My two oldest daughters are born in the same month just 4 years apart. It is fun to go back and look at pictures and compare them at the same age. I was looking over the site and had the opportunity to go back and reflect on some of the first Fun On a Dime posts. I realized I did way more with my oldest daughter at the same age than with my 2nd daughter. Whoops! I decided it was time to step it up in the toddler fun department and just in time for Christmas!
For our first project I thought it would be fun to use the same recipe that we used to make Hand and Feet Molds and make something I have always meant to do but never got to…Salt Dough Ornaments. I actually looked around for a bit to see if I could find a better recipe, but kept finding complaints or bubbling and such, which I do not have issues with with our current recipe, so we will stick to what we know. I will admit, that I have no clue how long these will last and I really do not care. My main purpose was to have some fun with her and let her have some control over her creativity. If they last years, great! And if they crumble by next Christmas, I will not be heartbroken because I took some cute pics of them. Either way, I will let you know how they survive this upcoming holiday season!
What You Need:
- Measuring cups
- Rolling pin or hard cup to use as a rolling pin
- Cookie cutters and/or large yogurt lids
- Paint brush
- Butter knife (optional but helpful)
Optional Items for Christmas Ornament
- Permanent Marker
- Ribbon or string
- Glue/hot glue gun
Step 1: Follow the recipe for the Hand and Foot mold. Add all your ingredients together. I let her do as much as possible, even if she created a mess in the process. She has to learn some time. Plus, it wasn’t too bad since there are only 3 ingredients. Boy, did she love this part!
TIP: To avoid large messes like above use a pan to contain the mess. Makes for an easy clean up!
And taste testing is all part of the learning process. She did not enjoy her sneaky taste and she didn’t try to eat it again!
Step 2: Once the mix is made and you have a good ball, roll out the dough and cut your desired shapes. As you roll it, it may get dry. Adding a little water now and then helps (and I mean a little as in a spoonful 😉 ) We started with our handprint ornament, so we used a large yogurt lid to make our circle.
Since this is a fake cookie cutter, we used a butter knife to help us finish cutting it out.
Step 3: Help your child press their hand in it. We made ours a little thick to make sure we get a good handprint.
TIP: I will admit, having an older sibling to show you how to do it, like we did before was so much easier. All she wanted to do was grab and squeeze it once her hand was pressed. To attempt to avoid this, Try using the yogurt lid to demonstrate what you are going to do with their hand.
Step 4: Cut little holes for your ornaments near the top (if possible). Cutting a couple slits and using a stick or something similar like a pen to make a complete hole worked well. Place your ornament molds in the oven and bake. We baked ours for about 30 – 40minutes. I started at 15 and kept checking on them every 5 minutes. If they looked wet still, I put them back in. I pulled them out with the backs were just browning and they were almost completely dry. Then we let them sit a few days drying out. (These are still wet in the pic below)
Step 5: Paint. She loved this part and would hardly look at me, I’m betting for fear I would take over!
TIP: Use yogurt lids to put paint in, tape down the news paper or other table protector so it doesn’t move around and aprons are helpful on keeping their clothes clean…She kept wanting to wipe the paint off of her hands on her belly!
Step 6: Once dry, tie a ribbon or attach it somehow. Her little Gingerbread Man might turn into a faux Christmas cookie decoration on the counter!
For her hand print ornament I traced felt to fit on the back since we didn’t paint it.
Then used a hot glue gun to attach it to the back of the hand mold. Makes sure to add a little bit of glue surrounding the whole where the ribbon will come through.
I plan on adding her picture from our picture session we took a couple weeks ago to show how old she was when she made this. If it lasts, this will be a definite added cuteness factor!