Sunday, 11 August 2013

Cloud Dough – 10 reasons why we love it!

~ @28-29 months ~

We had been playing with cloud dough for more than a month.  Both Sweet Butterfly and me loved it so much that we pulled out our box of cloud dough every weekend and spent roughly an hour on it.  Here are 10 reasons why we love it.

1) Easy to make.  8 parts flour with 1 part baby oil.  Didn’t really measure the baby oil, we just used all the expired baby oil in our cabinet.  It was just enough for the flour to be mouldable.

2) Sensory and Measurement exploration.  Because it is so easy, you can include your child in the preparation process.  Explore measurements.  Measure the flour with your child and explain to them what does 8:1 means.  Use words like ‘more’, ‘less’.  Let them touch each individual ingredients.  Use words like ‘white’, ‘powdery, ‘ oily’. 

3) Build fine motor skill.  Let your child do the mixing, squeezing, squashing, patting, etc.   These help to build the muscles necessary for writing and cutting.

4) Build hand-eye coordination.  We started with just some spades and moulds. Scooping and pouring into the moulds, transferring the dough (etc.) all help to improve your child’s hand-eye coordination.

5) Open-ended play.  I love open-ended play as it builds creativity.  I enjoyed listening to her instructions on what to do.  Some of our imagination
  • She imagined that the dough was different types of food and asked me to feed the animals.
  • I pretended the dough was a blanket and got her to work on her scooping and pouring over the animals.
  • She complained that her animals were dirty so we showered them with imaginative water (the dough).

6) Thematic sensory learning.  I added some jungle animals into our cloud dough box.  We had fun, recognising the animals and learning about the differences.  For example, Sweet Butterfly frequently mistaken rhinoceros as hippopotamus.  With this purposeful jungle themed play, we explored the differences between these 2 animals.

I added her tipper truck on another day (ignore the animals, I was too lazy to remove them.).  We explored how a tipper truck can be used to transport our imaginary sand.

6) Colour mixing.  Added our existing red and yellow moon dough.  We learned that when we mixed these 2 colours, we get orange. 

But because we had too much white, it turned out pinkish.

7) Endless communication and bonding.  There were so much communication and bonding between us.  She was delighted when I squeezed the baby oil on her hand.  I usually do not allow her to touch oily ingredients (e.g.: vegetable oil) during our cooking sessions.  She kept asking me why.  It was a good opportunity for me to encourage her to mix the flour so as to get rid of the oil.

8) It’s unique texture.   Unlike playdough,it is extremely soft yet mouldable.  We mould it into ‘hard rock’ and squashed it into powder.  We competed on squashing the rocks.

9) Endless learning.  There is just so much to learn using cloud dough as a medium.  Writing, counting, colours, ABCs, etc.  The Imagination Tree, one of my favourite blog, has a lots of ideas for playdough which can be easily extended to cloud dough.  Check out her post on the A-Z playdough activities.

10) Therapeutic.  This is a good activity to work out those emotion and stress.  Ok, this is more for me.  I usually do this activity on a Saturday morning after 5 long days of work.

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