Salt dough is a great craft idea for kids of all ages. With salt dough, you can make just about anything – from crafts to ornaments to sculptures to maps and more. It’s a great way to encourage your children to be creative and extend your educational activities. (Plus, it’s just plain fun to squish the dough with your fingers!) As an added bonus, it’s extremely inexpensive to make and it can go directly in the oven to dry, making it even more versatile as a crafting medium.
So gather your ingredients and let’s get started!
- 1 cup salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- Mix salt and flour together in a large bowl.
- Gradually stir in water. Mix well until it forms a doughy consistency.
- Knead with your hands to form a ball. The longer you knead the smoother it will become.
Coloring Your Dough
Salt dough can be colored in several ways. It can easily be painted with acrylic paint. For special gifts and long-term safekeeping, you may want to seal it with a polyurethane spray once it has dried.
Natural colorings are also a great option to add a little something special to your salt dough. They should be added during the mixing and kneading process. Instant coffee and cocoa will color your dough and give it a nice smell as well. Berries, beet juice, and curry make nice natural colorings as well.
Lastly, you can use food coloring or food dye. It should be added while mixing and kneading. Take precaution not to stain your clothing or hands, no matter which method you choose.
Once you’ve made your dough, you can store it in an airtight container for several days. Make once and play for days! You may need to add a little water to the dough when you get it back out again. Re-kneading for 5 minutes before play is recommended to get the dough smooth and workable.
Baking the Dough
To bake your dough, place it in an oven on 200 degrees Fahrenheit until the creation is dried. The time needed will vary depending on the thickness and size of your creation. Thin ornaments take 45 minutes to an hour, while thicker creations such as salt dough maps and sculptures may take up to 3 hours or more.
Increasing your oven temperature will dry it out faster, but it can also cause your dough to brown or burn, so this it is not recommended.