How my four-year-old granddaughter loves projects! Creating can be fun and so educational too. Samantha is learning about sequence, following directions, concepts of print, measurement, tool function, and vocabulary. We wanted to make a pretty and practical Valentine for her teachers, so we experimented with scented ornaments. We used heart-shaped cookie cutters in the dough. You could also try letter-shaped cutters to spell names or LOVE, even X and O. Perhaps you have cupid or other cutters, such as lips or love birds. Two-year-old Emily enjoyed squashing the dough into the cinnamon-floured countertop before losing interest.
This project doesn’t create too much mess; it’s easy to clean up. The mixture will not stain kids clothing. Although it smells divine, Sam wasn’t tempted to taste it. Because the dough feels just like sugar cookie dough, however, you may need to remind children not to eat it.
¾ cup cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
2 tablespoons ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 cup applesauce
Combine spices well. Stir in applesauce, mixing well.
NOTE: Sprinkle your countertop with cinnamon, not flour, when rolling out the dough for a brown, not white-splotched, finish.
Roll about ¼ inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Poke hole near the top with a straw.
Place on cookie sheet or waxed paper to dry for 4 days.
Turn over about 2-3 times a day.
Tie a length of ribbon or hook a bent paper clip through the hole to hang as Christmas tree ornaments or room fresheners.
These ornaments are esy and inexpensive to make. Sam and I created 7 large hearts and then 2 candy canes to use up the last scraps. The imperfections that result from children’s work just adds to the rustic charm. These ornaments will last a long time and keep their delightful scent. I’m looking forward to making gingerbread boys and girls for the Christmas tree!