This post on baking soda cornstarch dough was originally written January 22, 2014 and updated November 18, 2023.
Many years ago, we made this baking soda dough cornstarch recipe to make baking soda dough snowmen. It was a fun sensory play activity for Christmas, and one of the many Christmas occupational therapy activities that we love to do with kids to support tactile play and sensory touch. However, you could extend the play out to all of the winter months, along with our other Winter fine motor activities.
Today I have something fun to share: baking soda cornstarch dough! We tried a baking soda dough recipe and used it to make snowman in a way to help kids strengthen fine motor skills and hand strength.
If you’ve been a follower of this website for long, you know that we are big fans of play dough, salt dough, clay…any dough is tops in our house! It’s a great way to build fine motor skills with a fun sensory dough activity.
We’ve tried a lot of different recipes for different doughs and have our favorites, definitely. We wanted to make some snowmen one day and tried a new (to us) recipe…Baking Soda Dough!
Baking Soda Cornstarch Clay
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup water
Instructions to make Baking Soda Cornstarch Clay:
- In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the baking soda and cornstarch.
- Gradually add the water to the dry ingredients, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and continue stirring the mixture. As it heats, the mixture will start to thicken.
- Keep stirring until the mixture reaches a clay-like consistency. It should pull away from the sides of the pan and form a soft, pliable dough.
- Once the desired consistency is reached, remove the saucepan from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
- Once the baking soda clay is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a clean surface and knead it for a few minutes to make it smooth and more pliable.
Now, your baking soda clay is ready for sensory play! Children can use it to create shapes, textures, and engage in imaginative play. It’s a great way to promote fine motor skills and sensory exploration.
If you’re using this recipe in an educational or therapeutic setting, you might consider incorporating elements that align with child development principles. For example, you could guide children to create shapes related to their fine motor skill development or use the clay to explore different textures for sensory input.
Baking Soda Dough
Snowman bilateral coordination activities– Our baking soda dough snowmen make a great addition to the snowman themed bilateral coordination activities shared in a previous post. Rolling, pinching, and manipulating baking soda dough supports bilateral coordination development.
Snowman Fine Motor Craft– Add the baking soda snowmen to a fine motor theme when it comes to using snowmen in helping kids develop skills.
Baking Soda Dough is the neatest stuff to play with. This soda dough was soft and easy to mold into little snowmen. Rolling the balls of dough with the hands is a powerful way to help kids develop hand strength.
In fact, kids can improve intrinsic hand strength using dough by rolling small pieces with their fingertips. The kids loved playing and creating with our soda dough. It was easy to roll little snowmen bodies and so we made a bunch!
We were inspired to make soda dough before Christmas when we made thumbprint reindeer ornaments for Christmas gifts to grandparents. Jen over at Mama.Papa.Bubba. made these Baking Soda Clay Ornaments and we thought they were beyond adorable! They made perfect little gifts from the kids.
It was an easy recipe to follow and perfect for little hands to mold, roll, and smash!
We made these Soda Dough Snowmen one day when Little Nephew was over to play. The toddlers were big fans of this dough! They had so much fun making snowmen…we ended up making 12!
Pinching, rolling, stacking…this was great fine motor play here! Working the dough uses the small muscles of the hand (the intrinsic muscles) that are so important for small motor activities like button management and endurance in coloring and handwriting.
Once we had our family of snowmen, I put them on a cookie sheet and let them dry for two days. At the end of two days, they were still a little soft, so I then threw them into the oven set at 150 degrees F. I let them bake for about 2 hours and they seemed to be hardened up.
If you make snowmen like ours, keep an eye on them in the oven. It will probably take longer if you bake them from the onset.
Our snowmen were hardened and ready for play and pretending.
Want more ways to boost fine motor skills with a snowman theme or winter theme? The Winter Fine Motor Kit is on sale now!
This print-and-go winter fine motor kit includes no-prep fine motor activities to help kids develop functional grasp, dexterity, strength, and endurance. Use fun, winter-themed, fine motor activities so you can help children develop strong fine motor skills in a digital world.
More than ever, kids need the tools to help them build essential fine motor skills so they develop strong and dexterous hands so they can learn, hold & write with a pencil, and play.
This 100 page no-prep packet includes everything you need to guide fine motor skills in face-to-face AND virtual learning. Includes winter themed activities for hand strength, pinch and grip, dexterity, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, endurance, finger isolation, and more.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.