Let's Make Salt Dough!

Let's Make Salt Dough!

flour + salt + water = joy

 The Beatles were really onto something when they sang “Here comes the sun; it’s alright.” Spring lifts the soul like nothing else, so we’ve got a squidgy plan to fill your home with spring-time joy and keep little hands busy at the same time.

yes, it's time for salt dough...

If you’re an old hand at salt dough, hats off to you; feel free to skip to the inspo a little lower down the page. For those who’ve never got stuck into making salt dough, simply measure out the following:
➔ 1 cupful of plain flour (about 250g)
➔ Half a cupful of table salt (about 125g)
➔ Half a cupful of water (about 125ml)
Mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl then start adding the water, gradually mixing and mooshing as you go. It can be a bit messy but that’s kind of the point - let the flour fly!
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Once the consistency is doughy enough to be manageable, get your rolling pin, cookie cutters, bits and bobs out and start creating!
bonus: As well as being a gloriously sensory experience, squishing, kneading, rolling, moulding and shaping are superb for motor skills, manipulative skills, dexterity - and of course creativity.
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 Springtime salt dough inspo

sunshine

  1. Roll out a ball shape then squish it down using the heel of your hand or the bottom of an empty cup to make a circle.
    2. Using a fork, press gently around the outside of your circle to add a sunbeam texture. You can use something pointy to add a happy
    sunshiney face; we used a slightly blunted cocktail stick but a pencil would work too.
    3. Add a hole for hanging and once it’s dry paint the whole thing daffodil yellow.
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rainbow

1. Roll your dough into a really really really long worm shape then cut it into longish pieces using a child-safe knife or even a spoon. Try to make each worm a little shorter as they go. This can be a nifty way to work in teaching little ones about ‘bigger’ and ‘smaller’.
2. Take your biggest worm and lay it on a plate or parchment paper in an arch shape. Keep going with all your worms until you have a lovely arch with different layers. How many layers is up to you, anything between three and seven will work. The more you have, the more colours you can do!
3. Squish them together tightly so they dry as one but you can still see the lines between them.
4. Using a sharp pencil or a cocktail stick, pop a small hole near the top for threading and hanging.
5. Once it’s dry you can sing the colours of the rainbow song together to work out which colours go where!
 

fluffy cloud

1. Showers are part of the unpredictable joy of spring, so embrace them by using the curve of a spoon to create fluffy cloud shapes.
2. To complete the effect make little raindrops out of small balls and squish those flat with your fingertips.
3. Don’t forget to use your sharp pencil or cocktail stick to make holes in the droplets and at the bottom of the cloud.
4. Once all the bits are dry and painted, help your child to hone their fine motor skills by threading cotton or wool through the holes.

TIP: Wrap sellotape around the end of the wool to make it easier to manipulate through the holes.
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bonus: Did you know threading activities encourage fine motor-skills, which prepare your little one for holding pencils for drawing and writing? Threading also encourages ‘bilateral coordination’, a fancy way of saying their hands are working together but doing different things.
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 other ways to play with salt dough...

Creating hanging ornaments for windows and plants is a pretty lovely way to spend a spring morning. But we don’t all live in a Pinterest-able wonderland, so if your little ones aren’t into it in the way you are, they can do their own thing, experimenting with different salt dough ‘tools’:
CARS - Explore what the wheel tracks do on the flattened dough.
GLASS - Make a texture on the dough then press a glass down onto it, looking through the bottom of the glass to see the shapes ‘disappear’.
NATURAL TEXTURES - Press pine cones, pebbles and leaves into the dough to discover the patterns they leave behind.
FOOTPRINTS - Dolls, animals and even superheroes can ‘walk’ on the dough to leave footprints. Make a game of it by getting different toys to walk on the dough, then guessing who left which footprints...
COOKIE CUTTERS - These offer a much easier way to create paintable, keepable ornaments to adorn your house.
LETTERS - If your little one is just getting to grips with their initials, encourage them to scribe into the dough to leave their mark. Using a pencil or blunted toothpick works a treat.
SCISSORS - Snipping ‘worms’ with child-friendly scissors is a fantastic way to get to grips with cutting.
PASTA - Dried pasta can be used to make patterns in your dough and spaghetti can even be used as ‘legs’ for your doughy creations.
BURIED TREASURE - Hiding things within the dough and encouraging little hands to unearth them is basically the wholesome alternative to unboxing! It’s amazing what a kick they get out of a gooey game of hide and seek.
 
 

masterpiece complete?

Once your salt dough has been transformed into springtime delights, they can simply be left to dry out on parchment paper, a tray or a plate. Flip them over occasionally to help them along.
Drying au natural can take a couple of days, so if you simply cannot wait you can always pop them in the oven on some parchment paper for a couple of hours on your oven’s lowest setting.
 

share the love!

Salt dough ornaments can make really special gifts - especially for ever-appreciative grandparents - so do make sure you share the love once they’re complete.
We’d also love to see what you come up with, if you decide to get doughy this spring do share your masterpieces with us using the hashtag #littlegreenradicals on Insta or Facebook. 
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We design our clothes to last, because we know that’s good for the planet, as well as your pocket:

- High quality organic cotton
- Reinforced seams
- Robust design that will grow with your child
    All this means they can go through wash after wash (and even child after child) coming out looking great. So you can be sure a bit of salt dough is a walk in the park...