Artists at Work: Salt Dough

In some ways, artistic endeavors are the most important experiences of learning for young children. Art is a building block for creating a foundation in math, science and reading. But even more importantly, it is an uninhibited tool for self expression and communication; areas that many people young and old have not yet mastered. With your child, here is an activity to explore your world creativity rather than verbally. As Pablo Picasso said” Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. Try this activity out with your child to see how it feels to be an artist again.  

Activity: Salt Dough Creations

Here is an easy salt dough recipe, courtesy of Ms. Cat in Infant 2, to inspire you and your child’s creativity and imagination. It only needs a few ingredients. To remember the joy in art, you can create an instant memory, you and your child’s thumbprints, hands and/or feet. 

What you need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour*

  • 1 cup salt

  • 1 cup water

  • Food coloring and water or watercolors

What to do:

  •  In a large mixing bowl stir the flour and salt together. 

  •  Gradually stir in the water until the mix forms a play-doh consistency. 

  •  After kneading the dough for 5 minutes, your dough should be ready for fun! 

  • To remember how joyful an art experience can be, after your child finishes rolling and smooshing the clay, create an instant memory of the day. You can do this by making thumbprints, hand prints or foot prints. After you have made the impression, you can leave the dough out to dry overnight.

  •  To save your child's memory or creation, poke a small hole in your masterpiece so you can hang it once dry.

  • The dough can be left overnight to air-dry or baked in the oven at 200 degrees for several minutes until baked.   

  • Once your creation is dried, you can paint it. Watercolors or food coloring mixed with water seems to work best.

 *Just a warning.. Once you start creating, you might run out of salt dough. So to avoid, make a double batch!