Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cloud Dough

Today's main event - Cloud Dough!
Cloud Dough is incredibly simple to make and only needs two ingredients! Flour and oil  (vegetable or baby, we use vegetable). We used 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of oil, probably a little bit less oil since Bean really likes when it's still floury. She likes to blow the flour off herself. :) But use your own judgement when adding oil because you may like a different consistency. The goal is to make it just moist enough that you can mold it without it crumbling immediately. But you also want it to be powdery enough not to stick to your hands.

There are many things that you can add to cloud dough, but we especially like adding sequins and glitter to make it sparkly. I'm going to experiment with adding things like Duncan Hines Frosting Creations packets in the future to add colour and scent to the Cloud Dough. I'm sure someone else has already found a solution to making cloud dough colourful without having to leap through flaming hoops, but I just haven't come across it yet. In the past I have added food colouring to the oil before mixing it, and just stirred it up as much as possible until the food colouring was super tiny little bubbles floating around in the oil. That actually worked a bit, but the colours were more like pastel shades when it was mixed into the cloud dough. Which is fine, since it meant the cloud dough was coloured.

Bean absolutely LOVES cloud dough. Every single time we play with it, by the time I'm ready to get it cleaned up she is just covered in the stuff. She thinks it's hilarious though and sometimes I'll even pull out a mirror so she can look at herself in it and draw patterns in the cloud dough that is all over her face. We call it her tribal paint. As you can see... this stuff is messy. :) Or we are just playing with it the wrong way! (There are no wrong ways, this just happens to be our way.)

Munchkin on the other hand... thinks it is the perfect throwing material. He became completely giddy when I brought out the huge bin of cloud dough. I knew immediately that he wouldn't be content building little castles or molding it into shapes... I prepared myself mentally for the mess that was to come. But I have to give them some credit though. Normally they rush right into making a huge mess, and this time I think we actually set a record. They played in the bin for a whole five minutes before the cloud dough fight broke out.

Scooping, pouring, molding. Cloud dough is perfect for all three.

This is what about 8 cups of cloud dough looks like. We used a fine glitter this time instead of a big chunky one and that was a huge mistake, it was barely seen in this bin. However the sequins stood out fine.

Munchkin spent a minute collecting a few sequins to show me.

And of course he had to add a car and drive it around saying, "beep, beep, beep!"

Bean enjoyed scooping the cloud dough into the little cup and making little mounds on her knees.

That's something we can never avoid... Keeping the sensory material in the bin is just impossible for these two. They always pour everything on their knees. So for stuff like this, I definitely recommend a vinyl tablecloth or a splat mat or just something to contain the mess. We used a blanket today because it was readily available, but I'll have to completely shake it out before washing it.

This stuff really does mold so well. We love the texture too! It's so soft and silky, and isn't gritty like sand. When we play with sand they always ask me several times to clean their hands. But with this stuff, they played in it for hours without needed a single hand washing.

But that calm before the storm was over...

For most of it, Bean stayed completely focused cooking up her cloud dough soup. 

But Munchkin spent the better part of an hour throwing cloud dough at me and laughing like it was the greatest game ever invented. (They know throwing isn't usually allowed, like books and heavy toys, but this stuff is harmless, so I allowed it.)

Bean tried to show me her cloud tea, but she was distracted when Munchkin crept up behind her and dumped cloud dough on her head..

She was barely phased. She continued making her cloud tea and cloud soup and barely paid Munchkin any mind as he dumped countless handfuls of cloud dough onto her head.

He thinks he is being sooo sneaky because he thinks she hasn't noticed yet.

But she has and she's probably already plotting some way to get him back.

They literally played like this for over an hour.

With the occasional dose of cloud dough for mommy's legs. :)

And this is why I let him... That smile and his laughter make the whole mess completely worth it. :)

And still she stirs that little tea/soup of hers... By this point she is laughing to herself, so I started to wonder what it was that she was concocting. I asked her and she just giggled. Probably a bad sign.

Munchkin grew a beard while I was focused on Bean. :)

Suddenly she announced that it was ready.

And threw it at me... She then scrambled over to me and patted the cloud dough off saying, "ouch, hot tea, hot hot hot. Are you ok, mommy?" Of course I was fine and she was relieved.

She went back to playing, this time spending some time decorating her face. She had to take her glasses off for this part, since they were getting cloudy anyways.

And Munchkin spent some time crouched in the bin.

He liked swishing his feet around in the cloud dough and painting his legs with it. It must have felt lovely. :)

And since Munchkin saw Bean do this so many times with ill effect to her, he had to try it. Blowing into the cup resulted in a puff of cloud dough splattering across his face. He thought it was awesome and kept doing it.

Oh, I do have to mention though... For those of you who are scared of messy play like this, it really isn't that bad. Bean rolled all over the couch before I was able to gather them up for their bath. And Munchkin had thrown so much cloud dough around that there was a nice layer of it all across the rug. But three minutes of vacuuming and it's all completely gone!

That concludes our cloud dough post. I apologize for all the pictures, but they had so much fun and were so cute that I had to share them all. :)

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