We have been playing with salt dough. It is rather lovely stuff. I like it a lot. I don’t know why but I have always been a bit frightened of it. I needn’t have been. Easy to make, easy to mould, easy to play with, easy to cook and easy to paint.
And my top tip?
Use the recipe from Red Ted Art. The ingredients are listed clearly and the method simple to follow. It nestles in the pages of her crafting book, which if you do not already own it, and you like to art and craft, you really really must buy!
Esther, William and I made the salt dough together with their Godmother who visits us on a Friday. She often gets to join in with out messy play and I am certain she enjoys it just as much as we do. It is also great to have an extra pair of hands to help Esther and William with measuring and mixing, scooping and stirring. They love it but do get very over enthusiastic!
Making the salt dough was great because it was so quick and there was lots for little hands to do.
The reason we chose to make salt dough was because we wanted to use it to make some very special Matilda Mae festive tokens to give to our family and friends. To help with this we used a set of cookie cutters from The Toadstool. The Haba Sweet Angels Christmas Baking Set and Cooking Tin is a set of fun festive cutters for dough of the cookie, salt or even play variety!
We made the dough and then we squished and squashed it before rolling it out and cutting out our shapes. The star and shooting star were my favourites. Esther and William loved the hearts. The angel is very cute but we had to be very careful moving her around as her neck was rather delicate. She is special though, because of our own angel, Matilda Mae.
Once our decorations were made they needed to be slowly dried in the oven and whilst they dried? We played, of course!
Esther and William loved rolling and kneading the dough, I think they liked the feel of it between their fingers. Then Michele started showing them how to make a snowman. They enjoyed choosing eyes and mouths for their snowmen. Esther wanted little eyes and a happy mouth, William preferred big eyes and a sad mouth. William has a thing about sad mouths, when we draw him trains he often asks for their faces to be sad.
They played with their snowmen and then there was one big snowman, without legs, that waddled between the two of them as they took turns to animate him. They liked this play very much, bringing the snowman to life.
Once they were bored of making snowman accessories they had some free play time with the dough.
William made his into a ball to bounce and boing on the table and throw to people without warning and expect them to catch! This William found hilarious. He is very cute when he finds himself funny.
Esther had a wonderful time with her dough too. She broke it into lots of little bits and arranged them on and around a piece of wood. First they were puppy dogs and then they were worms. She made them so lovingly and treated them with such care.
Esther talked to herself and her dough creations the whole time. It was really very sweet. I love how she can make a character out of anything. I love how she creates intricate creatures while William lobs a giant dough ball around. I do love my children.
Esther also made this rather scary looking ladybird before our dough play was finished.
After a few hours in the oven and an overnight stay on a drying rack our Christmas Salt Dough Tokens were ready to be painted.
We decided to use glittery colours and would mostly be using pink, purple and gold.
As our pink and purple paints are not glittery we decided to make some of our own.
Then we set to work. With brushes and paints we coloured our dough.
Esther painted all of her tokens beautifully.
William decided that the best technique would be to put as much as possible on one star and hope the others might find a way to share!
Esther and I ended up painting most of William’s and he, decided that the best thing to do would be to paint a train! Or get Mummy to paint him a train!
Once we all had an engine and acted out some train play with our paintings we decided to make some letter cards with big letters and little letters on.
Esther and William know all their letters because of Thomas and they love telling anyone they meet about Kicking K Kevin and Curly C Caitlin. I am going to make a Thomas alphabet frieze with them in the new year but for now we have painted pink and purple letters for Matilda Mae.
Our Christmas Tokens made with the Haba Cookie Cutters from The Toadstool are lovely little things. A mish mash of pink and purple sparkle and glitter. We still need to decorate them and decide who to give them too. Esther and William are very proud of them.
I have found that the best way to get Esther and William to enjoy crafting and making is to make it seem much more like play and whenever possible like messy play. They cannot help themselves, my beautiful two, they love a chance to make a mess!
And now we are passing that chance on to you. Have some fun this week with messy or sensory play, some sticky, glittery art and craft and come and share with us what you have been up to. Please come and link up with Messy Play for Matilda Mae.
Oh, and if you are more ambitious with your baking then me, why not have a go at baking the nativity?