As a mama, I want to start traditions with my kids. I want special things that they can look forward to, but I know that I like to keep things simple and quick. When Ella was just a toddler I made a gingerbread house by hand- everything aside from the candy was made by me. It was so much work and I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with that year after year, but these salt dough creations are so easy and a perfect activity to get us Christmas ready.
The ingredients are all things you would have in your house already- flour, salt, and water. That was a bonus since I didn't have to run to the store to grab items that I would only use once a year. I made the dough, the kids sipped hot cocoa, and then we got down to business.
Guinnyth needed a little help rolling the dough since she didn't have enough pressure, but honestly, she wanted to just play with it like play-doh, and I was fine with that. The other kids went to town on the ornaments and knocked them out quick. They loved being able to make a small mess and press the dough around.
We hung them on the tree for a little while, but eventually tied them on gifts. I always like to do a handmade tag for gifts (you can see those here and here) and this was a great little embellishment to the presents under the tree. The kids felt so proud when they spotted their tag under the tree and that was the icing on the cake for me.
If you want to make these yourself, I will post the recipe below. I doubled the batch simply because I knew the kids would have a blast and want to do a lot and also because we were using them on gifts. If you only have two kids, one batch would probably be enough.
Salt Dough Recipe
1 cup Flour
1/4 cup Salt
1/2 cup Water
2-3 drops essential oil
(we used peppermint and Christmas Spirit)
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Mix it well and make sure the salt is distributed throughout the flour. Add the water slowly until the soft dough forms. Don't get it too wet or it will be a gooey mess. I then folded in a few drops of essential oil to add a little festive touch. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Roll the dough on a floured surface. Cut the dough into shapes, poke a hole for twine to go through, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in a 200-250 degree oven for 60 minutes. Be sure to check the dough regularly to ensure they don't burn.
Tie the ornaments with twine or ribbon and hang from the tree. Enjoy!