So this upcoming sweet holiday has been the perfect excuse to do some crafting with my tiny sweetheart!
This past week we made some little clay ornaments...
She is at the age now where she is very interested in helping out in the kitchen so she really enjoyed helping make them, rolling them out & cutting out the shapes.
They do take a little time to make, but LuLu had a very fun time making them and painting them with her best little friend.
The dough is very soft to work with and not grainy, it dries well and is a beautiful white colour.
"Not salt dough, clay ornaments" -
- 1/2 cup cornflour (corn starch)
- 1 cup bi-carb soda (baking soda)
- 3/4 cup of water.
- A few drops of lavender (or any essential oil you like) *optional.
- Food colouring *optional. (if you wish to add colouring, mix with water first then add)
- Small/medium sized sauce pan.
- Spatula/wooden spoon.
- Measuring cups.
- Wet chux/cloth.
- Rolling pin.
- Cookie cutters.
- Paint/glitter/embellishments/clear varnish or clear drying glue.
Making the clay;
- In a small-medium sized pot add all ingredients.
- Stir over medium heat, it will be very liquidy for a few minutes.
- Then suddenly you will notice the texture start to thicken, keep stirring.
- When it looks like very smooth dough take it off the heat.
- Place the clay dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cool cloth to cool down. (About 1/2 an hour)
- When cool, dust cornflour over a smooth surface and knead the dough.
- Start rolling it out flat - you don't want it to be too thin because that will cause it to crack. Try to not over roll it too many times as that can also cause cracking. (about 1/2 a centimetre thick is good) If you find the clay is starting to dry out or crack a tiny bit as you are rolling it, wet your hands lightly and roll the clay back into a ball.
- Cut out your shapes. You can use cookie cutters for this or stamps (trim around the edges once you've made the imprint with a stamp) and you can even make hand prints.
- If you plan to hang your ornaments, make a hole in the top with a straw.
- To harden you can either let air dry over night or for a day or pop them in the oven at 80degrees Celsius (175 Fahrenheit) for an hour, turning them over 1/2 way. *Mine could've had a bit longer in the oven, so you could extend the cooking time for an extra half hour or so - but check them regularly, they did finish drying over night.
- Once baked/air dried - decorate however you wish. We used paints & glitter and sealed them with a clear varnish.
This craft was lots of fun for both of us. I also made a few little gift tags to use on gifts. The clay was super easy to make, with the addition of lavender it also smelt nice and the bright white of the clay was very pretty - so if you didn't want to paint it - you don't need to. If you didn't want to involve your child in the making of the dough (because kids in the kitchen can be a bit of a handful sometimes) you could easily whip this up while they were asleep at night and then they are all ready to paint and decorate the next day! This was the perfect activity for a play date, both girls seemed to really enjoy painting the ornaments.
These love hearts will make very sweet little Valentine gifts for our loved ones!
I really love doing activities like this with LuLu, it may just seem like a craft or play - but she is learning so much through play.
She was learning;
Maths; Measuring and shapes. (She now tells me every time she see's a heart)
Science; She saw the mixture change form. From dry ingredients, to liquid and then to a clay. And then from a soft clay to a hard ornament. She also learnt that the clay was hot, but we had to wait for it cool down.
Motor skills; Scooping and tipping ingredients, mixing, kneading, rolling, squeezing the clay, cutting, painting, sprinkling glitter, helping thread the twine and hanging the ornaments.
Literacy; Following instructions and older kids would also be learning to read a recipe.
She also learnt patience while the clay was being cooked on the stove & while it was cooling.
So please always remember every single thing we do with our children is a learning experience. They are little sponges and take it all in, they love to learn. You don't have to sit down and do actual lessons - play based learning is so wonderful for little kids.
So I encourage you to try this craft, I would love to see your beautiful ornaments.
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I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day with your loved ones.
To read my previous 2 posts that have been very popular click HERE and HERE.