we knead cinnamon

we most often attribute the experience of making art to the sense of sight, but many of the most absorbing and pleasurable projects for young children engage two or more senses. making cinnamon dough is one such activity – it has the potential to engage all five senses, if you allow your kiddo a little taste, that is. today N and i made cinnamon dough together. she had such fun helping me to mix it, knead it, and then play with it.

mixing dough

mixing dough

kneading

kneading

 

the recipe:

you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 – 1 cup warm water
  • bowl
  • cookies sheets
  • bread board
  • plastic wrap

process:

  1. mix flour, salt, and cinnamon in bowl
  2. make a well in the center and pour water in well
  3. mix with your hands until dough forms a ball (add water or flour as needed so that dough isn’t crumbly or sticky)
  4. knead on floured board until smooth and satiny (about 5 min)
  5. wrap in plastic and refrigerate 20 minutes before using
  6. play!

you can use this as you would any play dough, and store it in an airtight container for future use. this dough resembles sand a lot, so we found it fun to make impressions of shells, and N pretended her tiny toy figurines were playing on the beach for quite a while.

playtime

playtime

shell impression

shell impression

it is also fun to roll and cut this dough with cookie cutters. then bake it at 350 for one hour or until hard. you can sandpaper it, paint it, and varnish it when cool. these would make yummy smelling autumnal decorations, party favors, or holiday ornaments! (way to get a jump on that in the summer, eh?) here’s what we baked, soon to be painted for the season (way!) ahead.

ornaments or decorations

ornaments or decorations

i am a big fan of mary ann kohl‘s art books for kids. this idea came from her book, mudworks, but my inspiration for making it came from my amazing art therapist friend and colleague. she works with terminally ill children in their homes through the hospice of metro denver. she is so creative in how she comes up with projects for these children that indulge their senses. i knew i had to try this project with my daughter my friend described bringing this clay over to the home of her client, a sweet little boy, and how he lit up just kneading the dough, feeling it squish in his hands, and smelling it repeatedly. it is these sorts of sensory experiences – tactile and olfactory – that make the most vivid imprint on our memories.

it is also fun to roll and cut this dough with cookie cutters. then bake it at 350 for one hour or until hard. you can sandpaper it, paint it, and varnish it when cool. these would make yummy smelling autumnal decorations, party favors, or holiday ornaments! (way to get a jump on that in the summer, eh?) here’s what we baked, soon to be painted for the season ahead.
i am a big fan of mary ann kohl’s art books for kids. this idea came from her book, mudworks, but my inspiration for making it came from my amazing art therapist friend and colleague. she works with terminally ill children in their homes through the hospice of metro denver. she is so creative in how she comes up with projects for these children that indulge their senses. i knew i had to try this project with my daughter my friend described bringing this clay over to the home of her client, a sweet little boy, and how he lit up just kneading the dough, feeling it squish in his hands, and smelling it repeatedly. it is these sorts of sensory experiences – tactile and olfactory – that make the most vivid imprint on our memories.

 

07.15

2009
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  • http://blairpeter.typepad.com/weblog blair

    Thanks for stopping by the blog Jen. Your blog is great and I think cinnamon dough is an idea my kids will LOVE! I have it bookmarked for the next day of all that *perceived* boredom that summer sometimes brings.

  • http://saltandchocolate.blogspot.com Mary Beth

    This looks delightful. I love things that smell good–we may just make this. I also am very inspired that you made ornaments ahead of time. I’ve been wanting that “mudworks” book. I have her other one–Preschool Art–but am so inspired by the title “mudworks” I think I would prefer it . . .

  • Prerna

    We finally made these yesterday but I was kind of surprised by the final texture of the baked ornaments. The surface was quite bumpy, and I don’t see that in the pictures you posted- did we go wrong somewhere???

  • jen

    hmm… our surface wasn’t glassy smooth, but it wasn’t bumpy. just a tiny bit on the sandy side, i guess. not sure where you might have gone wrong, if at all? we just followed the mary ann kohl mudworks recipe i posted above. were you able to paint them and enjoy? you may want to also try the salt dough recipe – we made valentine garland hearts out of the salt dough – recipe from same book.
    salt dough recipe: http://paintcutpaste.com/homemade-playdough/
    valentine garland: http://paintcutpaste.com/heart-garland/
    hope this helps…