I know salt dough ornaments are pretty common at this time of the year but i thought it might be nice to share ours with you anyway...mainly because it really is such a simple activity that offers so many opportunities for family fun and tradition!
I used to make these every year with Miss Teen and when i pulled a few out of the box this year it reminded me that the toddler twosome were now old enough to also participate in this fun family tradition!
It really is a simple process....salt dough is a very easy recipe and i'm sure you will find many recipes across the net if you search but this year i tried something a little different...i used THIS recipe from At Home with Ali although i was having a particularly ...shall we say 'fraught' day after a week of vomiting viruses in the house so i skipped all the cooking steps and just mixed the lot together...ooops. But it worked a treat!
I also found a great post from Rainy Day Mum about cooking the ornaments in the microwave instead of the oven. Normally with salt dough you would need to cook the salt dough for 3-4 hrs in a slow oven to really dry them out and harden enough to paint. This means you can't usually complete the activity in one day....microwaving the ornaments really worked so well and we were able to make and paint our ornaments all in one day!
I simply did a few batches at a time by spreading onto a large plate and then microwaving for around 3 minutes...it did vary depending on the number of ornaments and thickness of the plate i was using but if you check them at regular intervals you can't really go wrong!
So after mixing together the salt dough ingredients...the toddler twosome and Miss Teen had great fun cutting out some Christmas shapes and i then microwaved them. You will need to use a straw or craft stick to poke a hole in the top if you want to hang them afterwards.
After nap time on a particularly hot afternoon we headed outside to the shade and began to decorate our ornaments!
I used some green and red CORNFLOUR PAINT and put out a few little dishes of Christmas sparkles and some glitter shakers...all 3 girls had so much fun with this!
There was a whole lot of glitter love going on which i figured there would be with toddlers so i set up outside (I'm not silly!) But the beauty of these salt dough ornaments is that each child is free to decorate in any way that they want to...they may not be perfection but they were so very special to me and will remind me of this Christmas for many years to come!
Ruby had lots of fine motor practice with her glitter shaker....if we hadn't been outside i might have been a little stressed! I was really pleased with how white and hard the dough turned out considering i used a new recipe and method of cooking! I think these will be around to hang on the tree for many years to come!
Another good thing about doing them outside was that there was plenty of opportunity to go and have a little run around and then come back to the creativity!
I tied a little gold string through the ornaments and they were ready to hang...needless to say all 3 girls were very excited by this prospect...and obviously proud of their achievements! We did quite a big batch so i have kept some for adding to family members Christmas presents...the rest have found a spot on the tree!
This activity is so toddler friendly....it's easy for them to do themselves yet individual in the creativity and offers a wonderful opportunity for self expression and a sense of achievment and pride...not to mention the practice of fine motor skills!
Looking for more salt dough inspiration? I think you'll find these links helpful.....
Another easy Salt Dough Recipe from Learning 4 Kids
Some gorgeous little Salt Dough Cookies for dramatic play from Paint on the Ceiling
And have you seen our Salt Dough Handprint Keepsakes They make such a lovely gift!
Have you ever made some salt dough ornaments or do you share another Christmas craft tradition each year?...I'd love to hear about it!
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