Out Of This World Moon Dough

Sometimes I come across something and think, yeah, OK, that seems kind of cool, but I think there might be a better way. This Moon Dough recipe was one of those moments! I wanted something new for the kids to play with. Something fun and different. I had heard about homemade moon dough and after doing some research I decided to play and create our very own moon dough recipe, and it was amazing!!

Easy and Brilliantly Coloured Cloud Dough

Moon Dough Recipe

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First up, I have heard this stuff called many things. Most commonly I hear it called Moon Dough, Moon Sand, or Cloud Dough. No matter what you call it, the result is the same. A silky smooth, moldable material that is completely irresistible!

I know, I didn’t quite get the hype either. That’s why it took us so long to try it.

Then we made a batch. The standard recipe uses flour and oil. It was cool, but the scientist in me and my young scientists felt it could be extraordinary. We put on our Thinking Googles (Zoey fans will understand), and put our brain cells to work.

After some brainstorming we hit the lab and started testing. And the result was amazing!

The Struggles With Regular Moon Dough

After doing some research I came across a few issues that were common for people trying to make Moon Dough.

Not taste safe. For many people they are making this for kids of a variety of ages and are worried about little ones putting it in their mouth or licking it off their fingers. Since most recipes call for baby oil, we knew that was one ingredient we needed to change to create a taste safe version.

Colouring it is extremely difficult. We read about a few people that were really struggling with getting the colouring to mix with the oils and generally creating a big mess or the colours were not very vibrant, or even worse, some people said the colours were staining kids hands when they played. Not good at all!

The texture. From our own studies and experiments, we knew there was something we could do to really make the sensory experience of Moon Dough out of this world.

Cloud Dough

Our Solutions and Tips for Making Amazing Moon Dough

Taste safe Moon Dough Recipe

So first off, to create a taste safe version we changed out the baby oil for coconut oil. Personally I prefer using coconut oil anyway. It does a wonderful job moisturizing the skin while the kids are playing and it gives the Moon Dough a pleasant, subtle scent. To create a taste safe version, do not colour it, as our colouring technique would render it no longer taste safe. So if you are needing taste safe, simply use our recipe but skip colouring it, leaving it white. When we did this, we called it Snow Dough.

Colouring Moon Dough

While doing our research we had a big “A-HA” moment when we read about one person getting so frustrated because the food colouring formed little balls in the oil and refused to mix. Well, if your kids are like mine and have been helping make bath bombs, we know all about what is happening here! Oil and water (the food colouring is water based) do not mix! Learn more about our experiments with oil and water here. To get them to mix we need an emulsifier. And thankfully, in our bath bomb baking kit we have our trusty Polysorbate 80, an emulsifier. It only takes a few drops and voila! Perfectly coloured oil and vibrant, gorgeous cloud dough!

Cloud Dough Molded into a Heart

Extra silky moon dough

Finally, the texture. Every recipe we read calls for flour. Which is fine and all, but we added a little ingredient we have come to love using in our Oobleck recipes because of the exceptional silky sensory experience it provides. That ingredient is potato starch. Turns out it takes a Moon Dough recipe to a whole new level of awesome!


1/2 cup Potato Starch
1/2 cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
Polysorbate 80
Food Colouring
Glitter (optional) – we used it in our Galaxy Moon Dough as the stars
Large bowl
Microwave safe cup
Measuring Cups

Anthony's Organic Potato Starch - Unmodified (2 Pounds), Gluten-Free & Non-GMO, Resistant StarchBob's Red Mill (Resealable) Potato Starch, 22-ounce (Pack of 1)Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 OuncePolysorbate 80 (Solubilser) - 500gFood Coloring - 12 Color Bright Rainbow Cake Food Coloring Set for Baking, Decorating, Icing and Cooking - Assorted Variety Liquid Food Color Dye for Slime Making and DIY Crafts - .25 fl. oz. Bottles



Start by adding 1/2 cup of potato starch and 1/2 cup of flour to a large bowl. Mix.

Now melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave. Heat just until it turns liquid. Then add food colouring. I found about 6 drops gave me a nice vibrant dough, but you can adjust to your preference.


Have your child notice how the colours form little beads in the oil. Even if they try mixing the oil the colour beads just bounce around. Now add 2 drops of polysorbate 80 and stir again. Voila! Coloured oil! This is a great little science lesson for kids on how emulsifiers work.

Check out our video on how the emulsifier works!

Pour the coloured oil in with the starch and flour. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Work it all together until it is blended and starts to mold and hold shapes like wet sand.

Now you are ready to play!

Playing with cloud dough
Playing with cloud dough

Moon Dough Engineering Challenge

Now you can just let the kids go crazy and play. Which they will, for ages! Seriously this stuff is so amazing.

But you can also give them little challenges. I had my kids build a tower! This was a great little engineering challenge that had them using critical thinking skills to figure out the best way to mold and stack their Moon Dough to get the best height.

Building a Tower out of Moon Dough

We also used cookie cutters to make shapes.

And an ice cream scoop to make balls and tried making them roll.

We made our batch of of Moon Dough into Galaxy Dough. To do this we made a batch of blue and a batch of purple. To include our stars we added some glitter.

Now I know we could have just mixed flour and oil, but we truly enjoy this recipe so much more. It was well worth hitting the lab and doing some experiments to come up with something extra special!

It also made a fun challenge for my older kids.

Happy Moon Dough playing!

5 Senses Printable

Reinforce sensory learning with our free 5 Senses Printable Activity Pack. Available to all members of the STEAM Powered Family mailing list.

Moon Dough Recipe


On a black background moon dough glows in a variety of colours - blue, green, orange, yellow and darker greens and blues. Overlay text says Rainbow Glow Moon Dough
Ocean blue moon dough in a child's hand. Overlay text says Ocean Moon Dough
Snow Dough A Winter Moon Dough Snowman Building Activity

Incredible Moon Dough Recipe

This new moon dough – cloud dough – recipe is out of this world! Amazing silky texture, moldable and make a taste safe version or a vibrantly coloured one!


  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp polysorbate 80 Just a couple of drops should do!
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter (optional)


  1. Add 1/2 cup of potato starch and 1/2 cup of flour to a large bowl. Mix.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave. Add 6 drops of food colouring to the oil and 2 drops of polysorbate 80. Mix.

  3. Pour the coloured oil in with the starch and flour. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Work it all together until it is blended and starts to mold and hold shapes like wet sand.

  4. Play!