I adore Christmas and even more so now I have an imaginative toddler to join in the Christmas fun! I actually, for once, didn't get this idea from Pinterest (which is my usual place to get nifty fun ideas from!)
Rocket loves gingerbread men so we have a few cookie cutters in gingerbread men shapes and one afternoon I thought it would be fun to make some salt dough gingerbread men with a snowy twist!
The salt dough mix is pretty straight forward. 2 cups of plain flour, 1 cup salt and 1 cup luke warm water and mix to a dough. It was fun to see Rocket enjoying this bit as he usually doesn't like being messy or getting things on his hands!
After you have formed a soft dough but without the stickiness, you can go ahead and roll it out. We used the kitchen floor (clean) to do this as we don't have much kitchen worktop space.
We then pressed out our Gingerbread men and put them onto a separate baking tray with backing paper on so they didn't stick. I had to learn that they didn't need to be perfect, especially not when they were made by a 2 year old ;) some kind of therapy for me!
There are a few different methods of drying salt dough out but we baked ours in the oven on a very low heat (just under 100) for approx 4-5 hours. Time will vary depending on how thick your salt dough is but it is very important not to get impatient and turn the heat up as your salt dough will burn on the outside and not dry out in the middle properly.
The next day we got onto painting the Gingerbread Snowmen.. another job that the littlies can help out with (although I got the brush in all the nooks and cranny's afterwards). When the paint is dry you can pencil on the design you want, I went with the classic snowman design and as he has feet, some cute black shoes.
Once your Snowmen are completely dry, you can choose to varnish them with gloss (this will make them last many Christmas's) or go au naturel, which is what we have done this time.
I wanted rush this post through so I haven't actually got a Christmas tree to put the on yet but they will be hanging pride of place and Rocket will be happy knowing he made his own Christmas decorations this year! (maybe a little disappointed they don't taste like gingerbread men ;))
Best thing is they cost next to nothing to make and you can be as creative as you like! Get some cheap cookie cutters and make Christmas trees, angels and stars!