How to Make Cloud Sand for the Best Sensory Play


Sensory play for preschoolers is fun and incredibly beneficial. It’s something parents (or caregivers) and children can enjoy together.

Sensory play involves the use of the five senses. To babies and toddlers, sensory play comes completely naturally to them as they put just about everything in their mouths. This is their developmentally appropriate way of figuring out their world. It’s important that parents continue to encourage sensory play as children grow. 

Not only is sensory play fun, there are many benefits of this type of play. There is so much more happening in our children’s brains when they participate in sensory play than what we can see. Sensory play encourages children to investigate and discover how the world around them works. During sensory play, children are expanding their language skills and adding new words to their ever-growing vocabulary. Sensory play will also help to develop their fine motor skills by strengthening their hands and fingers as well as improving their coordination and precision. 

Sensory play is for all children! Children who are more sensory sensitive, as well as those who aren’t, will truly enjoy sensory play. My older son has some sensory challenges while my younger son does not. They both really love sensory activities, and I can almost always count on them playing well together when we bring out sensory toys. 

One of our favorite sensory play activities is “cloud sand.” This is easy to make with ingredients you probably already have at home, and it’s really fun! The sand is super, super soft but is moldable.  


Cloud Sand Recipe:

  • 8 cups of flour

  • 1 cup of baby oil

  • Optional- add a couple drops of essential oil to encourage the sense of smell 

Combine the ingredients in a large but shallow plastic container. (Tip- get a container with a secure lid so that you can keep your cloud sand for the next time you want to play. The sand can also be stored in large glass mason jars.)
We like to play with measuring cups & spoons, silicone cupcake liners, small bowls or cups, and even sand toys. We also use Play-Doh tools and plastic cookie cutters. Take a look around your kitchen or check out the dollar store for fun, inexpensive scoops or toys to use with your cloud sand.  
We also like to hide plastic letters in the sand and go “digging” for them. Call out a letter and see how quickly your child can find it. Ask them to make the sound of the letter when they find it. If your child is a little older, have them to find the letters to spell out their name or sight words! 
There are so many fun ways to use cloud sand or your sensory play. Let me know in the comments if you make this and be sure to tell me what your kiddo thinks of it! Do you have a favorite sensory play activity? Tell me about it in the comments! I am always looking for fun ways to include sensory play into our day.


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