Last year my kids went crazy for our Hot Chocolate Cloud Dough bin, so I thought I’d make a new Gingerbread Cloud Dough Sensory Bin to surprise them!
Have your kids ever played with cloud dough?
It’s a wonderful alternative to sand – or it’s expensive (but fun!) hybrid, kinetic sand.
It’s a powder-soft dough that clumps together easily to form shapes. It has two main ingredients which are both kitchen staples, making it super easy to whip up when you just need a quick activity to keep the kids happy.
I love to customize our cloud dough to themes or seasons – and since this week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids’ selection is Gingerbread Baby, I thought a gingerbread cloud dough was the perfect choice!
Gingerbread Baby is a sweet picture book from Jan Brett (author of The Mitten and Trouble with Trolls – two of our other favorite winter stories) that puts a happy ending to the classic Gingerbread Man story.
The Scandinavian-style illustrations are one of my favorite things about the book, though kids always love the interactive gingerbread house at the end of the story. It’s a beautiful book to enjoy together for the holidays.
After reading the book together, kids will love digging in and exploring this taste-safe gingerbread cloud dough. You can sit with them and encourage them to describe the texture or engage in some imaginative play with the cloud dough… or take advantage of their complete preoccupation with with the sensory bin and start supper – or just sit back and enjoy a hot coffee in peace!
Materials to Make Gingerbread Cloud Dough
- 8 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons ginger
- 1 Tablespoon nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon allspice
- 2 cups oil (you can use vegetable or baby oil)
Tip: if you don’t have or don’t want to use your other spices, just make sure you add lots of cinnamon!
You can just leave your gingerbread cloud dough as-is or add in some fun items to extend your play. We added:
- A wooden spoon
- Cinnamon sticks
- Jingle Bells
- Cookie Cutters
- Measuring cups
How to Make Gingerbread Cloud Dough
Measure out your flour into a large bin. Add enough cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger to make a strong, festive smell. (I gave measurements above for how much I used, but adjust to your personal preferences.)
Add in the oil – vegetable oil keeps this taste-safe while baby oil is usually cheaper.
My daughter wanted to be in charge of stirring it up and she was able to get the dough about 3/4 of the way with a wooden spoon before we had to dig in with our hands and make sure it was really well mixed.
You want a dry dough that clumps well when pressed together. There should be no patches of “just flour” and the dough should not be wet or sticky in the slightest.
I’ve found that first letting the kids dig into the plain sensory bin and then adding in the “add on” items (like the cookie cutters and buttons) after the initial enthusiasm starts to wane is perfect. It keeps them engaged in the activity for longer and they also don’t feel like they have to play with the bin in just the way the items may suggest.
This taste-safe cloud dough lasts forever – my friend actually kept a batch around for a few years without any visible mold growth! Personally, I remove the add-ons and wash them for future use and toss the cloud dough after about a month – but I may be a bit more of a germ-phobe than others.
Grab your free printable for our gingerbread cloud dough recipe:
Check out these other wonderful Gingerbread Baby-inspired activities for kids: