On top of our wood buring oven is a pile of chocolate advent calendars and each morning the children open another window in the calendar and savor their piece of chocolate. Our two-year old had shaken his calendar at the store with so much vigor that most of his chocolates have dropped out of their allocated spots and are sitting at the bottom of the calendar causing it to bulge. He just wouldn’t give it up and insisted on holding it all the way to the register. I didn’t feel like arguing over such a minor detail. In the end, it probably does not really matter to him if the chocolates are not all in their places as long as he gets one everyday. It is countdown to Christmas, and everyday the children ask if we will be putting up a new decoration or Christmas light or perhaps do a little Christmas baking.
This year we decide to make ornaments out of salt dough for the teachers. First of all, almost all kids love playing with dough and so this was the perfect way to let them become involved. Our two-year old sat at the table perfectly entertained for probably an hour shaping his own piece of dough. Other than a bit of effort, these ornaments are easy on the pocketbook and you can let your imagination run.
3 dl/1 and 1/3 c flour
1 dl/ 1/2 c salt
1.5 dl/ 3/4 c water
Mix all the ingredients and allow to rest for a bit wrapped under cling film. Gently sprinkle the counter top with flour and using a rolling pin an cookie cutters make different shapes. We used clean letter stamps for the words and a dinner knife to cut around them. Remember to make a hole through which a piece of string or twine may be later pulled through for hanging.
Bake at 100 C/210 F for a couple of hours. A couple of days later we painted ours white with acrylic paint that had been thinned with a bit of water. Spray paint might be even easier for an even and thin coat of paint.
The idea for these came from a Finnish women’s magazine Kotivinkki, but the original Finnish recipe that I used can be found here. The internet is full of salt dough recipes, some that have a bit of oil and some that do not. I noticed that best results are had when the oven is not too hot.
During the past few months we have had a facebook group in the Kouvola area that organizes that local food producers are able to sell their products directly to the consumer, similar to a farmer’s market. It takes place about twice a month. So far we have tried out an ostrich egg, which really peaked the interest of the children. The past time I bought different kinds of flour from a local mill with the intention to do a bit of holiday baking.
Here is the recipe for my classic gingerbread cookies. Next time I will share a recipe for rye gingerbread cookies that have a bit of almond flour in them. Definitely delicious!
I would like to share a bit of the sounds of my kitchen. Yesterday was the 150th birthday of the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. The other week we visited a Jean Sibelius recital put on by young music students. The children and youth were all dressed in the time period and represented children of Jean Sibelius and their various cousins. Their teacher played the part of Aino Sibelius, wife of Jean and told little historical stories along with photos and between each bit one of the children would perform a short piece by Sibelius.
And what was even better was that the children have started recognizing the music of Sibelius when it is played on the radio. They might come up and say, “I think this is Sibelius.” The following piece is one of their favorites.
This post is a part of Celia’s In My Kitchen series that she hosts every month. Be sure to drop by her blog for a reference list of bloggers all around the world and their kitchens.
Beautiful…& the teachers should enjoy their handmade gifts…
Yes, I hope they do. It is small enough so that it should not cause huge storage issues. Happy advent, Gramma ❤
Beautiful gifts to give to the teachers, such love and thought has gone into each one.
Thank you, I loved the variety of the designs. Each child had a little bit of a different style. 🙂
What a wonderful idea for homemade gifts! I remember making something similar with my mom when I was younger- definitely a fun activity for the little ones!
What a fun memory! I am sure this recipe/idea has been around for years. They certainly become rock hard after baking that they might even last for years.
Most festive time of the year, with most beautiful music for the celebration. Getting children involved in a project is so precious! 🙂
Yes, this time of year is special. Even our two-year old stripped down to his diaper, when I was telling the children that I do not want any paint on their clothes and came to paint. (Those little ones often understand more than we can imagine! 🙂 ) So they all participated at some stage in the process.
Indeed precious! 😀 )))
I admire your patience doing such lovely things with your children. The salt dough ornaments look so nice and reflect the care and homemade effort that Christmas should. Best to you and your family Laila.
I have one very persistent young lady that keeps reminding me of our planned projects 😉 and sometimes the best way to satisfy that persistence is to just do the project instead of only planning on them. And in the end, it is better that they are not left for the last night! 🙂 Happy advent to you!
what cute decorations. and how lovely to make them with children. well not with children cos that would be cannibalism:) but with children around and helping. merry xmas to you.
Ha, ha! 😀 Merry Christmas to your too!
What beautiful ornaments the children made and I think it’s a wonderful gift for their teachers. I have never heard of salt dough, really love the look of the ornaments. The music also is very beautiful.
I could imagine that you might like the salt dough as it’s quite easy to handle. And online there are all sorts of ideas. 🙂 I also really like this piece by Sibelius which is called “Kuusi” or “The fir tree.”
I love salt dough ornaments and have always wanted to try making them. I quite fancy making a string of stars or something similar.
I love that your children are involved with your kitchen happenings!
Ooh, a string of stars across the window would be perfect…what a great idea! We’ll have to see if there would be enough time to make something of that sort 🙂
I know the children must have enjoyed making the ornaments. I believe the little handmade gifts will be much appreciated.
They all participated at some stage…even our little one came along and “helped” paint the ornaments. 🙂
I just wanted to stop back by to say that I hope your sweet family had a wonderful Christmas.
Thank you Karen…It was special as it always is. The children bring the magic. I just got a Christmas post up…just in time for New Year’s 🙂 Hoping your Christmas was peaceful and relaxing in your new home. Thanks for stopping by.
The kids look like they’re having so much fun in those photos! I loved seeing in your kitchen during this special time of the year.
Thanks Pamela for stopping by. The holidays are indeed magical with all of the twinkling lights and candles ‘midst the darkness.
What a lovely thing to do with your children, the homemade ornaments are charming and will be a hit with the teachers. Happy holidays, I enjoyed getting a peak into your kitchen.
Thanks for stopping by Liz! I hope they enjoy the kids’ handiwork 🙂
These are beautiful – I am not a terribly christmassy person but I might come out of my cave to make these – you and your children did a beautiful job.. c
🙂 These could be also thought of winter ornaments especially if made in the shape of snowflakes for example and then they could be used throughout the dark months. I usually put up my paper star with a light in it just to bring a soft light to the mornings and evenings as it is nearly pitch black by 4 pm and time of daylight is so short.
There’s nothing quite like a home at Christmas where there are children in residence. It sounds like yours is every bit as wonderful. 😉
So true…children bring the true Christmas spirit with their innocence and bright, shining eyes that still believe in the magic of Christmas.
What lovely Christmas memories your children will have to share with their own children in years to come. Your post brought a smile to my heart.
So glad you enjoyed the post Dee and thanks for stopping by!
How clever are those salt dough ornaments, what a great idea!
What lovely gifts. I had some salt dough decorations (from my children) which lasted for years and years. Sibelius is perfect with this post. 🙂