Does reading the title of this post fill you with creative, happy thoughts? Or does it make you cringe with horrible visions of spilled acrylic paint and glue encrusted on your couches? I have to honestly say I vary between the two. Today, I fortunately felt positive about the concept of arts & crafts, and spent most of the afternoon creating beautiful keepsakes with the kids. First up on our list- canvas painting. My 7 year old LOVES art, so I try to hit up the local stores when they have sales and buy a bunch of items. For the canvas painting, I asked her to make something Valentine’s Day themed, as we don’t have many decorations. The results exceeded my expectations, as you can see below.
Next up, salt dough. This super simple recipe is as follows, and you can make anything from ornaments to hand/footprints (which is what we made)….the opportunities are endless. I have to say this is always a fun project, as all the girls enjoy the entire process of making the dough, completing their unique prints / designs, and finally painting them (after being cooked in the oven). And the best part- NO MESS. Seriously parent friendly. Just had to watch that my 1 year old didn’t try and eat the dough lol.
- 1 Cup Salt
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1/2 Cup Warm Water
In a large bowl mix together the salt and flour. Gradually add the warm water until a dough begins to form. (If it’s sticky, knead a bit more.) That’s it!!
*When we made the handprint keepsakes, our next steps were to split the dough into three equal balls. We slightly flattened each ball with a baking sheet until they were large enough to fit each child’s hand. Firmly press their hand into the dough to make a print. You can also use a dowel or knife to write names , dates, or small designs surrounding the hand print. Once done, bake in a 250 degree oven on a baking sheet until dough is completely dried (approximately 3 hours). Let cool overnight, and then feel free to paint using acrylic paints (washable ones won’t stick). *
**A fun idea is to make paw prints of a pet for your loved one. A friend of mine is a professional dog sitter and made a paw print salt dough ornament for all of her clients last year. **
**ONE MORE fun idea I plan on trying in the fall is to make the salt dough, cut out large leaves using a cookie cutter, and bake into the shape of a bowl. After painting shades of the changing leaves, it will make a nifty little keepsake bowl. Here’s the link to the blog post where I first saw this: http://meaningfulmama.com/salt-dough-leaf-bowls.html
Last but not least, the girls and I made brownies. Perhaps not an arts & craft, but we did it together. In my mind cooking is an art, and I love sharing time being creative with my kiddos. Afternoon success!!