At OMO, we believe that every stain represents an important experience - mud stains are the stamp of adventure, grass stains are the sign of exploration and fruit stains are the aftermath of discovery. Encourage your kids to get messy with our fun activities for happy, healthy, confident kids. We'll be there to sort out the dirty clothes afterwards.
The Shapes of Spring
An indoor or outdoor activity making salt dough shapes to celebrate the arrival of Spring.
What you’ll need:
What to do:
This activity starts with making the salt dough, which is plenty of fun and helps to build small muscles in the hands that are good for pencil grip. Mix the flour and salt together and then add water little by little until you have a doughy consistency. If you like, add some green food colouring so that your dough is a bright spring green. Let the dough sit for a few minutes while you go into the garden or take a walk in the park and gather a few leaves and flowers to use in your ornaments. Remind your child to be gentle with the plants and only to pick a little bit – just what they need. Weeds like dandelions and blackjacks have well-shaped leaves and flowers so you can even get a bit of gardening done while gathering your materials.
Roll out the salt dough to about 5mm thick. Help your child to use cookie cutters to press out different shapes. If you don’t have leaf or flower shapes, you can use a butter knife to gently cut out shapes, or just press out circles and basic shapes. Help your child to press the leaves and flowers you have found gently into the dough. While you’re cutting out shapes, talk to your child about the different shapes of leaves and how leaves help plants to grow by photosynthesis. Talk about how some plants go to sleep during winter and lose all their leaves, and then new leaves grow in spring.
When your child has a few shapes that they are happy with, use a wooden skewer or a straw to press a hole through the top of the ornament. Dry the salt dough ornaments in the oven at 180 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (times will vary according to the thickness of the ornament. You could also leave the ornaments in a warm, dry place to dry out overnight. When the ornaments are dry, put string or ribbon through the holes to make a loop to hang them up with.
Change it up:
Make it easy: Prepare the salt dough shapes in advance so your child just has to decorate them.
Make it a challenge: Let your child try mixing blue and green food colouring to get different shades of green. Encourage them to do the mixing, cutting and decorating by themselves.
Play with friends: This is a great activity to enjoy with friends and there’s something special to take home at the end of the day.
Indoor play: This activity can be done indoors or outdoors on a washable surface to protect from food dye and mess.
Fine motor skills
Curiosity; respect; love of nature; empathy.