupcake liners, spoons, measuring spoons, or little bowls. All those things they see you using on a daily basis that they wish they could use- now is the time!
I prefer to do this activity outside- specifically in the grass or on a big blanket on the deck; no need to clean your house afterwards. Things are going to get a bit messy, but with all the benefits of sensory play, it’s totally worth it.
While playing your child is developing:
Cognitive Abilities: problem-solving as they figure out how the dough works and using the accessories with it
Mathematical Concepts: containment, counting
Language Skills: introducing new vocabulary related to the activity such as soft, smooth, etc.
Fine Motor Skills: working those hand muscles and practicing control as they use the accessories to scoop and manipulate dough
Hand Eye Coordination: while they scoop and fill the cups and trays
Social Skills: practicing turn taking (with a sibling or with a parent)
Emotional Regulation and Awareness: ask your child how this makes them feel, or use language such as “you have a smile on your face, it looks like you’re happy playing with this
I recommend discouraging eating the dough; you can do this by sitting right next to your child and gently guiding their hand away from their mouth if they try to eat it. Use positive language, reinforcing the behaviour you wish to see, such as “keep it in the bin” , “let’s try to scoop it” , “this is for playing with our hands, how does it feel on your hands?”.
Sensory play is a great way to connect with your little one and have some fun. Try not to sweat the mess, that’s all part of the process. Oh, and don’t forget to pop those clothes into the washing machine when you’re done—Babyganics will have them as good as new!