Sandcastle messy play :: homemade cloud dough recipe

Sandcastle messy play with a homemade cloud dough recipe is perfect for summer days when you can’t get to the real beach – or when you want a relaxing sensory playtime in the shade of your own home. Here’s the recipe:sandcastle messy play cloud dough recipe

Sandcastle messy play :: homemade cloud dough recipe

Cloud dough is one of the recipes in my e-book The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book. It’s very easy to make and a totally different sensory experience to traditional play dough.

cloud dough recipeTo make it, you will need:

4 cups of flour

1 cup of oil (we most often use baby oil, to get a lovely fragrance)

glitter is optional, but we like some extra sparkle!


cloud dough recipe

All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix…

homemade cloud doughuntil it combines and gives you a texture that looks like you’re about to make pastry. But… give the cloud dough a squish with your hand and you’ll see how it comes together and holds its shape! So cool!

homemamde cloud dough recipe My girls find it irresistible. It’s such a touchy-feely material to play with. Be aware that this is messy play (that’s half the fun , isn’t it) – although I find the clean up afterwards is quick and easy. I wouldn’t try it in a room with a carpet, but it sweeps up fine from my kitchen floor.

sandcastle dough recipe

The squishing is so much fun and as the dough holds its shape it’s perfect for making sandcastles.

sandcastle messy play

I set out some scoops and bowls in different sizes and we had our own homemade mini beach!

sandcastle messy play

The girls made some flags for their sandcastles {from toothpicks and tissue paper} to go on top. You can add little people and a little square of fabric and set up a picnic day out on the beach.

Homemade play dough recipes and ideas for a whole year of play!The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book

Love play dough? Get your copy of The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book. It’s packed full of recipes and ideas for a whole year of play. There are ideas for every season, with lots of language, art, and math added in too. Come and take a look!


  1. Serena says

    This looks SO fun! I am just wondering if this can be kept for any length of time or if it starts going ‘funny’ after a short while.

    • says

      Hi Serena. I guess it depends on how long it stays out for play, how you store it, and even the weather! Certainly it doesn’t last as long as traditional play dough, but you can get a good few playtimes from one batch.

  2. jamie says

    I used sunflower oil, that is all we have at the moment. Kids, 18 months to 6 yrs, LOVED IT!

  3. Lucy says

    HI, this looks like great fun for my special needs class. I was wondering if anyone had added colouring?? We are doing a colour a week this term!

      • Rhonda Henschen says

        I have used powdered koolaid packets. Makes fun colors and adds a cool smell if you use vegetable oil. My preschool kids had fun with it!

  4. Arielle says

    I used vegetable oil so I didn’t have I worry about my 14 moth old eating it… She LOVED it!! Tons of fun!!

  5. Krysti says

    This is great.. how long do you think it could last? I was thinking about putting it in my sensory table in the 2/3 olds room.

    • says

      Hi Krysti, it’s lifetime will depend on all sorts of things – like what else you add to the play (water etc), even the atmospheric conditions might make it dry out sooner, but you should get some great playtimes from it.

  6. kym says

    hi what a great idea going to try this in my after school club. was woundering could you add flavouring to make it sencted?

  7. Charlotte says

    Hi Cathy, quick question – does it matter what flour you use? Is there a type that you think works best?



  8. ging says

    Hi! I love this! Can I set this up in our bathroom and just hose down the mess down the drain afterwards? Or will it clog the drain? Thanks!

  9. E Vasile says

    How much does this make? I am trying to plan this as a summer activity for the day care I work at and was wondering how much of each ingredient I would need. Thanks!

    • says

      You can scale this up as much as you want. So, if you’re using the four cups of flour as I did in the recipe you’re going to end up with about four cups worth of the clough dough. That’ll be enough for one child to build a few sandcastles. For a very large sensory tub for several children you’d need to make quite a bit more.

  10. Nina says

    Love this idea! Going to try at home first with my monkey 3 year old then might take to foundation stage for new term xx

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