My girls don’t like to eat candy canes, but the love the scent of them. Around the holidays we seem to collect candy canes and peppermints wherever we go, so I decided we’d put some to good use and try making a kid-made Christmas ornament with them. Working with doughs is always fun for the girls, so we made candy cane salt dough to play with and make into ornaments.
GET A FULL WEEK OF CHRISTMAS THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS LESSON PLANS.
We started by crushing peppermints. We used a rolling pin and also tossed the peppermint bag on the counter with our hands (mostly because the girls thought it was a lot of fun!). Try to get all the big chunks of peppermint broken apart so they will blend into the dough well.
Combine about 1/4 cup of crushed peppermints, 2 cups of flour, and 1 cup of salt in a large bowl. Kids can do all of this on their own. Then add in water and work the dough until you have a dough that is moldable and not too sticky. If it’s too dry, add a little more water. If it’s too sticky and you can’t work with it, then add a little more flour.
The dough will be off white and have a wonderful peppermint scent. You can stop at this point and roll at the dough if you want to paint it or add ribbon like we did in the photo below.
If you want to add some color to some of the dough split it into sections and gently fold liquid watercolors or food coloring into the dough that you want colored. We mixed our dough a little too much so it doesn’t have the marbling effect we usually like, but the extra touch of color is nice and Tinker was proud of her work.
Once you are ready to make your ornaments, roll the dough out and use cutters to make into the shapes you’d like. We chose to make candy canes and circles. Poke a hole with a skewer or similar object to make a hanging the ornaments easier later. Place the ornaments on a cookie sheet and put in the oven on the lowest setting. We turned baked ours for about 2 hours, turning them about every 30 minutes.
Once your ornaments are done use ribbon to decorate them and make hangers for them. You’ll have a delightful peppermint scented ornament to add to your Christmas tree.
And if your little one loves playing with play dough as much as mine, leave a little extra dough for play time while the ornaments are baking.
More Christmas Ornament Ideas
GET A FULL SET OF CHRISTMAS THEME ACTIVITIES
The 169-page Christmas Lesson Plan Set includes hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) Beginning Letters Gift Sorting Game (in color and b/w)
2) Reindeer Math Mats (2 versions in color and b/w)
3) My Christmas Senses Activity Book Making Pieces
4) 0-35 Christmas Number Cards (2 versions in color and b/w)
5) Christmas Counting Syllables Sorting Game (in color and b/w)
6) Christmas Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
7) Ornament Play Dough Mats
8) Candy Cane Play Dough Writing Task Cards (shapes, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, number 0-20)
9) Christmas Light Patterns Activity Pieces (in color and b/w)
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.