How to Make Salt Dough for Children's Crafts?

From ancient Egypt to the present day, we'll teach you how to make a salt dough that's super easy to use for children's crafts.
How to Make Salt Dough for Children's Crafts?

Last update: 27 November, 2021

Making salt dough for children’s crafts is an activity that stimulates creativity, motor skills, and patience in the little ones in your home. In addition, it’s recommended for children from 6 months to 6 years, as these products don’t contain toxic elements and aren’t harmful to health.

Of course, we recommend that you do this activity together at home in order to forge bonds, accompany your little ones in their development, and spend a pleasant time with the family. Let’s get to work!

Origins of salt dough

The use of this type of pasta is widespread throughout the world. However, as experts say, its true origin is Egyptian. At least, this is the first civilization known to use it, around 1500 BC.

This makes perfect sense when you consider the properties of the very dough used by the natives of Egypt to make their architectural works. Apparently, this substance contained alkaline fluxes obtained from the salt mines of Wadi Natrum, a valley located in the Behera Governorate. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this material was also used with other mixtures and for other purposes.

A painting from ancient Egypt.

How to make salt dough for children’s crafts?

According to research carried out in 2014, one of the most important objectives for Montessori pedagogy is to refine the senses to the point of being able to live and feel them in the purest and most complete way.

Therefore, Maria Montessori herself describes the area of sensory development as the soul of her philosophy. Based on this objective, we’re invited to design the child’s own creative material, and it’s here where the ideas of making salt dough for their crafts arise.

Take note of the following recipe!


  • Two cups of wheat flour
  • A cup of salt
  • A cup of water
  • Food coloring or tempera
  • A plastic bag, airtight container, or plastic wrap
  • Measuring container
  • Bowl
  • Wooden cutting board

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt, then add the food coloring.
  2. Little by little, add the water to the mixture and knead by folding in, from the bottom up until the dough comes off the walls of the container.
  3. Spread a little flour on the wooden board and place the dough on to knead for about 15 minutes. That is, until it acquires a soft and elastic texture.
  4. Then, put the dough in a plastic bag and let it rest for an hour. After this time, the dough will be ready for your children to shape into their favorite figures.
A mother and her daughter mixing dough with their hands.

How long can salt dough last?

Salt dough can be kept for several days at room temperature, but it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. Try wrapping it in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to keep it from drying and to prevent the formation of fungi.

To use it, we suggest taking it out of the refrigerator a while before and only the amount that’s going to be used. This is so that the rest stays cold and doesn’t spoil. If it still looks cracked or dry, try moistening it with a little water before you start playing.

Make salt dough for children’s crafts at home and as a family

When you have a material that you can use to make all sorts of creations: Figurines, crowns, magnets, key chains, beads, garlands, decorations for the Christmas tree, and so much more. The possibilities are endless! Therefore, we encourage you to experiment with this material and challenge your creativity.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.