Last week was grim. It was grimmer than grim it was...British weather. It was cold, windy and wet, especially down here on the supposedly sunny south coast. The children were bored and acting up as a result...something HAD to be done...so out came the salt dough!! A mother's best friend (though only when wine and chocolate are strictly post-bedtime amigos).
If you've never made it before or if your little one is just coming of age then I'll quickly run through, it is so ridiculously easy and cheap, you'll never buy branded play clay again!
You'll need some flour (I prefer plain though I'm sure if you used self-raising you'd probably be okay until you cooked it), salt and water (warm as its nicer to touch than cold). How much you use of each depends on how much dough you want (or how many children you have). Find a container that'll be good for measuring out your ingredients like a cup. I use one of our multi-coloured picnic beakers. Place one full 'cup' into a mixing bowl followed by half a 'cup' of salt. You'll then need to half-fill the 'cup' with water. Time to start mixing...add the water gradually so you can gauge whether or not it's too moist. If it is, add some more flour, if its still quite dry, add more water. Mix it until its all clinging to the spoon in the annoying way that it does, then get stuck in with your hands!! Knead it until it's at the right texture; non-sticky and firm. Then you're ready to roll (and cut)!
Grab everything that you can to have some salt dough fun, cutters, rolling pins, utensils....if you've got food colouring kicking around (I sadly didn't...did you know that food colouring can go off? I didn't...) then you could split up your dough and dye it different colours for even more fun.
There are a few different ways you can dry your salt dough, it makes fantastic-children-made Christmas decorations, gift tags for presents or even place settings if you're having a hand-made wedding! You can bake them, let them air dry or my personal favourite...the microwave! I place the shapes between two plates (one on top of the other) and then put it on for around thirty seconds for small pieces. I'd rather undercook and have to keep checking than completely chargrill them, which is something that I have done before. If you're using them for decorations or gift tags, don't forget to make a little hole with a kebab stick or toothpick for the ribbon/string etc.
Another great thing is if you pop it in an airtight container and whack it in the fridge you can use it again and again. So it costs mere pennies to make and lasts for ages! Bargain!
So there we are, my go-to rainy day activity. It's cheap, cheerful and never fails to entertain a toddler...as does jumping in puddles which is just as much fun!
Labels: activities, budget, Rainy day, salt dough