Have you ever made cloud dough? It’s easy and cheap to make, and it lasts forever. We decided to make a sand version of cloud dough, and I love the way it turned out!

Sand Cloud Dough - This sticky sand dough keeps forever and doesn't dry out!

Unlike plain sand, this sand cloud dough does not dry out. The benefit here is that the kids do not go outside and discover that the sand is all dry and turn on the hose THEMSELVES and soak it all down and make a giant swamp and then everyone needs a bath! (This happened several times last summer!) It lasts a long time as long as you keep it covered and clean when not in use.

You can squish it and mold it and it sticks together. But unlike play dough, it easily crumbles.

Sand Cloud Dough

We had fun using sand castle molds with our sand cloud dough.

How to Make Sand Cloud Dough

And also some smaller molds that we bought with our kinetic sand at Michael’s.

How to Make Sand Cloud Dough

How to Make Sand Cloud Dough

I started with Jackie’s cloud dough recipe on Happy Hooligans, and then adapted it.

To fill this small under-the-bed box I used:

  • 7 cups of sand
  • 7 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of baby oil

I stirred the flour and sand together and then mixed in the oil with my hands one cup at a time. Also, I strained our play sand with a kitchen strainer before mixing it into the cloud dough. Our play sand came from Home Depot, and it had a lot of small rocks in it. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to strain it, but we wanted it to be a more smooth texture.

How to Make Sand Cloud Dough

This recipe came out just about perfect! If you mix it up and it’s too moist, add more sand and flour. If you want it more moist, add more baby oil.

Note: This stuff is pretty messy, so we played with it outside. It’s not any more messy than a sand box (maybe less mess, since you’re not sitting in it!) but be aware that the oil in it can stain clothing. We have made cloud dough with vegetable oil before, and I personally think that baby oil washes out of clothes better than vegetable oil does. Also, my youngest son made a huge mess with this kind of thing at age 2, but now that he’s 3 he does so much better. If you’re not big on mess, I’d wait until at least age 3 for this activity! My 3, 5, and 8 year olds all enjoyed it.

Also check out our recipe for sand slime!


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  1. Ana Apr 24, 2015

    Please please PLEASE change the name of your blog, it's so sad! Geez...

    1. Pamela Apr 24, 2015

      I think the website name is great! It's easy to remember as I recommend it to many mamas I come in contact with everyday!

    2. Sarah Apr 24, 2015

      This blog is simply a resource for parents of boys, as boys do not always enjoy doing the same things that girls do. Of course girls would enjoy many of these activities too! There is no need to read it as "Frugal Fun for ONLY Boys." If you check out my "About" tab you can find out more about this site.

      1. Debbie May 26, 2019

        I think the website name is fine. I have girls and my grandchildren are girls and we found your site fine. Common sense and knowing your kids would make it obvious that toys, games and crafts can cross gender lines. We need to lighten up in our culture. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  2. Claudia Frahm Jul 17, 2016

    While this works well, the wheat flour can be a problem for many kids as well as adults. I will try it with a gluten free mix.


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