Salt Dough Hearts


This is a wonderful activity for children. Salt dough is easy to work with and produces cute results. Great class activity as a gift for parents, parties or gift for the teacher.

Hearts made with Salt Dough for Valentines


  • 1 cup salt

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon Alum (optional)

  • 3/4 cup cold tap water

  • Heart Shaped Cookie Molds

  • Red and Green Crayons

Other Materials

  • Medium Bowl

  • Rolling Pin

  • Straw to make hole in ornament

  • Floured surface to work on

  • Generously floured cookie sheet to bake cookies on

  • Ribbon to attach to ornament so it can be hung or tied to gift

  • Doilies (optional)


  • In a medium bowl, place all dry ingredients, and mix to blend dry ingredients thoroughly.
  • If the dough is sticky add more flour and if it is too dry add a little more water. The dough should be nice and smooth and will not separate when it is kneaded properly.
  • Roll out a quarter of the dough on a floured surface. Roll the dough as close to 1/4 inch as possible.
  • Cut with a cookie cutter and while the cookie cutter is in place, use a straw to punch a hole in the cookie so you can later attach a ribbon.
  • Prepare cookie sheet with a generous layer of flour
  • Place the cookies on the floured baking sheet and bake in warm oven below 200 degrees, most ovens have a warm setting for 2 to 3 hours. (Parent step only!)
  • Remove from oven, turn over and return to oven. Repeat at least 3 times.
  • Turn off oven and let cookies remain inside until cool
  • After the cookies are dry, brush off excess flour tie with a ribbon.


This baking process allows the cookies to dry slowly, if the oven is too hot they will start to brown and salt dough should be as white as possible for the prettiest results.

Tips and Suggestions

  • This toddler activity is best done in two days. The first day make the dough, cut it out and bake. On the second day decorate and display.
  • Don't make the dough in advance or use leftover dough.
  • Alum is optional. Alum is an astringent that aids in binding the ingredients.
  • Cookies larger that 2 1/4 inches may not dry flat. If you are experiencing this, allow the cookies to dry at room temperature for 24 hours on a floured cookie sheet, then continue to dry out in warm oven. Most average size cookies are dry in 24 hours.

Red Paint

Place a small amount of red paint in a jar lid or disposable plate and slowly add a few drops of water at the time to dilute the paint. Stir and apply paint with a toothbrush. The paint should be red but if you add too much water the colour will be pink. Adjust by adding a little more paint. Use a paper towel to remove excess paint from the toothbrush then dab the top of the cookie. The drying time is about 30 minutes. Then tie on the ribbons and display.


This is a salt dough heart made from a copper mold. Make a ball of dough about the size of a golf ball press on to some flour then roll it out until it is about 3/4" thick Flour the bottom of the mold and pat the dough into the design. Carefully ease the dough out on to a floured surface. Next, cut with heart shaped cookie cutters. Molds like this one make beautiful surface designs and are easy to decorate. Rub the top of each cookie with crayons of red shades and the relief portion of the cookie picks up the crayon and the motifs begins to show.
Salt dough using copper molds

Cookie Molds

This mold is a Brown Bag Cookie Art mold that uses Barnyard Animals as the theme. This mold requires the same technique as used with the copper mold above. Make sure the bottom of the dough is dry with flour as well as the mold. The dough will come out much easier this way. Begin making cookies one motif at the time and help with the easing of the dough out of the mold. Cut with cookie cutters, make a hole with a straw in the top of the cookie to hang as an ornament later. These cookies are easy to make and so much fun to color.

Cookie Cutters

This is the simplest method so even the youngest child can participate in this toddler activity. Cut using cookie cutters and color using three shades of red; red, violet red, and magenta. Three colors look much brighter than using only one.

Educational Tips

  • Write or Print out the recipe for your toddler to follow along.
  • Promotes and develops sequencing skills.
  • Reinforce colors, learning that there are different shades, and teaching the heart shape.
  • Helps to build fine motor skills.