Foam Dough

DIY Foam Dough - mouldable, yet crumbly

One of my goals for this year is to do some more sensory play with JJ and Bee. (Sensory play encourages the use of various senses; to look, hear, smell, taste or touch while they play).

Sensory doughs are an excellent medium to explore the sense of touch. Some are oozy, some are crumbly, some are soft. And some explore other senses as well, like smell and taste.

I’ve tended to shy away from making our own dough at home for too long now: I feared the mess; I feared the prep work; I feared that the effort will be greater than the reward. But after seeing how much JJ and Bee liked the Play Snow last month, I’ve decided to put fears aside and let the kids get messy!

And so it was extremely timely when my friend Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures put out a 12 Months of Sensory Dough challenge. Yup, I’m in!

Want to play too? Well, the idea is to make a different type of sensory dough each month, starting with Foam Dough for January, Cloud Dough for February, Edible Play Dough for March, and so on.

So what is foam dough?

Glad you asked. πŸ™‚

Cornflour + shaving cream + food colouring
It’s cornflour + shaving creamΒ + (optional) red & blue food colouring (because JJ is obsessed with purple).

(Just to make things confusing, what we call cornflour in Australia, is called cornstarch in America. And what what we call cornstarch in Australia is called cornflour in America. The one I mean is white and powdery, not yellow and powdery…)

Mixing! A beautiful sensory mess
Mixing it together is more than half the fun. Shaving cream is so fluffy to touch and smells so clean! And watching the red and blue colours mix together is a great colour mixing lesson.

We used a 500g packet of cornflour, but I didn’t measure out the shaving cream. I just kept squirting and squirting and squirting until the mixture looked about right.

foam dough
Once it’s all combined, foam dough is crumbly, yet mouldable. With shaving cream being a main ingredient, I was expecting it to be fluffy or sticky, but it isn’t. It’s soft. It’s very similar in texture toΒ Play Snow, but the shaving cream made it more fun to make.

I provided JJ with some paper cupcake cups / liners / cases (what are these things called again) and of course she made a birthday cake and told her joke.

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Abbey who?
Abbey birthday cake!

Hilarious. Or at least JJ thinks so.

Foam dough birthday cake with stick candle
She discovered that if you turn the cupcake upside down, you can make a sand castle. They work much better than most of the ‘real’ sandcastles she’s tried, as there is no need to add any water.

So she proceeded to make about a hundred.

Making foam dough sand castles
After a while I brought out a few letter cookie cutters. We talked about how the letter F makes a ‘f’ sound and I asked her if there was anything she could see that started with a ‘f’, and she immediately said Foam Dough. Yay! Learning the starting sounds of words is one of the first steps to reading, and is something that JJ is enjoying toying with at the moment.

F is for foam dough
Given JJ’s sensory obsession of feeling things with her feet, this was always going to happen. And so we counted toes.

Footprints in foam dough. Counting toes.
Once the feet were in, well, there’s no stopping! Lucky that I had set it up outside. πŸ˜‰

Foam Sensory Dough - let the kids get messy!
Want to play along? Then make some – it’s fun! Yes it’s messy, but if you do it outside, and close enough to bathtime, then it’s manageable. I don’t know why I was afraid of the prepwork – JJ did all the mixing for me! And was it worth the effort – every single bit.

And a tip from a non-pro? Wash your hands before you pick up your camera to take photos, or risk getting powder all over the $1000 camera lens. Oops.

Best of the Best Sensory Dough

Enjoy the beautiful sensory mess!

xx Danya


  1. Smart idea doing this one outside. I actually tried this inside with a preschooler and a toddler and let's just say… it never made it to the blog, lol! This does make a fun and interesting substance to play with and it's fun experimenting with it to get the right consistency, but I'd definitely be playing with it outside next time! haha πŸ™‚

    • Danya Banya

      Yes, outside is definitely the way to go with this one. We made it while Bee was asleep, hence why she doesn't appear until the later photos. πŸ™‚


  2. So much fun! I think we have all the ingredients for this too. May be one to try this week! Thanks Danya! P.S. Love the new look. xo P

    • Danya Banya

      Lots of fun! And thanks for your lovely compliment. I've just moved from blogger to wordpress this last few weeks, so my 'look' is a work in progress at the moment. πŸ™‚

  3. Kate-TheCraftTrain

    I need to do more sensory play with my kids too, when I see stuff like this I think they're missing out on so much fun! Great activity πŸ™‚

    • Danya Banya

      We have been doing loads and loads in this past month. Having an outdoor area really helps. JJ's worked out that I have a list of sensory doughs that we're going to try and every day she's been asking for the next one on the list. We've already done up until June. πŸ™‚ I figure we may as well do them while she is showing so much interest and while it's summer and lovely to play outdoors.

  4. pisforpreschooler

    This looks like fun – but definitely want to try it outside! lol!
    My recent post Homemade Puffy Paint (Hands-on Play)


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