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Archive for December, 2009

 OK. I know it has been months since I blogged. I just simply could not get past how much “catching up” there was to do. Today, I decided that instead of catching up… I’ll work on moving forward. I will try to go back but for all intents and purposes… we are beginning here. I started today a bit concerned that a package I shipped has yet to be scanned in and was having a hard time redirecting my mind. Then, an internet friend of mine posted looking for something to entertain her kids and another friend chimed in with salt ornaments…. OOOOh YES! This is something non-toxic, kid friendly, and MESSY that my daughter is certain to enjoy. Usually with food I get stressed letting her help because no one really wants two-year-old germies in their food 😉 . However, who can resist ornaments that a two-year-old helped to make? Psh. NO ONE! LOL!

I began here http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/salt-dough-ornaments.shtml and quartered the batch. Afterall, I didn’t want to chance having WAY too much …. well that and I only had 1/4c of salt. Ha! So, begin by gathering your supplies…

1C Flour,  1/4C Salt, a bit over 1/3C hot water, a nice sized mixing bowl, a whisk (or your hands 🙂 , a bit of extra flour for covering the counter, a spatula to scoop up the ornaments…. and of course cute cookie cutters 🙂 Oh, and if you are REALLY lucky… you will get an adorable assistant 😉 .

Alyssa all nice and ready to help out!

If you are super extra lucky you will have an assistant filled with this much enthusiasm…

 

"WOO HOO IT'S TIME TO HELP!"

 

 Prior to beginning I remind myself of a few things. First, no one will be eating these so normal “food prep” procedures are not really necessary. Sure, we wash our hands (and Alyssa’s feet LOL!) but I’m not too worried about keeping things neat and tidy for this 🙂 . Afterall, I have realized over the last almost three years that with Alyssa very few things are done orderly LOL! Second, I strive to let her help as much as possible and fight against my OCD to do it all for her. Not always easy, but in the end I like to know she had a blast and that I can honestly say she helped :). Finally, HAVE FUN!!

 Begin by combining the flour and salt in your mixing bowl. I think it’s easier to make sure the salt is evenly distributed this way since there is no water to slow it down 🙂 Alyssa is a professional mixer…. so she handled this step!

mix mix mix

Next, gradually add your water and stir. You may need a bit more to get it to a nice dough-ey consistency. You don’t want it *too* moist because then it will be a total pain to get the shapes off the counter later. Aim for about sugar cookie dough consistency. If you aren’t sure about what that is… take the opportunity to make a batch of cookies prior to making ornaments! Your tummy will thank you, but your thighs might not 😉 .

Teamwork! (we added a bit of flour to the dough after this picture)

 Next, flour your surface. Sure, we overdid it a bit, but who can resist playing with flour?

She was picking it up and putting it on her feet. HA!

 Then, dump your dough out onto the floured surface and roll flat to about 1/2″ thickness. The ornaments will expand a bit in the microwave thickness wise.

We haven't *quite* figured out the whole "rolling pin" thing. HAHA!

Place your cookie cutters on the dough and press out the shapes.

Look at that focus... this is intense!

You’ll probably have to help a bit with this step. Alyssa wanted to do the cookie cutters but couln’t quite “get” how much pressure was needed. She’d push for a second and then pic up the cutter to look at it haha. She was determined though! LOL! Lather, rinse, reroll, repeat until all of your dough is used up. We were able to get six good-sized ornaments out of this little batch. They looked like this prior to “baking.” We used a straw to poke holes out for strings. Be sure to make the holes a bit bigger than you actually want them to be when finished!

looking almost good enough to eat...

I microwaved them on high for 1 minute, flipped and microwaved for 2 minutes, and then flipped back and microwaved for 1 more minute. I think that helped to keep “bubbling” to a minimum and helped them to cook evenly. I used the spatula to flip a couple that were stuck to the plate! After heating they looked like this ;).

time to cool off...

Let them cool completely (I popped ours int he fridge for about ten minutes). In that time change your child into something you are less attached to (or *gasp* an art smock) and gather your art supplies. We stuck with just paint because glitter + 2-year-old…. well it just did NOT sound like a good time! HA! Over a few painting projects I have discovered with Alyssa that this is the easiest way to let her paint. I ensure that the paint is nontoxic, take a deep breath, and… well… let her make a HUGE mess for the sake of art!

"PAINT!!!"

I apply a small amount of paint (umm I accidently applied way more than a small amount…oops)

squish squish squish

Once she gets it spread out a bit I put what I want her to paint on the tray.

"Psh. A plain white ornament? I think not!"

Then between the paint on her hands and the paint on the tray she is pretty great at covering what needs to be painted…

"This is serious business!"

Once that stage was all done… I cleaned up the green paint and my Hulk looking kid and helped her squeeze dots of paint onto the tree (Held her hand on the bottle and squeezed enough for a bit to drip onto the ornament.) I did not get pics of that step because holding her hand, stopping her other hand from attacking the ornament, squeezing just enough, etc….well I just couldn’t juggle the camera too! HAHAHA.
Let dry while you fully bathe your kid, clean your work space, and get said child all snuggled down for bed with Daddy’s help (if you are super duper lucky again! LOL).

"Whew. Ornament making is hard work! Nap time!"

After a couple hours of mixing, painting, laughing, splashing, and oh so many other verbs… you will have ornaments that look a bit like this 🙂
Christmas Tree

and if you are SUPER DUPER lucky….your awesomely adorable assistant will be so worn out that she will pass out for a nap 🙂 . All in all it was a fun day. Sure, I cleaned up a few more messes than normal and used quite a bit of my sensory processing for the day. However, Alyssa had a blast and I was happy she was able to help! It just goes to show that no matter the age or ability just about any child can help with crafting if given the chance 🙂

 

 

 

 
 
 
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