SALT DOUGH SEA STARS
Most of us will be spending the summer at home this year but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the wonders of the sea. Bring the vacation vibe to you at home by making a salt dough sea star in your own kitchen. Salt dough is a kind of molding clay that hardens when you bake it and is simple to make.
Before you make your sea star you may want to show your child photographs of real sea stars so that they can see the variations in size, color, and texture for inspiration. You can also turn this craft into a mini science lesson and research a few interesting facts about sea stars together. A few that we found are:
- Sea stars are often called "starfish" but they are not actually fish.
- There are around 2,000 species of sea star.
- Most sea stars have 5 arms but they can grow up to 50!
- The arms of sea stars are covered with suckers that help them to slowly creep along the ocean floor.
Here's what you need to get started:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- Baking tray
- Toothpick, pencil, or other object to add details
- Mix together the flour, water and salt in a large bowl until it creates a soft dough.
- Separate 5 equally sized pieces for the arms.
- Roll the dough back and forth between the palms of your hands to form long roll-like shapes which will be the arms.
- Arrange the 5 arms to form your sea star and connect them together in the center by smoothing the dough. Flatten and shape as desired.
- Use a tool to add any details such as suckers, mouth, or spiky skin.
- Dry your creation one of two ways. You can either bake your sea star for 2 hours in the oven at 250 degrees and then cool, or, let it air dry at room temperature for 2 days or more. Drying times will vary depending on the thickness of your dough.
Once your sea star is dry you can leave it the way it is or you can paint it. Older children may want to use acrylics whereas younger children may want to use washable tempera paint. A layer of Mod Podge may also be used to give your sea star a more finished look.