Advent Activity: Salt Dough (part 1)

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20131209-114014.jpgCan I just tell you how much fun it is to watch a 2.5-year-old struggle and work at opening a well-wrapped present? She gets me or my Honey to get it started for her, and then she pulls out her determined face and focuses all of her attention and effort and revealing the surprise inside the wrapping. This time, the fruit of her labor was a container of salt…

The salt was for our advent activity of making salt dough handprints/ornaments and my very first attempt/experiment with making salt dough…in my memory.

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Of course, my little kitchen helper was completely pumped and on-board about making/mixing something in the kitchen. She is ready to put on her apron and pull up a chair to the kitchen counter. I pull out a big bowl, and she’s ready to dump anything I put in her reach. She even gets to empty out the last of the salt container. I used the recipe my sister has used, from theimaginationtree (1 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water…and some drops of food coloring). Pen Elaine mixes and mixes and adds some food coloring, carefully supervised. I ended up mixing it the rest of the way with my hands, more like kneading it, to get it completely smooth.

20131209-114041.jpgThen, I laid out some sheets of wax paper for making handprints. I started with a ball of “dough.” Pen Elaine and I flattened it gently, and she firmly pressed her hand into it with my help – my Honey documented our efforts. After a handprint was done, I put it out of reach and stuck part of a straw into it for later being able to string through some ribbon for hanging purposes. After one or two handprints, Pen Elaine had fun just pushing fingers and straw pieces into a ball of dough, but then she actually requested doing more handprints. I thought three was enough for this time, and then she and my Honey made a couple “candy canes” and a snowman. I pulled out some pearl sprinkles for his buttons.

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To bake, I preheated the oven to 210, according to theimaginationtree, and baked for 2 hours. I baked them on top of wax paper, on top of aluminum foil, on top of the cookie sheet, just to make sure no mess in the form of salt dough “concrete” got stuck to the baking sheet. After getting them out of the oven, they still didn’t seem rock solid, so I let them sit out for several days to make sure they are not going to break.

Now, my plan is actually to paint these to be like Nativity animals, idea from planetoftheapels…that will be part 2…when I get to it…

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Advent Activity: Salt Dough (part 2) | Whimsy in Love

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