A ‘taste- safe’ recipe to try
Now that Baby E is, well, not really a baby anymore, I have been keen to try out some ‘taste-safe’ recipes with him. Creating activities that both Mr 1 and Miss 3 can enjoy isn’t always easy, but it does also mean that I don’t have to create two separate things, equalling less tidy up time – always an incentive in my eyes! This ‘Tutti-Frutti’ cloud dough fit the bill perfectly because all three ingredients pass the taste-safe test…
What does ‘taste-safe’ mean, exactly?
Taste-safe basically means using food! However, I want to stress here that the ingredients used aren’t supposed to be a snack. Taste-safe ingredients are ones that shouldn’t cause your little ones issues if they do end up having a little taste.
Whenever making any sensory play base using food, do take into consideration the age of the child or children playing and whether they may have any allergies or sensitivities. This recipe for cloud dough uses plain flour so I wouldn’t recommend it for use with children under the age of 12 months.
What is cloud dough?
Cloud dough is really similar to sand in many ways and also goes by the name ‘moon dough’. By combining oil and flour, the mixture is malleable so it can be used in a mould. The mixture will look powdery like flour until it is squished together, as you can see from our photographs:
And yes, the food colouring did come off her hands!
This will make a batch suitable for a Flisat Table or similar – which will be enough for between 2-4 children. Just round up or down accordingly. My advice is not to make too much as the mixture will only last for a few days at the most.
- 1 kg plain flour
- 1 cup rapeseed oil (or similar)
- Gel food colouring in a variety of colours – we ended up using 3 tubes!
- Combine the flour and rapeseed oil in a bowl or direct into the tray itself. Start with a wooden spoon but to really make sure the oil has mixed, use your hands!
- Add the food colouring. We only had gel food colouring available which resulted in the ‘tutti-frutti’ look. Liquid food colouring will result in a more even colour.
- Add scoops, spoons or even items from the recycling bin for play.
If possible, I strongly recommend getting your little one to help with making the cloud dough, as well as playing with it. Z has been helping me with sensory play recipes since she was around 2 years old and able to follow basic instructions.
- Making the cloud dough with your little one will help them to develop mathematical skills, specifically counting and measuring.
- Pouring the mixture into the bowl will develop hand-eye coordination.
- Mixing the ingredients with a spoon or even the fingers will help strengthen the hands and fingers for fine motor skills.
- Using the cloud dough in any form of play – whether it is used to make ice creams, as shown in our example or for another play activity, has many sensory benefits.
- Describing the texture and feel of the dough will help boost language development.
- The role play involved in this activity helps to develop the imagination and boost social skills.
As with all of our activities, this tutti-frutti cloud dough activity needs to be closely supervised, especially with children under the age of 3. Whilst the ingredients are ‘taste-safe,’ discourage your little ones from trying it!