It was one of those long stretches of summer afternoon when it was too hot to go outside. The kids slid around the house, skulking, with nothing better to do than pick fights with each other and in general, drive me nuts.
Days like these scream for distraction and that day a movie wasn’t going to cut it. I scanned through my “Gonna try this” folder on Pinterest and saw a post about salt dough. Perfect. It’s creative, it’s quiet, it’s unplugged, and even better, I had all the ingredients.
My kids, like most kids, love play dough. When they play it’s a whole body sensory experience. The dough ends up ground into their clothes, hair, crumbled all over the floor, and mushed into the carpet. If it were cleaner, I would do it more often.
So, we made salt dough and I set the kids to the task of making dough people. Soon the house was filled with laughing once more as they posed and dressed their creations. One of the perks of salt dough is that once it dries it can be painted. Usually this process takes several days of air drying, or several hours in a warm oven.
I’m not that patient. Plus, I read that salt dough can be speed dried in the microwave. Dough boy got nuked and turned out great. Once he had cooled off he was indeed dry and ready to paint. Dough girl was a different story. She was long and thin with narrow delicate limbs. Dough boy was stocky and thick.
It wasn’t until I smelled the panic inducing smell of smoke that I realized my mistake. Dough girl was on fire. I grabbed the plate and ran her outside, hoping to minimize the amount of smoke that filled the house. But it was too late. The whole house reeked of burnt flour, which is oddly similar to the smell of burnt popcorn.
Dough girl was toast.
I braced myself for the tantrum that was sure to follow. It didn’t come. Instead, I found my daughter doubled up in laughter. She thought the whole incident was hilarious!
There was enough dough for her to make another, and this time I made sure not to light it on fire!