Here’s a simple recipe for rainbow glitter salt dough for making coloured models to harden and keep! There are so many ways to play with this extremely low-cost salt dough and it’s loved by older kids too.
We are very passionate about playing with all sorts of doughs because of how cheap, quick and easy they are to make at home and because of the many educational and developmental benefits they provide for young children. Play dough is the one we make the most often, but salt dough comes in a close second as it can be made into models and keepsakes that last for years! We have coloured our salt dough many times, but never made the whole rainbow to work with at once, so it was time to have a go!
Super simple recipe for rainbow salt dough:
2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
2 cups salt
1 cup warm water (add a little more if too dry but start with this amount)
Glitter in different colours
Gel food colouring in rainbow shades. We use these Wilton Gel Icing Colours in all our doughs as they’re so vibrant!
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then stir in the warm water slowly. The mixture should be a little sticky, but as you continue to mix it thoroughly it will become like a regular dough. At this stage turn it out not a counter top and begin to knead it for a couple of minutes until it is soft, smooth and not at all sticky. As with all these recipes it’s possible to add too much or too little water, so just balance the other ingredients to adjust it if it foes wrong. Doughs are very forgiving!
Then separate the dough into 7 balls of equal size and push a dent into each one. Into the dents add a small amount of each of the gel colours, then fold the doughs over and over until the colours are mixed in (try to avoid touching the gel directly as it does stain for a few hours.) It takes a bit of work to get the colour completely through the dough but it’s worth it and great for those little hands too!
Then they simply broke pieces off and used them to create whatever they fancied. The lovely thing about this coloured dough is that even when mixed together they don’t look murky or turn to brown sludge like so often happens. Instead a lovely marbled or patchwork effect occurs and it’s so pretty!
They rolled and cut hearts, stars and other shapes to become magnets. pendants and little models. Remember to poke a hole through with a straw if you wish to hang or thread with your creations later.
Cakie made a rainbow kitten and together we made a rainbow by rolling long sausages of each colours and layering them up together.
It looked so pretty with its own rainbow reflection in the sunlight!
Once they had finished their designs and eels we popped them on a baking tray and put them in the oven on very low heat to “air dry” them for 3 hours. Ours was turned to about 100 degrees C (approx 210 degrees F). If your models are thick they will definitely need to be turned over during the process and may even need a mother few hours in there. We try and keep ours just half an inch thick at most.
After hardening the colours fade a little and are not as vibrant, but by applying some PVA or clear glue (or a clay varnish if you can get your hands on some) then they can be revived and look shiny too!
Click here for lots of Play dough recipes and ideas !
Click here for lots more ideas of what you can make with Salt Dough, from ornaments to footprint keepsakes!
What they are learning as they play:
physical: strengthening hand muscles, improving flexibility, control from wrists
creativity: using modelling materials to create 3D models, combining colours
science: changing materials