These little footprints were very easy and very cheap to make and will make perfect keepsake gifts for daddy this Father’s day!
Salt dough recipe:
1 cup salt
1 cup plain flour
Half a cup of warm water
Mix together into a large bowl and knead it until smooth and stretchy. This last part is important otherwise the dough remains sticky and quite granular from the salt. If it is still too sticky add a bit more flour, if too dry and crumbly then add a tiny touch more water. A little bit of trial and error is all that is needed and it really is so easy!
Cakie loves the making and mixing part of creating play dough and salt dough and it is a fabulous messy, sensory play experience in its own right, as well as being great for measuring, counting and strengthening those all important hand muscles too!
Once the dough was kneaded I divided it into equal parts and found a shallow bowl that was big enough to accommodate the full length of both girls’ feet. I then squished one part into the bowl and flattened it around to the edges.
I then teased it away from the edges slightly and flipped it out onto a plate. The underside was very smooth with a lovely finish, perfect as a canvas for the footprints!
I then got the girls to tread one foot into the middle of their dough plaques, one at a time (and I had a lovely friend help me too as I took this photo!) With baby Pop we had to make sure she didn’t wriggle or turn her foot to the side as that warps the shape of the print. A firm straight down impression and then lift straight off again works really well. If it gets messed up, the great thing is that you can reform it and try again!
The plaques then went into the oven for 3 hours at 100 degrees C (around 200 degrees F). They need to be placed on baking parchment or greaseproof paper so that they don’t stick. It needs to be on a very low heat for a length of time to thoroughly dry out and harden. If the oven is too hot they will rise and “cook”. The thinner the dough and the lower the temperature, the better these will turn out! If they are still doughy in the centre after 3 hours then turn them over and put them back in for another 2 hours.
If you want to hang yours on the wall then you need to add a hole with a straw before it goes in the oven. I didn’t do that with ours this time as I thought they may be a bit too heavy for hanging.
They love the painting process!
And here are the finished gifts for Daddy! I have written their names, ages and dates on the back with a Sharpie permanent marker. I intend for these to simply be displayed rather than have a practical purpose, but you could of course use them as paper weights, or thread ribbon through to hang them on the wall. I hope ours will last a very long time. They will be treasured alongside the salt dough handprintswe made last year, which now look so tiny in comparison!
This activity is good for:
- Sensory: messy and tactile exploration
- Motor skills: kneading/ squishing/ rolling/ flattening/ poking/ squeezing/ treading
- Maths: weighing quantities/ counting/ capacity (full, empty)
- PHSE: working independently
- Creativity: painting/ modelling/ sculpting