Recently we experimented with making dough from baking soda and corn starch, and ended up with a ton left over after we created hand print ornaments. I thought it would be fun to create a few Easter egg ornaments with the Bear and let him paint them. The boy loves a good project, and every time we get the paint out he gets so excited. This ended up being a really fun craft to do with him and would work for kids ages 2 and up. I’ll share the details of our process along with a few things we learned and would do differently next time.
The first thing you need to do is make your dough. I used this recipe from North Story for baking soda dough. Visit the link for full instructions. The ingredients you need are: 2 cups baking soda, 1 cup corn starch, 1 1/4 cup water, and a few drops of the scented oil of your choice. I used lavender oil to mask the baking soda scent. They smell lovely. I highly suggest using an oil to mask the baking soda aroma.
While your dough is cooling, gather anything you want to use to make ornaments. For the Easter egg ornaments we used half of a plastic egg with a vertical split. You could also use an egg shaped cookie cutter. This recipe makes far more than you might expect, so grab a few extra cookie cutters for fun. Roll out your cooled dough and show your child how to cut a shape with a mold. Use a butter knife to extract the cut shape if needed. Let them make shapes and then scoop the eggs on to a baking sheet to harden. Before they harden make holes for hanging. I used a safety pin and the holes were way too small. Definitely use something a little larger. I let mine harden for 24 hours before flipping, then gave the 2nd side 24 hours as well.
After your eggs are dry, it is time to paint. We used washable finger paint. I squirted every color on to a paper plate, handed the Bear a brush, and let him go for it. The brush lasted about one minute before being tossed aside in favor of finger painting. The results are not Pinterest perfect, but they are toddler art and therefore beautiful to this mama. After painting we used embroidery floss to string each egg for hanging.
We found the perfect branch on an afternoon walk. I originally planned to paint it white, but the Bear REALLY wanted to leave it natural. You can see who won that battle in the photos. I love his precious toddler artistic vision for his projects. I’ve heard it said that every child is an artist until someone tells them different. I want my children to be free to express them selves and not have their creativity stifled by my (or anyone’s) preconceived ideas.
We set the branch up in a vintage blue mason jar and used plastic eggs to hold it in place. Bear put all of the eggs in except the last one, and he took it very seriously. We placed eggs very carefully on the branches and then displayed our new Easter egg tree in the dining room. The Bear is so proud of it.
What is your favorite creative activity for kids?