We are big fans of sensory play and all its many, many benefits for all ages and stages of children, and have written about dozens of projects we have done together here over the years. Everything from play dough (often!) to jelly, soap suds, clean mud, moon sand, fairy dust, finger paints and shaving cream, and more.
One of our recurring favourites though, is the ever-simple, super soft and mouldable Cloud Dough. It has the consistency of damp sand and yet cleans off your fingers much more easily, and is grew for building sand castles with.
We modified our standard recipe to experiment with this delightfully fragrant and interestingly textured Coconunt version!
Recipe for Coconut Cloud Dough:
1 cup baby oil (ANY oil should work. Do not use baby oil if you have a child likely to taste this, stick to vegetable oil.)
4 cups plain flour
1 cup corn flour / starch (I used this to make it whiter, but if you don’t have any convert this to ordinary flour)
2 cups desiccated coconut + more to sprinkle over the top for fun!
Simply mix the oil into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it is fully combined. It should resemble damp sand.
I set it out in a hanging basket liner which I found at the garden centre, which is made from coconut husks! It is lovely and soft and seemed a fitting container for the coconut dough.
They used the cloud dough to scoop, pat into castles and mounds, roll into balls and firm into little sculptures. Miss 2 made me ice creams and cakes with it, which she served me in return for my “pretendin’ money”. The coconut gave the silky dough a lovely texture and was fun t sprinkle over the top and add to pretend food too. The whole play time smelt fabulous and very summery!
This dough will last a long time when stored inside in a seal tight container. A word of warming; don’t let it get damp or leave it outside for rain to get into the tub. It gets really and truly horrible!
Like coconut scented recipes? Try our Creamy Coconut Play dough Recipe too!
Here are many other Sensory Play ideas to browse in the archives too.
What they are learning as they play:
physical: fine motor skills, rolling, forming, modelling, crumbling, pinching, scooping, patting
sensory: exploring and describing using all senses
science: combining materials to create new ones