Seren and I are working on an autumn themed sensory project at the moment. We are pulling together a sensory box, something a bit like this and we’re making and collecting various bits and pieces for it. Last weekend we made some cinnamon salt dough leaves using this tutorial from The Imagination Tree. We made up the dough together and Seren helped by mixing the dry ingredients. I told her we were making salt dough which is like play dough though it seemed a bit like we are making biscuits. She told me that you shouldn’t eat play dough as it will give you a tummy ache! We split the dry mixture into 4 separate bowls then I added the gel colours to hot water one by one and then added this to the dry mixture. I wanted to do this myself as I know how intense gel colour can be after ending up with black icing which was suppose to be lilac. You really only need a tiny bit! We started with yellow, then mixed yellow with a dash of red to make orange, then red on its own and finished by mixing red, yellow, green and purple to make brown. We had a good chat about colour mixing though I don’t think she understands this concept yet.
When the balls of salt dough were formed, we both rolled bits out until it was around 5cm thick and cut our leaf shapes out. Seren still needs help with this but not as much as she did a few months ago. We talked about the colours, about the cinnamon smell and which trees the different leaves came from. We looked out of the window at the different coloured leaves we could see on the trees and compared them to our salt dough leaves.
Our hands became super salty and I had to keep washing them before seeing to Imogen as she chews my hand quite a lot. They also picked up some of the colour but this washed off easily!
When we had 2 trays of leaves, I got some cocktail sticks to draw veins in them and put holes for hanging up into some of them. Seren wanted more sticks to draw and play with and went off piste at this point. She told me she was making a birthday bicycle and that the sticks were candles and we had to sing happy birthday to all the children.
She wanted to put the leaves into her play oven and I let her do this for a while whilst our dinner was cooking before putting them into the real oven to dry out. I’ve varnished the decorative ones with clear nail varnish but the rest are for Seren to play with. She has enjoyed pretending they were porridge this morning, cooking them on her play hob and putting them in a bowl to pretend to eat.