During the Gingerbread Man unit, we open a bakery where the children buy and sell bake goods they have made. I use an old recipe from my childhood that my mother used to make bread dough ornaments. It is really like a clay. It is great fun and the children feel such ownership of the center!
Bread Dough Recipe
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup of hot tap water
Mix all the ingredients together in bowl. Knead until smooth. Add more flour if dough sticks to your fingers. It should be smooth not too sticky. This recipe will be enough for 3 to 5 children depending on how many things you would like them to make!
Bake for one hour in a 300 degree oven. Let cool.
Special Paint Frosting Recipe
Acrylic paint (cheap variety in squeeze bottles)
Mix one part paint to one part glue. Stir. Use cheap paintbrushes like those found in watercolor boxes.
Small seed beads
Different kinds of glitter
Some stores carry special edition glitters and sprinkles for art during the holidays. Shhh – don't tell – they sell for 75% off after the holidays – and I stock up!
Paint frosting on baked bread dough.
Sprinkle goodies with glitters and such. To preserve your baked goods for years of play – spray with clear acrylic sealer. My family has bread dough ornaments that have lasted decades! This recipe is great for making your own vegetables, fruit, pie . . . . for housekeeping play. It has so much more warmth than plastic or wooden pretend food items – especially if the children help make them.
They look good enough to eat! Thanks for this, my kids are going to love this activity.
I’d love to know how it goes. I still remember doing this with my mother and siblings.
This is so cute, thank you for sharing!
How are these lasting for you? Will they really last for years?
Yes! We have bread dough creations that are over 30 years old! The two important keys are to slow bake the items so they are thoroughly baked. And second, to seal them a protective coating. So cool!
How would this work best if I make the dough the night before and the kids make it the next day? Would it need to be in the fridge to not harden overnight?
Also – I’m assuming you bake the dough AFTER it’s been molded into the baked good, correct? I couldn’t be for sure based on the steps 🙂
Emily, I find that you can make it the night before and put it in a ziploc bag. It might get a little sticky, but just add water. And YEP! Let the kids make their favorite treats and then make them in the oven.
Sorry, one more question…do you paint before or after baking?
Emily, we paint them after they are baked. The colors and “sprinkles” are so vibrant after baking.