Do you love homemade Christmas ornaments? One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is nostalgically sift through all the years of Christmas ornaments I made as a child. My mom kept all of the homemade ornaments we made, from preschool on up!
Preschool teachers have the special honor of starting the homemade ornament collection that parents will cherish for years to come. Here’s an ornament that parents will love receiving, and students can proudly help make!
Making Salt Dough Ornaments
Salt dough is a classic choice for student-made ornaments for several reasons: it’s easy to work with, it’s versatile, and it’s very inexpensive!
Salt Dough Ingredients
- 1 cup of salt
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of warm water
- Red food coloring (or powdered tempera paint)
Supplies for the Ornaments
- Permanent marker
- Chenille craft stem
- Plastic sandwich bags
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined into a dough. Split the dough in half and color one half red (using either red food coloring or red powdered tempera paint), and leave the other half white. Mix the coloring into the dough until well combined.
This recipe will make enough dough for a dozen small peppermint keepsake ornaments.
How to Make Peppermint Keepsake Ornaments
Provide each student with a small ball of white and red salt dough. Let them mix the dough together until they are happy with the mixture. You can let this process go as long as students are interested.
To form the peppermint candy, have students roll their dough into a ball between their hands, then squish it flat on the table using the palms of their hands.
You can leave the dough out overnight to dry, but make sure they are turned at least once to dry the back and front evenly. (Depending on dough thickness, they may need an extra day of drying time). To speed up the drying process, you may also put them in an oven set to 200 degrees. Place each ornament on parchment paper (make sure to label whose ornament is whose on the paper!) and bake for 4-6 hours.
Once the ornaments are dry, give the students a permanent marker to either write their name, initials, or some other sentiment on the ornaments.
Optional: You can choose to seal the ornament with clear coat spray paint or a bit of clear nail polish. This will also give the candies a nice sheen.
To finish the ornaments, the teacher (or a parent volunteer) will cut open plastic bags and wrap them around the salt dough peppermints, securing the ends with a bit of chenille craft stem. Use hot glue to attach an opened paper clip to the back to form a simple ornament hook.
Students are going to love presenting these homemade ornaments to their parents, and parents will love the personalization of their child’s names written on each one!
BIO: Clarissa is a former elementary teacher and writer of the blog Munchkins and Moms. She loves to share creative preschool activities that are both playful and educational. Check out some of her popular posts such as this Cork Board Christmas Tree Fine Motor Activity. Don’t forget to follow her on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more creative ideas!