Clay Cookie Craft

Though school is out for the summer there are a few things my little lass and I are still trying to work on consistently--reading, piano, and art.  Now, I have some fine art background but I don't consider myself very crafty, at least when in comes to coming up with fun projects for kids.  I loved this project from The Little Hands Art Book because it combined some great elements of cooking, sculpture, and painting.  I like crafts that actually teach something.  The bonus here is that we ended up with some great looking little cookies for my daughter's play kitchen.  Here's the salt dough recipe you need to get started (click on the photo to see it full size):

We left out the alum and baked the cookies.  We also halved the recipe.  I had my daughter (who is 4) pour the ingredients into a bowl and after I got the mixing started, I taught her how to knead the dough like bread.

The dough becomes smooth and pliable.

I split it into two sections to make it more manageable and let her roll it out with her little silicon rolling pin.  When it became uneven I folded it back over and let her try again.  She's seen me roll out dough dozens of times and was delighted to try it on her scale.

Then came the cutting.  Any cookie cutters would work but we used some Ateco graduated circle cutters. Even the rim of a glass would work well.

Here they are ready for baking (on some parchment, above), and freshly baked (below).  I had to make some pretzels too. :)   We let the cookies cool completely and harden on the counter.  The little nubs on some of the cookies became chocolate chips...

once we did a little of this...

and a little of this.

I'd recommend using non-toxic paint for something that's going to end up in a play kitchen.  I wasn't thinking and actually used my acrylics on the cookies I painted, which I feel ok about because I know my daughter won't put them in her mouth.  But, as we have some leftover dough wrapped up in the fridge, I might remake them and use her Crayola paints, just to be safe.

I definitely enjoyed doing this with her.

And she just loves the result.  

What sorts of things are you creating with your kids this summer?  Do you have some fun ideas for our remaining weeks of "summer school?"

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I'm absolutely loving this! I have bookmarked this, because I will have to try it sometime!
Kristin said…
This craft is calling my name!!! Love it. Bookkmarking for a craft day! Stopping by from {someday crafts}
I love love love this! It would be such a great beginning of the school year preschool craft! All the kids could help make them and then they could stay in the kitchen area all year! I am visiting from Sugar and Dots and I am a new follower!!

Hope you are having a great week and I see you around my blog soon!

These are adorable! What a great kid's project :)

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Anonymous said…
Hi, these are so sweet. I'm really wanting to make my daughter some play food for her tea parties and I'm wondering whether to use wood or salt dough. Have you found the salt dough able to withstand play? and is there any tricks you've used to make them strong? thanks
Sara B. said…
Hi anonymous :)

Depends how old and how careful your daughter is!

A few years later, several of these cookies are still around, but my 2 year old son has broken most of them. For cuteness and detail work (like for tea pastries), the clay might be the the way to go, but for long term durability, I'd use (or buy) wood. We own a few of the Melissa and Doug wooden play food sets and they hold up really well. The other option to consider, if you're handy with a needle and committed to DIY, would be felt. Google "felt play food" and get ready for adorableness overload. :)

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