A few days ago, I was able to find time to do a fun holiday craft with Dylan while Blake was napping. It was a Saturday, and we had a few hours to spend at home before we went to a birthday party later that afternoon. I had been thinking about making salt dough Christmas ornaments for a few days, and it seemed like just the right time to do it.
There are many different versions of the salt dough Christmas ornament recipe online. I used a simple recipe of two cups of flour, one cup of salt, and a cup of water. Since I was making the ornaments with Dylan, I set aside my fear of messiness and let him help me measure the ingredients into a bowl.
Some people paint the ornaments after they are dried, but I decided to color the dough before shaping it in order to keep things simple and more appropriate for a three year old. I divided the dough into four balls, and placed them on a plate. Dylan insisted on squeezing the food coloring into the bowl to color each of the dough balls, and he also wanted to help me knead the color into the dough. In order to keep the colors separate, we washed our hands after making each colored ball of dough.
Next came the fun part, making the ornaments. I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper and taped more parchment to the table in order to make a work surface that would be easy to clean up. I showed Dylan how to flatten the dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and he followed suit. We used smaller pieces of the dough to decorate our cut out shapes, and we used a straw to make a hole in each one so that it could be hung on our Christmas tree. After we were finished, we put them in the oven to dry out for a few hours.
We had a lot of fun making the ornaments, and Dylan even helped to do the dishes afterwards. His favorite part was using the straw to poke holes in the dough shapes, so some of them have decorative as well as functional holes. My favorite part was rolling some red and white dough together to make swirly candy cane shaped ornaments. Even better still was the relative peace and calm that we enjoyed together during our ornament making session.