Moon Dough Messy Play

I had bought some packs of moon dough quite a while ago (it always seems to be on offer in the Entertainer, you can pick up some colours for around £3 if you do fancy it!) but had never seemed to get around to trying it out. Towards the end of the summer holidays we had a few quiet days at home so it seemed like an ideal activity to keep the boys entertained. They do love any messy or sensory play sessions, and I always find these are the kind of things which will keep them all playing and occupied together for so long without any arguments or fighting – which is always a great result!


We had been sent a large oilcloth a while back from Wipe Easy Tablecloths which comes in really handy for messy play. I wanted to do the moon dough in the garden for the first attempt as I had heard it shatters and crumbles everywhere and makes a huge mess (which is partly true!). We have a great picnic table in the garden which is ideal for sitting outside and doing messy activities but it does have gaps in it and the oil cloth is a much better surface to work on than wood with substances like moon dough or play dough, so I covered the table and the workspace was perfect.

oil cloth tablecloth garden
Ready to get started!

The texture of the moon dough feels quite unusual, it has a powdery and smooth feel to it. It is solid, but breaks apart easily – yet if you pack it together really firmly it will hold it’s shape very well. The boys really enjoyed feeling and exploring the texture.

Mr Z also really enjoyed mixing the colours. If you kneed together two colours, you can create a very smooth and consistent new colour. I would say this is easier to achieve than with playdough. He enjoyed selecting two colours the predicting what the result would be when mixed.

We also had some moulds to use. I had bought a moondough diner kit which comes with a burger maker, and pizza and fries mould. The boys enjoyed making these so we soon came up with the idea to improvise and make our own moulds too. We even used just small bowls. When you pack the moondough in really tightly then put the bowl upside down and tap it, the shape will just fall out. The boys were really impressed with the things they had made!

We continued this indoors the next day and the boys set about making some moon dough bricks using the same technique and a rectangular container.

moondoughbricksWe also tried using playdough cutters and playdough extruders to experiment with the dough, but these were a bit less effective with the moon dough.

The brilliant thing about moon dough compared to playdough is that it does not dry out, so you can keep it however long you want and go back to it, and it will still be good to use.

The downside is that it does really crumble up so we did loose a fair bit on the ground while playing with it outside. The (many) little bits that fell on the floor were not very easy to retrieve so I had to write them off. Luckily its very cheap to buy and we have loads of colours in stock, so I’m not too bothered if the quantity starts to diminish a bit with every use. You can see in some of the pictures little pieces breaking off. This is fine as long as they remain on the table or play surface. If you collect them all and pack them back together, they will go back together fine.

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When playing inside, I laid the same oil cloth mat on the living room floor and asked all the children to stay on the mat to contain the mess. However still some of it ended up escaping from the designated area and going on the rug. It does hoover up, although at first glance when you see a moon dough covered floor or surface it looks like a disaster zone has hit! It does also wash out of clothes fine.

The best thing about it is the texture, I love the feel of it, and the boys all seemed to love the feel of it. They are all quite sensory seeking, and the more variety that can be offered the better. Moulding and pressing the moon dough in the hands is also good for their fine motor skills and will definitely work the finger muscles the more they play with it.

I have heard some parents say they hated moon dough because of the mess, but my verdict is that it’s definitely a great one to add to the messy or sensory play repertoire. It another texture to explore, and it’s lots of fun with loads of potential to expand the play in whatever direction you like so I would recommend it. Just do it outside or on a big mat!

You can see another of our previous messy play activities on the oil cloth surface here

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23 thoughts on “Moon Dough Messy Play”

    • I heard negative too but had to give it a try to make up my own mind. The texture is very cool! If you have a garden, that’s the perfect place just sweep up afterwards. It will actually be cool for your space theme!! Shove a load in a big tub, maybe black and put glitter in it, then you can make moon surface with craters and stuff and put little space men in it! Might try that myself actually 😀

  1. It looks like you all had a good time exploring it.
    They have moon dough at the twins club we go to. The children love it, but it does go everywhere and sticks to our shoes.
    Great activity for the children to do at twins club, but haven’t ventured into having it at home yet.

    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids
    Karen Bell recently posted…Let Kids Be Kids 10/9/13My Profile

  2. I have to admit that I really hate this stuff! It is so messy and it makes the OCD part of me weep!! ;). However, on its side is the fact that it is gluten-free, a bonus for my daughter who has coeliac disease! As an alternative, however, I have just come up with a gluten-free recipe for playdough instead which does not crumble in the traditional playdough way so make me happy!!! Thanks for sharing your post…it looks like you had lots of fun…and playing with it outdoors is definitely the way forward!
    Vicki recently posted…Raw chocolate ‘cheesecake’My Profile

  3. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…

    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say
    great blog!
    a recently posted…aMy Profile

  4. This is super cool my kid and his friends will love this on thursday when I baby sit them, they will have some busy time. One more thing I saw on Facebook how to engage kids with ice items,pretty awsome but totally of summers,


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