Need an activity for a rainy day or sensory play? Check out How to make Moon Dough! The kids love it! Plus, it can be made gluten-free!
There are many scenarios, but they all usually start with kids who are bored. Whether it is a rainy day, they are “bored,” or a little one needs something to do while the big ones are busy. This playdough is your salvation! Check out how easy it is to make Moon Dough with this easy recipe!
This post was originally written by me in 2013. Since then it has grown in popularity and I decided it was time to update it a little.
What is Moon Dough?
It is a dough that the kids can play with. Think sandbox, but it holds its shape like a play-dough. It crumbles like sand but can stick together to make sandcastles, shapes, etc. Moon Dough (or Moon Sand) is perfect for little ones, for children that need sensory activities, and apparently, the bigger ones don’t mind playing with it either. My kids all love it when I make a batch.
Making your own doughs is so easy, affordable, and fun! I personally love it because I can make it gluten-free with the right ingredients.
Many store-bought moon dough products and toy doughs are not gluten free! Making your own allows you to control what your kids are handling. This is perfect for families with allergies or sensitivities. Simply substituting a corn flour or other gluten free flour works perfectly!
If you are gluten free, there is a great gluten free recipe index right here on AFewShortcuts.com.
Want to make your moon dough colorful? Color adds a whole other level of fun to this dough. After much trial and error, here is the best way to color the dough
- In a small bowl or glass mix together 3 tablespoons of water and several drops of food coloring.
- Add the food coloring mix to 1 cup of flour before anything else is mixed it.
- Stir it and even work the color in with your hands. The color will be a little faint, but that is ok.
- Add in 1/8 of a cup of oil per 1 cup of flour in a large bowl. The colors will become more vibrant after you add the oil. If desired you can add more or less food coloring to each batch.
Moon Dough Extras
It is so much fun to pull out moon dough on a rainy day when playing outside isn’t an option! Just put the play dough in a large tote and give your child scoops, spoons, cookie cutters, mixing bowls, and molds. Let their imaginations run wild!
None of the items need to be fancy or expensive for your kids to have fun. You can often find some great play dough tools at garage sales or thrift stores for VERY reasonable.
Adding scents to your moon dough can really increase the appeal! I like to add a couple of drops of essential oils to help it smell great too! I recommend a drop of lavender oil because it is calming and gentle. Another fun option is orange essential oil.
Store your homemade dough in an air-tight container until ready to enjoy again. You can use any plastic storage container with a lid. If your dough becomes dirty or dries out, discard and make new moon dough to enjoy.
Play really enhances learning experiences. Here are just a few ideas to use this moon dough in your education activities.
- Have you child trace spelling words with their finger in the moon dough.
- Use Alphabet cookie cutters to spell small words with moon dough.
(Here are some more unique ways to practice spelling words.)
- Give your child shapes to make with the moon dough
- Have your child help you mix the food coloring to learn color concepts like Yellow + Blue = Green
How to Make Moon Dough
- Plastic container
- 8 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil or baby oil
- Food color if you want to color it
- Essential oils for fragrance I used lavender
- Pour flour into a large plastic container or tub.
- If you would like to color your dough. Add a few tablespoons of water to a small bowl. Add in several drops of food coloring. Once the water is the color you desire, stir it into the flour. It will be pale, but the color will enhance in the next step.
- If you would like to add essential oils, add a couple drops of your favorite scents now.
- Dump in the oil to the center and mix together with your hands until it is evenly distributed and the flour sticks together when you squeeze it. Add more oil if needed to get the correct consistency.
- Give the kids molds, scoops, and more and let them enjoy.
- This can be stored for a couple weeks in an airtight container before drying out.
- Use Corn Flour or other gluten free flours if your child has a gluten intolerance. I have also heard that you can make this using playground sand and oil (however I have not personally tried it)
I need to make two batches next time. This Dough was very popular at my house. Ha, even the little princess loved it!