Salt Dough is easy and quick to make and lends itself perfectly to creating little gifts, not to mention homemade Valentine’s gifts for relatives and teachers. Salt Dough is simple enough for younger children to handle and offers many open-ended ways to sculpt or decorate with. In the past we have used Salt Dough to make holiday ornaments, heart magnets and necklaces as well as little sculptures. Simply provide your child with the supplies and invite them to explore and create with the materials.
- Salt Dough
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Collage materials (stickers, tissue paper, foam shapes, pom poms, sequins etc.)
- School Glue
- Modge Podge or Acrylic Spray Sealer
Step 1: Make Salt Dough
Mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 3/4 cup water. Add another 1/4 cup of water needed. Roll out with a rolling pin (1/8 – 1/4 inch thick) and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Poke a hole at the top of each shape, using the the end of a drinking straw. Bake the shapes for 1-2 hours at 200 degrees until they are dried out.
Step 2: Decorate
Decorate your shapes, using Sharpies and collage materials. Embrace a more open ended process and simply provide your child with a variety of materials to choose from so they can explore and create independently. I usually introduce how to use the materials which I keep in “tinker trays” and invite the children to decide how they like to create with them. Often they come up with new possibilities to use the materials and engage more deeply in what they are doing, making choices along the way and joyfully exploring new materials and many different ways to create.
Step 3: Paint
For an extra pop of color use bright watercolors to paint right over your Sharpie lines (they will still shine through). Once the paint has dried, apply a layer of Modge Podge (use a paintbrush) or use a glossy acrylic spray sealer to preserve your hearts.
Step 4: Attach a hanger
Add a string, name tag and beads for each necklace.
Happy Valentine’s Day!