Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ready for a Valentine's Day Project?

Today Kit, Kat and their cousins all worked on a Valentine's Day project. I needed something easy, fun, not too messy, and something that ages 4-6 would enjoy. I found the perfect project, and cannot believe I have never did this before!

We made a few cute dough heart ornaments.
Aren't they pretty!

Okay, here are the easy step-by-step instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees

You will need:
1 C. flour
1/4 C. salt
1/3 and 1 tablespoon water
Food coloring if you want them to be colored
Wax paper so they don't stick to your table when the kids are rolling them
Non-stick cooking spray
1 straw, or pencil. Anything to make holes in your ornament before cooking

To get the pink that I had, I used 30 drops of Neon Pink food coloring.

Mix your flour and salt in a large bowl, then add your water and food coloring. Let the kids stir it up!

Keep stirring! You may need to add a tiny bit more water at this point, one of my batches I needed to, the other one was fine.

Finally time to get your hands dirty! Knead that dough for about ten minutes! The kids played with it for about 20 minutes before we started on our projects.

Kat was having fun as you can see!

Time to flatten the dough out so it is about 1/4" in. thick.  Mine was about the same thickness as a sugar cookie would be.
I let the kids flatten them, then I took over. I made sure all the lumps were gone, then started to shape it by hand into a heart. Cookie cutters work great, unfortunately I don't have a heart cookie cutter.

As you can tell, my hearts are not perfect but the kids thought they were beautiful! I put two holes with my straw at the top of the hearts so I can put a ribbon through it once they are dry. I sprayed the bottom of my pan before I put the hearts on it, then I added a layer of spray to the top of the ornaments to keep the color from fading.

**To make these 4 hearts I doubled the batch, each heart is about the size about a DVD (who needs a measuring tape!)

Pop them in the oven for 1 hour.

This is what they look like when I took them out of the oven. The white in the middle goes away as the dough continues to dry. I think I made mine a little thick because they were not completely hard after 1 hour. You could leave them in for longer if this happens to you, or you can take them out and let them air dry overnight.

You can do several things with them at this point. I used some pink sparkly ribbon to  hang them up with. They will be hanging on the mantel at our house every Valentine's Day from now on!

You can also paint them or put white school glue on them and sprinkle them with glitter. (We may end up doing that!)

This project took us about 1 hour to prepare. It would have taken me about 12 minutes if I did it alone, but where's the fun in that?!?
Then 1 hour to cook, and if you decorate them further it could take even longer. This was a great project for my Kit n' Kat + cousins! It kept them busy, happy and relatively mess free for a few hours. 

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