Thursday, 23 August 2007

Sunday School Crafts - Making Salt Dough

I mentioned in my previous post about making models with plasticine. Another medium that can be used is salt dough. The great thing about salt dough is it can be made from everyday ingredients and most people will have the majority of the items in their kitchen cupboard. The basic recipe is very simple to make and won't require a lot of time. You could involve the children in making it as this will add to their sense of achievement. They will have created their models or figures from scratch.

What do you need to make salt dough?

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
You can optionally add food colouring

If you want to make larger quantities, just use the same proportions.

The large quantity of salt it to put children off eating the dough!!

How do you make it?

Mix flour, salt, water, and oil in a deep bowl.
Knead the salt dough mixture until it turns doughy.
Add coloring at this stage if you wish.

Salt dough can be stored in the fridge for about a week in an air tight container.

What then?

You can either get the children to mold the figures or shapes by hand or they could use cutters like those used for making biscuits. There is a wide range of shapes available.

Once the models or shapes are made they will need to be dried.

They can be air dried by placing them on a grill (to allow circulation of the air) and put in a warm place such as an airing cupboard. Using this method it can take up to a week for them to dry completely. This is suitable for smaller and flat items.

If you want to dry them in the oven, allow them to air dry for a short time, then put them in the oven for about half an hour at 50 degrees. If they are not fully dry, increase the temperature to 100 degrees until they are. To check to see if they are dry, tap the item. If it sounds hollow, then it should be OK.

You could just oven dry the items at a higher temperature, say 180 degrees for abut 10 minutes, but you need to check regularly to make sure they don't burn.

Once the items are dry they can be painted with water based paints, or enamel paints used for modeling. If you use a water based paint, it is probably a good idea to varnish them. Also, it is not a good idea to display them in a damp atmosphere. We had some salt dough figures which were on a shelf in our bathroom. Because of the damp and humid atmosphere the dough expanded and looked terrible.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Sunday School Crafts - Ideas for Sunday Schools

Thinking of Sunday school crafts for children can be difficult. Children love to learn and need to have their minds stimulated. I can remember when I used to go to Sunday school I loved it when we were given a craft project to do. I particularly remember Easter and Christmas with decorated Easter eggs and making Nativity scenes.

The important thing with any craft idea you have for Sunday school is to make it relevant to the topic you are teaching the children. It must also inspire them and encourage them to want to learn more. Children generally have a short attention span and get bored very easily, so keeping them involved is important.

Think about the particular story you are teaching from the Bible. What sort of craft does it lend itself to?

An example could be Noah's Ark.

You have Noah and his family and all of the animals. This lends itself to many ideas such as colouring pages, making plasticine models, an Ark made from cardboard, cutting out paper animals etc.

There are many websites which will let you download project ideas and even lesson plans for Sunday school. One excellent site is DLTK's Bible website which has a wealth of materials.

I hope to bring you over the course of time, several Sunday School Crafts which will inspire the children you are teaching.