Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Flour and salt homemade clay

Somebody must've mentioned it, because I can't remember how I thought about making beads with homemade clay.
Straight onto my friend Google... flour salt clay etc... which of course brought back a plethora of sites with recipes. Some were actually very different from each other. I mean the proportions between flour and salt and water were different! You can't really just mix and match, as of course the amount of salt will determine the hardness etc. No idea which one to try, I'm still a novice at homemade flour clay, so I thought, what the heck, whichever I choose will be good, we're talking flour and water and mess, the kids will have fun anyway!

I found this recipe on ehow to be quite good, many of the versions I found had that sort of proportion.
Next time I'll try this one,, just to see the difference.

So, because I was trying to be reasonably accurate with my measurements, I gave the kids a decoy...
flour, water, bowls, jugs, spoons: what more can a kid ask for?
mix mix mix
pouring lots of water
observing big sister
copying big sister
I could've even ended the activity here because they were both loving it so much!

So after I finished kneading the dough (it was really quite elastic, very happy with myself!), we pulled out our faithful cookie cutters and Sosi and Casi started cutting away to their hearts content!

Note to self: 4 cups of flour make a heck of a lot of dough....

Other note to self: if you set your oven at a higher temperature then a recipe recommends just so you can get the clay ready faster, you'll end up with something that puffs up and looks like golden crackers...

Regardless of what (I) considered a not-so-perfect result, the kids loved it. We started out decorating the clay shapes with markers/textas, and ended up trying paints as well. I wouldn't recommend the paints as the extra liquid on the paintbrush can wet considerably the clay again (particularly if you're a 3yo who's very liberal wit the amount of water/paint she puts on a paintbrush...), but using a paintbrush is oh so much more satisfying than a texta...

All in all, a very satisfying activity for all; waiting for the clay to cook can be tough on young kids, but I managed to time it perfectly with lunch, so while we were eating the clay was cooking.
I left the clay and markers on the craft tables all day, so the kids were free to go back to colouring as they were finishing other activities (usual play). Turned out to be a good idea, Sofia just loved it, she must've spent a total of 3 hours (not kidding you!) colouring these things! I was really stoked about that!

And indeed, making your own clay with edible materials is always a bonus when a little boy decides to try one of those pretty shapes...

yes, that's Lucas scoffing an incredibly hard (but delightfully salty...) oven baked clay decoration...

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