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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:

Flour
Water
Food Coloring or Liquid Watercolors
Cotton Balls
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!

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

Comments

  1. That last photo with X peeking over the table is too adorable!

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    1. He was cracking me up with the peeking face!!!!

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  2. X's peeking face is so cute! And this is such a neat idea! We haven't played with baked cotton balls in a long time, but I think my kids would love this activity! I can picture apple trees and jack-o-lanterns and possibly even some ghosts being torn asunder in the near future. :)

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    1. I know, right? He's such a goof. Thank you! And totally love the way you think!!! :)

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  3. We really need to try this. You're right. It does sound so bizarre, but it looks SO cool! The pumpkin looks awesome too!

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    1. I bet the hooligans would love them! And thank you! I will pass your compliment on to S! :)

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  4. Have you ever saved a baked cotton creation? Do they last? I have a feeling I'll want to keep ours. :)

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    1. Hi Lyn! I haven't. I think if I were going to try saving it, I'd add a little bit of salt to the batter. As I understand it, salt inhibits the growth of mold. I think I'd also cook it an extra 30 or so to be SUPER positive that everything is well cooked. If you do both those things, I think you have a good shot at it lasting!

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  5. This is such a creative idea! I love it! And nice and messy so I know my wee ones would be engaged!! I think we will try this one! We did avoid mess this year with our pumpkin carving - so I owe them one!

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope they love it!!!

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  6. OMG, I have never heard of baking cotton balls... and I was shocked to read that the cotton balls inside are white, dry and fluffy! This is a definite MUST Do project in our house.

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    1. They are so crazy - but so fun! I hope they are a hit at your house as well, Baptismal Gowns Plus! :)

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  7. Such cute faces: kids and pumpkin! I'll be featuring this on The Crafty Crow soon!

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    1. Thank you, Cassi! And HOORAY! That totally made my night! :) :) :)

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  8. This is so much fun! What a clever little craft project. My DD6 is making one right now and I am loving the smell of the cinnamon and cloves. Can't wait to bake it. :D

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    1. Thank you, Journey11! Oooh, your house is going to smell SO fabulous!!!

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  9. So I just recently bought your book and my daughter and I made these today. But our first batch completely burned after being in the oven(350 deg because that's what your book said) for only 45 mins. So the second batch I kept a watchful eye on and had to take it out after only 15 mins..... Why did ours burn up after such a short cook time?

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    1. Hi Leah! I'm SO sorry that it's been burning - ack! When I wrote the book I tried bumping the temp up to make the cook time faster, and it seems to have worked fine for most folks, but it sounds like for some ovens it might be too high. :( So sorry again - I'd try cooking yours at 275-300 and that should do the trick. I'll put in a ticket to modify future issues of the book to reflect a lower temp as well. Thank you so much for letting me know it was causing trouble!!!

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Welcome to Fun at Home with Kids! I'm Asia, a teacher (M. Ed) turned SAHM mom to two young kids: X and S. Around here we like to do a little bit of everything - science, art, crafts, sensory play, and small world play. Click here to read more about us!

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