After School Crafting Holidays Toddler

Salt Dough Ornaments – What We Did After School

salt dough ornaments

Activity: Salt dough ornaments.

Age of participants: Gray, 2 years 7 months

How we picked it: Gray picked making ornaments while looking at ideas on Pinterest.

Cost: This was (kind of) free. We already had all of the ingredients on hand.

Here’s what we did:

  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Mix 2 cups flour with 1 cup salt. Slowly add in 1/2 cup – 1 cup warm water. I did the measuring. Gray did the pouring and stirring.
  3. Knead dough and put onto a lightly floured surface. Gray helped with the kneading.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough flat to about 1/8 of an inch. Gray helped with the rolling pin – he loved this part!
  5. Use cookie cutters, and use a straw to make holes. Gray was able to use the cookie cutters independently. I helped with the straw.
  6. Use spatula and transfer to cookie sheet. Gray struggled with using the spatula. He “broke” a few of the ornaments using the spatula and got pretty frustrated.
  7. Bake for an hour 90 minutes. These took forever to bake! The waiting was tough.
  8. Let the ornaments cool.
  9. Paint the ornaments white. Gray did this independently.
  10. Put glue on, sprinkle glitter on top. Gray needed some help with the gluing. This was his first experience with glitter and it was a hit! I love anything sparkly, and I’ve been told before that I have glitter in my veins. I must have passed this along to my son!
  11. After the ornaments cooled, I sprayed them with sealant, threaded a ribbon through the holes, and Gray hung them on the tree.
mixing and rolling
Mixing and rolling


ornaments oven
Fresh outta the oven


gluing and glittering
Gluing and glittering


snowflake snowman
Gray’s beautiful snowflake and snowman ornaments

How long did Gray play with it? It took us about 30 minutes to make the ornaments, and 20 to decorate them. He was happily engaged the whole time.

Was it a success? Absolutely! Not only did we end up with some gorgeous ornaments, Gray was also able to practice a lot of “practical life” skills. He worked on mixing dough, using a rolling pin, using cookie cutters, using a spatula, gluing, opening bottles, sprinkling glitter, and cleaning up when it was over. He also learned some new vocabulary – sleigh, spatula, candy cane, glitter and rolling pin. Tons of teaching moments disguised as play 🙂

What did we struggle with? Gray struggled with gluing. He didn’t like that it got on his hands and ended up making me do the gluing by the end. He also didn’t really understand the “put the glitter on top of the glue” concept.

What would I do differently? When we do this again, I’m going to change up the dough. I think we will add essential oils or food colors to jazz it up.

Will we do it again? I think we will wait a few years to do it again. We still have 12 ornaments left to decorate, and I would like to wait until the twins are older to do it again.

Comments (17)

  • How adorable!! I need to try this with my 2 year old!!

  • We are making them this weekend. We actually made salt dough stepping stones for Father’s Day. It was a total Pinterest FAIL!!! As I was looking out our door I found bunnies nibbling on them! When it got small enough the little bunny carried it away!!!

    • No way!! That is too funny! I heavily coated them with sealant. I hope they don’t get moldy!

  • I really loved this! Grayson was so engaged AND happy. he obviously enjoyed every minute. No only was he learning new skills and being creative, he used a lot of fine motor skills along the way, which is great for his age. It’s also great that he gets to see how something is made – flour and salt turn into dough, then heat turns them hard, glue and glitter make them beautiful and a ribbon makes them decorations. There is so much subtle learning going on here. This was a great choice for a holiday activity!

    • Thank you! We had SO much fun and I’m hoping we can keep them forever!

  • This is SO fun! Thank you for the inspiration. I’ll be doing this with my kids tomorrow night!

  • Awww! I remember making these as a kid in class! So fun!

  • I have been wanting to do the salt dough handprints with my kids, but ornaments sounds like a lot of fun. We made cookies yesterday and my three year old was really into the rolling, so I think he would enjoy this.

  • These are the cutest little projects to get the little kiddies in on. The best family time every to create lasting memories

  • This is so cute, Sarah! And kudos to you for doing this with your son with two babies! I had twins and I remember when they were babies I barely had time to take a shower! It seems like it was a great success! Your kiddos are so cute!

    • Aww, thanks Monica! I have a lot of help or there is no way I could do these things with him 🙂

  • Such a fun activity. Will def try with my kids. and I love the cover photo on your home page. Adorable !

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