Young kids are especially fond of learning if it comes in a fun hands-on package. My kids are resistant to worksheets, but as soon as we try a hands-on learning activity, they are all for it. My preschooler is not interested in learning her letters from a book, but she is delighted to learn them when it involves messy play, like in this cloud dough letter smash activity. She spent nearly the entire day playing with this cloud dough alphabet set up, which is definitely a win in my book.

Kids love the texture of cloud dough. Make your playtime educational by mixing cloud dough with foam letters in this exciting letter smash!

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for Cloud Dough Alphabet Sensory Activity:

  • Unbleached Flour
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Foam Bath Alphabet
  • Play Tray

Older kids can also use the principles behind the cloud dough letter smash to learn sight words and spelling words in a hands-on way.

Kids love the texture of cloud dough. Make your playtime educational by mixing cloud dough with foam letters in this exciting letter smash!

Before starting this activity, you’ll need to make some cloud dough. We started with 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil and 4 cups of flour. However, that was a bit dry for our liking, so I added an additional 1/4 a cup of oil to make it mid way between powder and pie dough. We kept adding oil a bit at a time until the dough would hold a shape, but still easily crumble when pressed.

Kids love the texture of cloud dough. Make your playtime educational by mixing cloud dough with foam letters in this exciting letter smash!

After the dough was mixed, we were ready to start our alphabet activity. I placed the dough and the foam letters onto the large tray.

I showed my preschooler how to press the letters into the dough to make an outline of the letter. She used a lot of force to press the letters into the dough.

Kids love the texture of cloud dough. Make your playtime educational by mixing cloud dough with foam letters in this exciting letter smash!

While she played, we talked about the sounds and names of each letter.

Kids love the texture of cloud dough. Make your playtime educational by mixing cloud dough with foam letters in this exciting letter smash!

She was content to play this way for quite a while, but after about 30 minutes, she was a little bored of simply pressing a single letter into the dough. So, I started to stamp short sight words into the dough.

Kids love the texture of cloud dough. Make your playtime educational by mixing cloud dough with foam letters in this exciting letter smash!

If you have older kids, I could see this activity working to learn sight words and spelling words (use several sets of the foam letters so you can make more words).

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

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Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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