Homemade Cloud dough recipe : Gluten free cloud dough

gluten free cloud dough recipe
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Homemade Cloud dough  : Gluten free cloud dough

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Simple homemade cloud dough  which is also conveniently gluten-free. The children will enjoy running their hands through this silky soft homemade cloud dough which is moldable and provides for an engaging sensory activity { All our sensory activities for kids here}

Oh! how we adore cornstarch. We love it so much that we rounded up 10 play recipes using cornstarch and my friend Asia at Fun at Home with Kids rounded up 15 ways to have fun with cornstarch . That’s your hint for this simple gluten-free homemade cloud dough recipe which is available at the bottom of the post.

My uber-vibrant invitation to explore this new material and PLAY. Colored cloud dough along with a few basic props to extend play in a nice, clear sensory tub { we use a Sterilite container for these purposes}

Props we used { affiliate links provided for your reference}

cloud dough recipe invitation

The children immediately added their favorite props in the bin. Do you spy a Medusa there? The homemade cloud dough we made was silky smooth and very fluffy. It has a very distinct texture.

exploratory materials for homemade cloud dough recipe

The baking cups are a staple in all our sensory activities for kids and this homemade cloud dough play was not exception. Invariably kids start making cupcakes and how can you bake without baking cups!! *gasp**

cloud dough fun

During this particular session, there was a bunch of giraffe play involved.

silky soft cloud dough

Let’s feed the giraffe some pink food.

homemade cloud dough play

Let’s turn the food into a hat for the giraffe.

playing with homemade cloud dough

Let’s start baking!

cloud dough recipe ball

and make some yummy cupcakes and pink balls.

cloud dough1

and lava cakes.

The cloud dough is perfectly moldable.

ball of homemade sensory dough

child making a cloud dough ball

The kids can easily scoop them, mold them and stack the balls.


So the recipe? READ VERY CAREFULLY ( I’m not yelling, just speaking a bit louder now!)

Here is our super simple homemade cloud dough recipe which is gluten free.



  • Baking Soda 1/2 cup
  • Cornstarch 1/4 cup
  • Vegetable Oil 2-2.5 TBSP
  • Food Color


  • Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a dry and clean bowl
  • Add 1 TBSP of oil, mix well
  • Add desired amount of food color -we love AmeriColor Food Color
  • Remember the color lightens after you add more cornstarch- add color accordingly
  • Add 1/2 tbsp of oil and mix well
  • You should get a super soft and squishy mixture
  • Now add 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • Add anywhere from 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • We liked it squishier an hence added 2.5 tbsp of oil. You can reduce the oil amount to 2 tbsp.

There you have it a smooth, soft, squishy, gluten-free cloud dough which is perfectly moldable. A sensory materials all the kids can enjoy!

purple ornge

Feel free to pin this image.

 Homemade gluten free cloud dough recipe

Food for thought!

[frame]Do you really NEED to sit down and create an elaborate rainbow tinted cloud dough tub? [/frame]

[frame]Simple answer, not really – kids definitely benefit from sensory activities but there is no need to create an elaborate sensory tub. The fabulous Stephanie at Two-Daloo has a fantastic post on the very same topic – Sensory play: Is it necessary?. [/frame]

[frame]Having said that if you love to create one and have the time and energy, I bet the children would love this even more simply because of the colors. Here is something I observe during the play session which involves brightly colored sensory bin – they do elicit more extended and engaged play. With bright and colorful sensory bins, the play continues for a longer duration, is more verbal due to multiple stories spinning around them, with many color mixing session, a spontaneous small world pattern arises and so much more. Case in point : During this play session, the green part of the cloud dough became a pasture. Pink cloud dough was “food” for the giraffes because leaves are boring! The teeny red part was obviously “hot lava” So, if you have the time, interest and energy give colorful sensory bins a try, if not a basic cloud dough will be just as fun for the kids.[/frame]

Stop by the fantastic Tinkerlab for their version of the cloud dough. So unique!

Stop by our sensory activities for kids Pinterest board

Thanks for reading



  1. I have a three year old who is celiac and when she plays with things like cloud dough it gets stuck under her fingernails. We had a child care provider that didn’t listen to us about not being allowed to have play dough because of the wheat and my poor kid had diarrhea and was vomiting for days. It does matter.

  2. From the mother of a celiac child…with regard to the comment about making a big deal about GLUTEN-FREE cloud dough. It is a big deal! Her hands break out in very painful blisters just from playing with gluten containing playdough or finger painting in certain kinds of paint, not to mention that if she does forget to wash her hands before eating we no doubt would be heading to the hospital. Any amount of gluten sends her into an attack that goodness knows how long it will last. So from a mother that has been there and does not wish to go back, thank you for taking the time to post this idea and helping me to make things as “normal” as possible for my little girl that feels like an outcast most days.

    • Thanks for reading and no, it is not a stupid question! Baking soda and oil takes color REALLY well. So I simple used gel food colors and I believe one color was liquid coloring. Both will work just fine.

  3. Thanks for this recipe! I agree that it is so much better to be safe than sorry with kids when it comes to allergies. Thanks for coming up with this gluten-free recipe!

  4. Cloud dough is the best! This looks like so much fun, and like you said, wonderful on both a purely sensorial level AND for encouraging imaginative play and language. And the fact that it is gluten-free is great, just in case you have a gluten-sensitive little one who accidentally ingests some during play. Even a tiny bit can be super harmful for a child with celiac disease! Thanks so much for linking to our sensory play post!

  5. This is the same recipe for cloud dough that is all over the internet and Pinterest. Why are you making a big deal that it is gluten free? I know some children are sensitive to gluten in their food but would it matter if they played with a dough with gluten? I was just curious because I am a child care provider.

    • Thanks for your comment. Please help me understand how you came to the conclusion that I’m making a big deal out of our very simple activity post. Just curious 🙂
      Cloud dough is generally made with flour and oil which kids with Gluten allergy cannot use. This particular recipe calls for cornstarch/cornflour (UK/AUS) Next – Children allergic to gluten cannot ingest them -granted but we are dealing with the 2’s, 3’s and 4’s here. You cannot be “too careful” when you are dealing with allergies like these. It’s always best to remove the allergen play element, don’t you think? What if they take a quick taste? Life threatening cases of gluten allergy exists.. What if the child with Gluten allergy plays with regular flour cloud dough and say doesn’t wash his/her hands properly and eats his/her snack? These things are quite possible, something caregivers of multiple children usually think about.There are extreme cases of allergies that have resulted in hospital trips by merely touching play ground equipment with a particular allergen on it. Allergic reactions are really traumatic for people who experience it every.single day. I hoped that this recipe will give Gluten sensitive kids a chance to experience moldable cloud dough.

      • A gluten intolerance is not necessarily the same thing as an allergy. I have it myself. People with issues with gluten do not react simply but touching something that has gluten, it must be ingested and it does not cause sudden life-threatening reactions like an allergy. Having said that, my mother-in-law has the worst form of gluten intolerance, celiac disease, and we do have to be careful not to use the same knife for spreading something on wheat bread as her bread. It will not cause a trip to the hospital (which would be interesting since she is a nurse) it will just make her sick. The only life-threatening issues connected with gluten allergy are for those who specifically have celiac (which is different and worse than a plain old intolerance) and then only though constant exposure which causes intestinal damage. So, yes, the kids accidentally eating it, it is a concern, but not by simply touching it. Just want to be clear, since there is is some much misinformation out there with this fad of going gluten-free. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/foods-allergy-intolerance

      • Just had to leave a reply as well – my daughter is gluten free and now that she is older I let her play with play doh without too much worry as she knows she cannot touch her face or eat any food until her hands are washed. But, gluten reactions can occur not just when ingested as it can absorb into the skin also. Depending on the severity of the allergy this could pose problems – as it did with our daughter using sunscreen that we didn’t know contained a gluten ingredient.

    • Hi there,
      As the mom of a gluten free 3 1/2 yr old kiddo I can say that regular cloud dough actually has given mine a rash. I specifically was looking for a gf version so Thanks! 🙂


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