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:
- Preheat oven to 250.
- 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.
- Knead dough and put onto a lightly floured surface. Gray helped with the kneading.
- 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!
- Use cookie cutters, and use a straw to make holes. Gray was able to use the cookie cutters independently. I helped with the straw.
- 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.
- Bake for
an hour90 minutes. These took forever to bake! The waiting was tough.
- Let the ornaments cool.
- Paint the ornaments white. Gray did this independently.
- 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!
- After the ornaments cooled, I sprayed them with sealant, threaded a ribbon through the holes, and Gray hung them on the tree.
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.