In the mood for a winter play activity, but no snow in the forecast? Never fear! Your Little Pnuts will love playing with this peppermint-scented cloud dough so much, they won’t even miss the fluffy stuff! Scented cloud dough only needs three ingredients and the possibilities for creative sensory play are limited only by your imagination.
What You Will Need
- A large plastic container
- Cooking oil (we use olive oil, but vegetable oil, canola oil, and coconut oil work, too
- Peppermint essential oil (optional)
- Assorted kitchen tools, containers for filling/dumping, cookie cutters, small toys, pinecones, etc. for playing in your “winter wonderland”
Making the Cloud Dough:
Place your container on a low table or on the ground where your Little Pnuts can access it easily. Add flour and cooking oil (stay away from baby oil – it smells nice but can be toxic if ingested or inhaled) in a ratio of eight parts flour to one part oil. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil if desired. Have your Little Pnuts help you mix the oil into the flour with their hands, a spoon, or even a whisk.
Let the Fun Begin:
Encourage your Little Pnuts to explore the cloud dough with their hands and feet, kitchen tools, and/or toys. Use your imagination…gently press the dough into balls to make snowmen, or if you are brave, have a “snowball fight!” Flatten the powder with your hands and use cookie cutters to stamp holiday shapes. Use pinecones to make “trees” in your tiny winter landscape. Measuring cups and ice-cream scoops are the perfect tools to make pretend food with your cloud dough. You can even use a stick or a cotton swab to draw or write letters in the dough. Open-ended play activities such as this are wonderful opportunities for language enrichment– talk about how the dough feels and smells and describe your play as you go.
Try using various essential oils to and/or spices to add different scents to your cloud dough. Pumpkin pie cloud dough would be a fun autumn activity; lavender-scented cloud dough would be very soothing. If you are concerned about Little Pnuts ingesting the dough, be sure you buy “therapeutic grade” essential oils as they are the only ones that are edible.
To add color to your cloud dough, try adding crushed colored chalk, powdered gelatin or drink mixes. Make it sparkly by adding fine glitter. Of course, just plain-ole’ cloud dough is loads of fun, too!
This activities focuses on the following Developmental Milestones for your Little Pnuts:
Fine Motor Skill Development, Hand/Eye Coordination, Focus & Concentration, Vocabulary Development, Symbolic Play, Sensory Development, Social Interaction
—Stephanie Haass, Little Pnuts Early Childhood Activities Expert & Blogger, www.two-daloo.com