If you've been following along with us lately, you may have noticed we have been having a lot of fun with activities that also happen to make our house smell delicious. I love the scents of Fall, so this has been especially fun for me. We've made Pumpkin Spice Salt Dough Ornaments, our favorite Low Sugar Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins, Scented Microwave Puffy Paint...and next on our list of delicious smelling activities is Scented Baked Cotton Balls!
We love Baked Cotton Balls. Admittedly I thought the activity was a bit bizarre when I first heard of it - but once we tried it we were immediate fans. There really is something so fun about deconstructing the art you've made - and who can resist the smooth goopy art-making process?
S and I settled on making a Jack O Lantern that was orange with a green stem and black face. She helped me whisk the batter and then she was on her own to create whatever Jack O Lantern she wished.
She had a definite plan and created an adorable (somewhat round) pumpkin. At first she was going to make him "scary", but at the last minute she decided to switch to "friendly".
While he baked away in the oven, our house filled with the delicious smell of pumpkin pie! He smelled so good when he came out, S spent several minutes sniffing him all over.
The sniffing soon led to some silliness. Hahaha!
And then it was time to break him apart. Depending on how much batter you use, these can be pretty hard to break apart. S really enjoyed the challenge, but a younger child might need your help. It's so crazy to me every time that the cotton ball is preserved and perfectly dry, white, and fluffy inside. Soooo fun!
Even X, who has been VERY focused on learning to walk lately, took a break to check out the fun and admire his sister's strength. :)
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To make your own scented baked cotton balls, you'll need:
Food Coloring or Liquid Watercolors
Pumpkin Pie Spice and/or Cinnamon
You want to mix the flour and water in a roughly 1:1 ratio. For this project because I wanted to make a shape that stuck together well, I added slightly less water to make a thicker batter (I probably added around 3/4 cup water to every 1 cup of flour). You'll want to whisk all the lumps out. You can add food coloring (if you want it to be edible) or liquid watercolors (we used liquid watercolors here) and spices. We made our orange batter pumpkin pie scented by adding about a teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice. We made the green and black batter cinnamon scented by adding a dash of cinnamon to each. Add your creation to a foil covered baking sheet and once it's complete, put it in a 300 degree oven for 90 minutes (if it's a smaller design, less time will be needed). Once you remove it from the oven it will be HOT. An adult needs to check the temperature of the baked cotton balls carefully before handing it over to a child. I recommend letting it cool for at least 15 minutes before little hands play with it.
And what do you do if you have leftover batter? You can modify it slightly to make Scented Microwave Puffy Paint!
I noticed that Play at Home with Mom had a similar idea the other day - you can see their fall tree here!
Please always supervise your infant/child at play. Please stay within arms reach and never leave infants/children unattended.