By now you're probably getting the idea that we love making ornaments. We made Pumpkin Spice Salt Dough in the fall, and then for Christmas we've made Old Fashioned Candy Cane Ornaments and Bread Clay Ornaments. I just love the look of whole spices, so I thought I would combine my love of them and my love of Chai Tea in the winter and make some Chai Tea Salt Dough and decorate the ornaments with whole spices.
Before we made the dough, I set the whole spices out for S to investigate and explore. Aren't the Star Anises SO gorgeous? What an amazing work of natural art they are! Our local grocery store has a big bulk item section, so I grabbed a small amount of cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, star anise, and allspice. Because I did this via the bulk section, it was only a few dollars (phew!).
Next S and I mixed up the Chai Tea Salt Dough. It smelled so good - and I love the speckled earthy look of the dough.
S was a master at decorating. She really got into it. I was allowed to decorate three ornaments and honestly I like all of hers more than mine! She's an ornament pro.
Mine are the two in the bottom right and the one in the top left. All the rest were made by S (who is 4).
Here's a photo of my favorite finished ornament. She made this all by herself. Soooo pretty!
To make Chai Tea Salt Dough:
1 cup water
6 bags chai tea
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
Heat your one cup of water on the stove or in the microwave. Once it's heated thoroughly, have an adult steep three chai tea bags in it for five minutes (or longer). Mix the salt and the flour together in another container and add the dry contents of three other bags of Chai Tea. Little hands are great and making sure these ingredients are well mixed. :) Next have an adult pour the 1 cup of tea into the dry ingredients and mix well. You could use a mixer for this part or you could knead by hand. The dough should not be sticky - if it is, add more flour; conversely if it is not holding together, add more water.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut whatever shapes you wish. If you intend to make ornaments, use a straw or other implement to make a hole for the string. Decorate the ornaments by pressing the whole spices into the dough.
Bake in a 200 degree oven for 2 hours and enjoy how wonderful your house smells (oooh, whole spices smell sooo good!). We found that several of our spices did not set into the dough, so I used Glue All to set any loose bits the following morning.
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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.