This simple, super-quick salt dough recipe is made even easier in that is can be hardened in the microwave within seconds. Now that is something a wet afternoon or weekend needs!
You will need:
- A cup of plain flour
- Half a cup of salt
- Half a cup of water
Simply mix the flour and salt in a bowl and slowly add the water, mixing and kneading until you have a dough consistency you’re happy with. If it is too sticky, add more flour. Once the dough is ready, give it to your child to play and create with. As we played today, I thought there might have been some frazzled parents out there as the weather by me has been RAINY and MISERABLE! So, I posted the recipe on my Facebook page for people to play along as we did. It went down well and I even have some photo’s from a gorgeous 14 month old little man who played along with us (at the end of this post)! Salt dough is so much fun for littlies to biggies as long as supervised.
J loves playing with salt dough and as well as enjoying the experience, we wanted to make a birthday present for Daddy! Happy Birthday Daddy!!!! No matter how grumpy J is, play dough, moon dough, modelling clay or salt dough, never fails to bring a smile to his face.
Playing with malleable materials such as salt dough is fantastic for our children’s hand muscles and fine motor development. I know I bang on about this a lot, but fine motor development is fundamental to the journey of learning to be independent when taking care of themselves and when learning to write! Rolling pins add an extra dimension to this and who doesn’t love rolling and bashing dough with a rolling pin?
Before J made anything, he rolled, cut with cutters/plastic knives and ripped the dough. A lovely explore and hand workout all in one.
J talked about shapes as he cut with the cutter and even counted the sides to the octagon. He incorrectly called it a pentagon but this gave us a natural opportunity to revisit the names of the shapes.
J problem solved. As he hadn’t pressed the cutter hard enough, the shape wasn’t removable so J pealed back the pieces he didn’t need. I was very impressed! This comes from providing lots of opportunities to play with all kinds of dough. Without that experience, J would’ve been stuck.
As well as making lots of mess, J also cleared up after himself. A real must in my opinion! As J cleared up, I popped up the pieces in the microwave.
Depending on the wattage of your microwave, the dough will need to be in for 30 second intervals. Every 30 seconds, check to see if the dough is completely hard. It will be hot, so be careful! Once the dough is hard, leave it to completely cool before decorating. If you do not have a microwave, you can pop it into a VERY low oven for around 3 hours or until hard.
The decorating bit…
J had some left over dough so I cut out the letter of his name using a plastic knife. J specifically said he didn’t want to paint, he wanted to use felt tips so I obliged. However, paint is lovely on these salt dough decorations. I’m sorry to mention *whispers* Christmas but last year we made some lovely salt dough decorations and decorated them with paint, glitter and a layer of PVA to finish them off. We gave them out as a gift from J to his best friends and his family. Will be doing more with salt dough this Christmas so now’s a good time to get practising!!
I gave J some felt tips, as requested, sequins and glue… I only punched a hole (before going in microwave) in one of the creations as this was the present for Daddy and will have some thread pulled through. The rest, J wanted left in one piece.
Baby G was having a nap during this part of the afternoon, so we sat around the table and decorated together, chatting and giggling as we did so. It’s so important to take time out (even 10 minutes) to play with our little ones. They won’t be little forever and they value this time so much. Working collaboratively is fantastic for their social development too.
Basically, we had lots of fun colouring, gluing and sticking… one little thing I did was start a zigzag pattern on the square and asked J if he could ‘do me a favour and finish it’ whilst I made us a drink. He has a very good go and this is fab for developing his control of a pen/pencil.
J was full of smiles as we sat and chatted. The listening part in a conversation is quite often what children find difficult so they need lots of experience of listening to people and responding to what they say. It sounds so basic but there are SO many children who start school without this fundamental skill.
Once we had finished I laid the pieces out for the glue to dry! Silly Mummy put J’s name in the wrong order! Silly Mummy! J quickly spotted it and put it in the correct order. More child-led rehearsal of name formation!
The finished pieces… I will get J to paint a layer of PVA over these when dry as it will make them last longer and J will be able to play with the letters.
I got these BEAUTIFUL photo’s sent to me this afternoon after Theo’s Mummy had seen my post on Facebook and had a Salt Dough afternoon too. Theo is 14 months old and loving the messy play with salt dough. The finished article looks incredible but not as incredibly cute as little Theo is! Thank you Mummy Helen for sending them to me and playing along with us this afternoon!! I might do another sneaky peak ‘Play Along With Us’ next week and maybe could feature another gorgeous tot playing with Precious Play! What do you think?