How to make salt dough
Learn how to make salt dough with our recipe for kids using storecupboard ingredients. Make salt dough ornaments and decorations with our easy ideas.
Making salt dough is a really fun and easy activity for kids and the chances are you will have all of the ingredients in the cupboard ready to go on a rainy day.
Children will love using their imaginations to create all sorts of exciting objects (although simple shapes do seem to work best) and hours of fun painting their creations, but do take care to remind little ones that the salt dough is not edible.
For more hands-on crafts, see how to make slime, salt dough, oobleck and moon sand with affordable ingredients and easy steps.
Keep the little ones entertained at home with our summer activities for kids, sensory play ideas, fun yoga for kids and birthday ideas for kids at home.
See our new Kid's Kitchen series for essential cookery skills, plus easy recipes kids can make and kids summer baking projects.
Browse our family & kids hub for plenty of inspiration.
How to make salt dough
Makes 1 ball
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 3 hours
- 1 cupful of plain flour (about 250g)
- half a cupful of table salt (about 125g)
- half a cupful of water (about 125ml)
1. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and stir until it comes together into a ball.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape into your chosen model. You can roll it out and cut out shapes, numbers or letters using biscuit cutters, or make any kind of model you can think of. We made some fruit and veg shapes plus cupcakes for a teddy bear’s picnic.
4. Put your finished items on the lined baking sheet and bake for 3 hrs or until solid.
5. Leave to cool and then paint.
• Simple designs work best, as the dough isn’t sturdy until baked. If your child can’t decide between a tall giraffe or a flatter gecko, for example, steer them towards the gecko. Also bear in mind that the bigger/fatter the model, the longer it will take to harden in the oven.
• Try using silicone baking sheets to roll out the shapes without the need for extra flour. This saves on cleaning up your kitchen. Silicone sheets are also a quick way to bake without needing baking parchment.
• If you want to make salt dough 'cupcakes' like we did, pop your shaped dough into cupcake cases before you put it in the oven and bake the pretend cakes in cupcake trays. The dough then sets firmly stuck to the paper cases, ready for painting with pretend icing, cherries or sprinkles.
Salt dough ideas
See how to make salt dough ornaments for your Christmas tree.
• Baby’s first Christmas Make a new family keepsake by rolling out a circle of salt dough and helping a child gently push their hand into it to make an imprint. Decorate as you’d like, adding the year to the back of the decoration.
• Tree shapes Cut out a single large tree shape, bake for a little longer (4-6 hrs), leave to cool, then paint green. Younger children will now be able to help decorate with star stickers, pieces of tinsel or pom-poms.
• Names on the tree For a fun family activity, each of you can add your name onto a decoration using a glitter pen.
For inspiration, visit our friends at 5 Minute Fun and discover how to make simple salt dough handprint ornaments.
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