Extreme Science: Inertia Sticks

Cloud Dough

What you will need:

  • Flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Container
  • Adult supervision


1) Combine 8 parts flour to one part vegetable oil. For example, if you have 4 cups of flour, you will add ½ cup of oil.

2) I found that it was best (and more fun) to just mix this together with your hands in a large container.

3) Once these are combined, you will have a dough that can be formed using cookie cutters or sand toys, yet when you pick it up, it will crumble. Apply pressure again and you can reform it to whatever shape you desire.

What is going on?

This mixture of oil and flour is very addicting to play with as the oil will help hold the flour together as you apply pressure yet, you can crumble it into fine particles and press it all back together again forming fine sculptures. You can squeeze flour together in your hand but it will not stay together unless you add oil. The oil allows the flour particles to stick together with pressure. Unlike a polymer where the molecules are all connected together in chains, such as play dough, the flour and oil mixture will easily crumble apart.

Try this:

Try adding a little more oil and see what happens to your mixture. Does this help it stick together better? Does it still crumble apart? What happens when you add more flour to your mixture? What would happen if you added some water to a small amount of your mixture?

Radical Rick

Extreme Science