You know that lovely feeling when you have a friend who you adore, and your kids really like each other too? My friend Lucy and her son Harvey are totally in that category for us. Lucy’s a creative, down to earth person who I love spending time with, and Harvey is just the cutest wee guy, who Arty loves playing the big brother to.
The other day they came over to do a bit of christmas crafting. Lucy came up with the idea of making cinnamon salt dough decorations, and I have to say it was the perfect activity for an almost-four-year-old and an almost-two-year-old. It can be tricky to pitch cooperative activities to kids with an age gap like that because their skills are so different, but there was plenty for both of them to do with this one. They loved it.
Here’s how it went down:
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup cinnamon
- 1½ cups warm water
- greaseproof paper
- sticky tape
- large mixing bowl
- twine or ribbon
- baking trays
- cookie cutters in various christmassy shapes
- a chopstick or skewer
What to do:
- Stick all the ingredients in a big bowl, and get the kids to mix it all up with their hands. They will taste it. They will be disgusted.
- As they mix, cover a broad, accessible surface with baking paper, and stick it down with sticky tape.
- Once the kids have mixed the dough as bet they can, give it a good knead yourself, so that all the ingredients are well combined, and you have a big, brown, cinnamon smelling lump of dough.
- On your greaseproof papered surface, roll the dough out to approx. half a centimetre thick.
- Use your cookie cutters to cut shapes from your dough.
- Lay these out on a tray, and, using your chopstick or skewer, make a hole in each one and thread your twine or ribbon through for hanging.
- OPTIONAL: bake your decorations in a 120°c oven for 20 mins to speed the drying process. They will air dry without baking within about 24 hours.
- Tie the twine off, and hang!
These guys make excellent gifts for kinder teachers, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They smell so warmly festive, and look very much at home on a cheery christmas tree. You could even hang them in a garland along a mantle piece or down a bannister.
There’s also plenty of room for further embellishment. Some white puff paint would make excellent ‘icing’, or a little gold glitter would add some magical sparkle. There are loads of opportunities for you and your kids to really make these your own.
P.S. Your hands will feel quite dry after kneading and rolling this very salty dough, so have some moisturiser at the ready.
P.P.S. If you get on a roll with making christmas decorations, here’s another tutorial to try: button wreaths.