Easy as in "easy." Transparency, right? If you only have one kid, or if they're 3 and up this would be lots of fun. Especially if you went into it NOT expecting to get artsy-fartsy works of art. However, I'm forever setting myself up like a newbie mom for disappointment (and maybe a little yelling, and peeing on the floor, and the wrong recipe... oh my!).
This was no different. My non-crafty 2 yr old made balls and threw them and my one year old choked and had to hack up salt dough. 3 times. I would like to say I do learn from my mistakes, next time we'll have lots of fun! ;)
It's wise to learn from the mistakes of others, so here ya' go!
How to have a successful ornament making party where no one looses their mind and all come out smiling:
1. Flush your perfectionism down the toilet. There's no quicker way to SUCK the fun out of something than to make it about your own expectations.
2. Choose the right recipe. It's super simple- 1 cup salt, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water, mix well then knead until smooth. Roll out on floured surface or parchment paper.
I followed the cute lady over at The Imagination Tree. In looking for her site again I also found this little gem, The Long Thread and I am again feeling some serious holiday guilt over being too busy to create beautiful things for people I love... *sigh* Her stuff is worth looking at!
3. Make sure you poke holes in anything you'd like to hang. I used a knitting needle, others have used a straw. It can be easier to roll out your dough on parchment paper and pull away extra dough from any cut outs you have, if that's what you're doing.
4. HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS! :D Seriously though, do yourself a favor.
5. Do not place dough in reach of a 1 year old.
6. Do not get this recipe confused with another and so bake it at 350 degrees causing your ornaments to puff up and an hour and a half of frustrating "fun" and late naps to be wasted on RUINED ornaments. Ya, this was def my favorite part.
My ornaments took a few hours in the oven and the ones put in at the correct temperature of 200 degrees look great! I am consistently finding that my expectations are among my greatest parenting enemies. What causes mommy guilt? I have a standard (expecations) for myself and miss the mark. I then sit and feel sorry for myself saying awful things which in some sick cycle makes me feel better in feeling worse.
The answer is so simple... realistic expectations, grace with others and myself and true repentance- when I truly do wrong asking forgiveness from my children and then going a different direction- these things would serve us all better than a pity party which further makes things about myself.
Of course I'm the only one who has imploding plans and pity parties, right? ;)