Grandpa’s in Space Salt Dough Christmas Stars
With Christmas around the corner, this simple craft ticks off two things: making Christmas decorations for your tree, and giving little handmade gifts to friends, family or teachers.
Do you have any family traditions at Christmas? Picking up the Christmas tree and decorating it together is one of ours, and this year we made some little decorations to add to the box that always makes its way down from the loft. We used salt dough because it’s so easy to make and doesn’t require lots of extra ingredients – you just need salt, flour and water, and some paint and glitter.
While you’re making these with the kids, you could talk about Christmas traditions around the world. For example, in France there’s an amazing tradition called les treize desserts de Noël, or the thirteen desserts of Christmas. People tuck in to thirteen desserts on Christmas eve, which is a tradition we could definitely get behind!
In Spain, meanwhile, children wait until January 6th – Epiphany – to receive the bulk of their presents. And it’s not Father Christmas, or Papa Noel, who brings them gifts. It’s the three wise men, during the Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Mages, or the festival of the three magic kings.
On the subject of gifts, these little decorations make a nice handmade present for friends and family. My kids wanted to give some to their teachers as end-of-term gifts, so they’ve added little labels and written a message. Enjoy!
Language themes: Christmas, festivals, gifts
1 cup salt
2 cups flour and a bit extra for dusting the worktop
1 cup water
Glitter, or glitter paint/glitter glue
String, or ribbon or twine
How to make it:
Mix your salt and flour together in a bowl, then add water gradually until you have a firm dough
Roll it out on the table to about 3mm thickness, or however fat you want your shapes to be
Using a cookie cutter, cut your stars out and place them on a floured baking tray
Use a skewer to make a hole in the top for your string, making sure the hole is big enough as it may shrink a little or close up while cooking
Bake your stars in the oven at about 180 degrees – the amount of time you’ll need depends on how thick your stars are, but ours took about 20 minutes. You can also microwave them or let them air-dry.
Let them cool, then decorate with paint and glitter
Add your string then hang them up, or add a label if you’re giving them to a teacher
Tip: for older children, buy some string wire and make these into lanterns by creating a handle
Story Box links: try How The Dinosaur Got His Shoes for words and activities around colours, or Tilly for seasons and the weather.