Salt Dough Recipe

dough cut out of a whale

What do kids love more than anything? Sensory play! Experimenting with ingredients, feeling rough and sticky sensations, and having full creative control over their playdough masterpieces is sensory heaven. However, salt dough isn’t just for playing… You can make decorations or salt dough ornaments that you can keep in your forever! So without further ado, let’s jump into a very simple and quick salt dough recipe…

parent and child moulding salt dough

Salt Dough Recipe Ingredients:

In order to make one ball of salt dough you will need the following ingredients…

  • 1 cupful of plain flour (about 250g)
  • half a cupful of table salt (about 125g)
  • half a cupful of water (about 125ml)
person adding salt to a bowl of flour

How much time does it take to make salt dough?

Prep time only takes 10 minutes and then you can spend however long you wish designing, cutting, or building your salt dough creations.

Cooking your salt dough takes 2-3 hours. Once they have cooled down you can paint your creations.

person holding an alarm clock

Salt Dough Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Line a baking sheet.
  2. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. …
  3. Want to make it funky? Add a few drops of liquid food colouring to your mixture!
  4. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead until soft and pliable. ..
  5. Whack out your cookie cutters or stamps and design away. If you are making decorations make sure you pierce a pencil-wide hole at the top of your design so that there is a gap wide enough to thread ribbon through.
  6. Bake on a baking tray in the preheated oven until dry and hard, for about 2 hours.
  7. Wait 40 minutes for them to cool down and start painting them with acrylic paint.
  8. Once they are dry, pick out your ribbon and thread it through your decoration.
person adding salt to a bowl of flour

Salt dough decoration ideas

Salt dough crafts will never go out of style. They are a great activity for kids throughout all the seasons. It’s an innovative way to transform your classic salt dough recipe from a mound of colourless material into festive Christmas trees, pastel coloured Easter eggs, dainty snowflakes or even your own magnificent concoction. If you’re struggling for ideas here’s a few to spark creativity…

parent pressin child's hand onto dough

Salt Dough Handprints

This is one for the wall… Salt dough handprints are the epitome of cuteness for when your little ones are growing up. You can make them every year at Christmas and watch your child grow up.

These sentimental designs are easily made by rolling your salt dough mixture out – make sure it has ½-inch thickness. Then simply press your child’s hand or foot prints onto the dough and bake in the oven for 2-3 hours.

When it comes out you can paint it or add your names. If you are planning on hanging them like a decoration make sure you have a pierced a pencil-width hole at the top of the design so you can easily thread ribbon through it.

Flowers being rolled onto dough with a rolling pin

Flower Press Patterns

Take a piece of the natural world and bring it into your home with a flower pattern! Take a trip to the garden or park and go flower collection with your little one. Pick daisies, bluebells, leaves, blades of grass, lavender or any other flower you wish.

Once you’ve made your dough at home, roll it out to 1/2 inch of thickness, shape it into a circle (or whatever shape you wish) and place the flowers on top.

Next, grab a rolling pin and roll over the flowers so they really press into the dough. Do this a few times until you feel the flower has left a deep imprint.

Then you’ll peel away the flowers so that there is just the flower imprint.

Bake your playdough for 2-3 hours and then wait for it to cool.

You should see an array of flower prints engraved into the baked dough. You can paint over them or leave them as they are. This idea is great for springtime and Christmas! During the Winter months you can use holly or small twigs of fir trees.

cookie cutter set

Cookie Cutters

Cookie cutters are simple and time efficient ways to produce a broad batch of salt dough creations. If you want to make your shapes quickly and put more emphasis on the painting process afterwards, biscuit cutters are the way forward. Here are some great shapes to try out…

The Benefits of Salt Dough and Child Development

So now you’ve got your recipe for salt dough and you’ve bagged some creative ideas. Let’s jump into the benefits of salt dough and child development.

Playing with salt dough is a fantastic activity to try out with your little ones. Cooking and baking with children allows them to begin to develop skills and understanding of measurement whether its cups of water, flour, or even the baking time.

Mixing the salt dough with their hands will help them to develop strength, and fine motor skills. Painting and cutting the dough gives kids the freedom to be creative which is always an added bonus.

While you’re chatting away and following instructions, your kids will also be absorbing the meaning of different words in relation to the actions being taken. This helps increase their language skills through shared experiences.

two girls playing with multi coloured playdough

Now you’ve got your basic step by step guide of creating salt dough and you little ones can fill your home with heartwarming and beautiful ornaments. Why not go one step further and plan a birthday party activity for your little ones and their friends? Hand out the cold dough in sections on paper plates with a few cutter cutters and plastic knives and forks and get crafting!

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and you are looking for Parenting Tips & Hacks feel free to check out our hub. We have other baking recipes (that are actually edible) like Christmas Cake Recipe, Best Hot Chocolate Recipe, and Halloween Cookie Recipes.

Looking to tick more indoor activity boxes? Feel the full throws of creativity by checking out some of craft ideas. We have Christmas Crafts for kids, Valentines Crafts for Kids, and Top Ten NYE Crafts for Kids. We’ve got a dazzling array of amazing decoration ideas for you to try out in each of these blogs. Happy crafting!

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