Dough Ornaments

Dough Ornaments

Carter is 3 years, 3 months old.

You will need:

4 c Flour
1 c Salt
1 ½ c warm water
Large Spoon
Rolling Pin
Cookie Cutters
Varnish (adult use ONLY)


1.                Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.                Mix flour and salt well. Gradually add water, stirring with a large spoon. Finish mixing with hands. Knead until soft and pliable.

4.                Roll out on floured surface about 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheets. With a straw make a hole in the top of the ornament for threading string. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) until hard, about 1 hour.

(Read some Christmas stories together while you wait!)

5.               Decorate with paint and varnish to preserve.

Then, clean up!

Conclusion: This was a material heavy activity.  Though we picked up all we needed for around $5, so it’s still frugal.  A few tips about the dough – the dough is really stout.  Rolling it out definitely takes an adult with some muscle.  Make sure you flip them half way through baking so that they don’t turn up on the edges.  Also, if they start to puff up, back off of the heat and cook for a little longer.  Let them cool and dry COMPLETELY before painting.  I thought mine were, but after I varnished them they were a little pliable, but still not breakable.

We bought some really pretty metallic red and green paints, but I was a little disappointed in the “red”.  You’ll notice they turned out very pink.  Some of the grandparents may raise an eyebrow at getting a pink ornament from their grandson.  This process took an entire day and a lot of my really good flour (note to self: use the cheap stuff next time), so we will NOT be redoing them before our trip to the nursing homes.

Have you tried this activity?  What other things are you making with your child for the holidays?  I would love for you to share a comment or a link below.

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Water Drops on Wax Paper

Water Drops on Wax Paper

Carter is 3 years, 3 months old.

You will need:

Food Coloring
Wax Paper
Cookie Sheet


1.                Draw small (dime size) circles on a length of wax paper with a Sharpie.

I put another step in here:  I let Carter practice sucking the water up into the dropper and squirting it out into the bowl for a while before he tried it on the wax paper.

Learning to Use a Dropper

2.                Show your child how to release one drop into each circle on the paper.  Then, suck the drops back up and put them into the cup.

3.                 Invite your child to try.

Sucking up the Water

Dropping the water into the circles

Conclusion: The was a VERY difficult fine motor activity, though Carter stuck with it for more than 30 minutes.  It took him a few tries making the drops before he could get a small enough amount to come out.  He was fascinated with sucking the water back up off of the wax paper, laughing hysterically each time he did it.  I LOVE the look of concentration on the last photo.

These activities are here for sharing.  If you like it, (say so, then) grab the link and pass it on.  It’s the highest form of bloggy love! ♥

Scratch and Sniff Painting

I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to art materials, so the thought of putting Kool-Aid powder in paint had me cringing on the inside.  I reminded myself that it was not about me and I just did it.  I started with dumping the powder into the plastic paint bottles and just shaking it up.  BIG mistake.  I don’t know what Kool-Aid is really made of or why anyone would drink this stuff into their bodies, but a powerful chemical reaction occurred.  I could feel the pressure inside the bottle, so I thought I could slowly open the top and let it out.  No.  As soon as any air could escape, ALL the air escaped along with the pasty blob that was formed from the powder.  And, it’s good to note that once you mix red washable paint with red Kool-Aid, it is no longer washable.  The best way to mix the paint is to dump the powder into a small bowl, add some water and spoon in some paint.  Mix it all together and watch it bubble.  It’s also quite the air freshener.  Move over Glade!

We got past the chemical reactions and bubbling and STRONG smells of artificial flavors to make it to the fun of painting.

Scratch and Sniff Painting

Carter is 3 years, 2 months old.

You will need:

Tempera paint
Kool-Aid in matching colors
Paint brushes, one for each color.
Watercolor paper


1.                Beforehand, mix Kool-Aid powder with tempera paint, matching colors.

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

2.                Cover a table with newspaper or paint at an easel.

3.                Show your child how to dip into color to be used and return the brush to that color to keep the colors bright and clean.

4.                Paint as long as it’s fun! Talk about the scents while your child paints, but remind him NOT to eat it.

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

5.                While the creations are drying, show your child how to wash the paintbrushes and place on a napkin to dry.

6.                When they are dry, rub the colors with your finger and smell.

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

Conclusion: The house smells like a candy store!  I was skeptical about what kind of paint Kool-Aid would make, but the colors turned out pretty gorgeous.  We decided to paint this as a family.  What started out as painting fruit (because of the smells), turned out as a playground.  I was reminded that, at this age, it is all about the process.  I really loved hearing Carter tell a story about the 3 of us playing on the playground as he guided his brush over the paper.  Priceless memories!

These activities are here for sharing.  If you like it, (say so, then) grab the link and pass it on.  It’s the highest form of bloggy love! ♥