Making Toys With Salt Dough

Boys need things to pound. Girls probably do too. Especially when looking at cold days that make it difficult to play outside and run off the energy that’s building in their growing bodies.  This dough is soft, resilient, and impossible to destroy. The ingredients for this salt dough are sitting in your pantry right now, and you don’t even need to turn on a single burner of your stove to make it. What’s nice about this salt dough is that it is strong enough to hold the shape of 3-dimensional toys, like this dolphin that my boys modeled yesterday. The older boys started molding the dough because I asked them to please, “make this for the little ones…”  Taking all silliness away; this is serious work; I’m only doing this for the little guys.

Yes, these toys can break, but the recipe is easy to make, re-shape, and try again. Plus, you can use the microwave to dry them to speed up the drying time.

We used cookie cutters to make this train; we broke the cars down in sections, and used a garlic press to make the smoke.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 cup of table salt
  • 1 cup of lukewarm warm water. Add slowly; you may need more or less, depending on the humidity.

Some guidelines:

  • Mix the flour and salt, and make a “well” in the center to pour half of the water.
  • Use a fork to stir.
  • Add the remaining water a tablespoon at a time. Your goal is to create a dough that is holds together when you squeeze it in your hands. The dough should not be sticky, or crumbly.
  • Knead the dough, working in the remaining flour and salt, for about 10 minutes. This gets rid of the air bubbles, and makes a smooth, pliable dough. Skipping this step will keep your final products from being smooth.
  • It’s best to use the dough as soon as you make it. As you mold your pieces, keep the dough you’re not using in a bowl covered with a wet dish towel.
  • You can microwave your peices in a microwave, sitting on paper towels on a glass dish. Cook for one minute at a time, allowing them to cool between each minute.
  • Or you can bake them in a 200 degree oven for a couple of hours. Drying times will vary, depending on the size of your mold.
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One comment to “Making Toys With Salt Dough”
  1. I think dudelet’s about old enough to make constructive use of this sort of thing. It would certainly take up less space than his current creative outlet which involves every large cardboard box in the house. In fact, if he had his way he’d never recycle anything made out of cardboard, just hoard it in his room “to make something”

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