The finished balls of salt dough

Salt Dough

Don't have playdough?  Make a batch of salt dough.  It only has three ingredients, and we bet you already have them in your kitchen.  Kids will have a wonderful time helping to make the dough and then playing with it.  And while we don't actually recommend eating this dough, it is safe and non-toxic.  One batch makes about as much dough as comes in four canisters of store bought playdough.  You can store it in an airtight container for several days.

You will need:

1.  1 cup of salt

2.  1 cup of flour

3.  1/2 cup of water

4.  A bowl and a spoon

5.  Food coloring (optional)

You will need salt, flour, water, and a mixing bowl.
Mix the salt, flour, and water 1.  Mix the salt and flour.  Add the water and stir until the dough forms a ball.
Knead the dough until it is smooth 2.  Knead the ball until smooth.  It should be pliabe, but not sticky.  You can add small of water to make is softer or small amounts of flour to make it firmer.
Divide the dough 3.  If you are coloring the dough, divide it.
Add food coloring 4.  Add food coloring to each ball.  Don't add too much at first.  You can always add more later.
Knead the dough until it is colored evenly 5.  Knead the dough until the color is evenly distributed.  Add more coloring if you want a brighter or darker color.

6.  You are ready to model and build with your salt dough.  (Learn to make a salt dough rose) If your dough becomes too stiff, add a few drops of water.  If you build something you want to save, let it sit and dry for several days.  You can also dry the dough in an oven set at 200 degrees.  The amount of time will vary, with thicker items taking much longer than thinner items.  If you didn't color your dough, you can paint it once it is dry.  

 

 

Salt dough projects
Salt dough projects....

The finished balls of salt dough

Pottery

Inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to shape, clay has been used by nearly every culture in the world.  When fired, clay is quite durable, and excellent material for pots, dishes, decorative items, and even bricks.  Those skilled in working with clay can form beautiful items for everyday or decorative use. 

Salt dough, though not as versatile as true clay, can be used to form dishes, vase, sculptures, and jewlery.  Its bright colors and texture make it fun for kids to play with.  Adults like it because it is easy to make, safe, and easy to clean up.

Crafts

This little paper fan is a fun craft that young children will enjoy.

Use old lids to make a flock of cute bird magnets! Since this craft recycles old lids, it is a good craft for Earth Day!

Making a cookie into a "lollipop" is an easy way to add fun and pizzazz to cookie baking.