The Grain Chain

Bake your own Christmas decorations!

salt doughPrimary school activity

Christmas is coming and we know how excited your class will be getting! So instead of making paper decorations, why not bake them?

Salt dough is easy to make and non-toxic – plus it doesn’t taste very nice so younger children won’t want to eat it! When baked, it sets really hard and its high salt content prevents the dough from going mouldy.

Our basic recipe for salt dough, which can be baked either in an oven or hardened in a microwave for speed, can be found below. Because it involves using hot water, we recommend you make the dough before the lesson.

  • 4 cups of flour
  • One cup of table salt
  • One cup of hot water

Simply mix all of the ingredients in a bowl to form a dough. You’ll find that this recipe makes around 10 medium sized decorations.

If using a microwave, cook for two minute intervals, checking after each interval has been finished to ensure the dough doesn’t burn. If using an oven, bake for two hours on 250 degrees. Note that this temperature needs to be reduced slightly if using a fan oven.

Once hardened, leave the decorations to cool.

To colour the decorations you can either add colourings to the dough before it is baked or they can easily be painted once they have cooled. You could then add glitter, sequins or beads to add a bit of Christmas sparkle.

Encouraging your class to shape the decorations themselves enables them to be more creative but you could always use some festive cookie cutters if you are short on time. Some ideas for decorations could include snowmen, Christmas trees, stars, snowflakes and presents but you could always opt for more traditional symbols of Christmas.

Remember to make holes in all of the decorations so that they can be hung on a tree or around the classroom!

Activities for older students

There are only so many cold turkey sandwiches you can eat before you get fed up with them! Why not plan a lesson based around using up leftovers during the festive season? You could give students a choice of five of our recipes and ask them to pick two to modify. The only rule is that they have to use leftovers from a Christmas (or roast) dinner. We reckon the following recipes would be good choices for this activity, but as our regular readers will know, we have loads of recipes on our database so feel free to take your pick!

Tuna wrap – examples of modifications could include turkey and cranberry, or sausage meat and caramelised red onion.

Mini meatballs in tomato sauce – students could substitute the minced beef for minced leftover turkey and blend leftover vegetables into the tomato sauce.

Crispy leek and cheese sausages – these could be made using leftover vegetables.

 Apple muffins – the apple in this recipe could be swapped for fresh cranberries and candied orange peel could also be added.

Dinner rolls – these could be served with “Christmas dinner soup”, a soup made with all of the leftover vegetable.
Fun classroom gamesenergenie

 If you are winding down for Christmas, why not try some of our games and fun quizzes? Children won’t even realise they are learning!

 For 5 to 7 year olds: Fun Quiz

 For 7 to 11 year olds: Energenie Game (we love this one in the office- the best thing since sliced bread!)

 For 11 to 14 year olds: Fun quiz

 For 14 to 16 year olds: It’s not a game or a quiz as such but our podcasts are not too taxing for students and will provide some food for thought.

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