I don’t know about you, but we are ALL ready for the end of the school year around here!  We’re finished with a couple subjects, but Gresham has math left and Aidan has more math, history, and grammar.  We. can. do. it!

Anyway, to keep interest going for the younger ones, I did a couple of snake books last week, and then we made salt dough snakes.  All of the boys really like snakes, and I really don’t.  But at least these were harmless!

To make the salt dough, we mixed:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 T oil

Salt Dough SnakesThe beauty of this activity (provided that your kids like snakes) is that even a preschooler can roll out a snake, and older kids can work on making realistic models of different species.

We baked our snakes for 3 hours at 200 degrees F.  Then I let them sit out overnight before we painted them.

Salt Dough Snakes

The boys painted their snakes with acrylic paint, and then I sprayed them with a layer of shellac to give them a nice shine.

Salt Dough SnakesAidan made a copperhead snake, and Gresham made a black mamba.  Aidan looked up copperheads on the computer to get the colors right, but Gresham says he has no idea what a black mamba really looks like!  🙂

Salt Dough Snakes

16 Comments

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  1. JDaniel4's Mom May 6, 2013

    I think my son would love these.

    Reply
    1. katepickle May 6, 2013

      These are cool!
      My snake loving girl would love these... though I wouldn't as I really don't like snakes! (We have a lot of snakes where we live in Australia and all of them are poisonous - hence my fear!)

      Reply
      1. Valerie May 7, 2013

        Looking forward to trying this with my kids.

        Reply
        1. Anna - The Measured Mom May 7, 2013

          LOVE these! Pinning for the letter S.

          Reply
          1. Esther May 7, 2013

            There are so creative! looks like real ones, it freaks me out!

            Reply
            1. Kirstylee May 7, 2013

              These are so awesome! My boys would absolutely love making these. I never would have thought to spray them with shellac, but it makes such a huge difference. These snacks look professional. :)

              Reply
              1. Kirstylee May 7, 2013

                And by snacks, I mean snakes. oops ;)

                Reply
                1. maggy, red ted art May 14, 2013

                  Awe they look great fun!

                  Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

                  Maggy

                  Reply
                  1. Jessica Jul 29, 2013

                    Can you speed up the cooking time at all? I was thinking of doing this for a work project and we only have 45 min for the program.

                    Reply
                    1. Sarah Jul 29, 2013

                      Hmm, I'm not sure! I'm afraid that the dough would scorch if you turn up the heat.

                      Reply
                    2. Michelle Sexton Jul 30, 2013

                      This is awesome. We are definitely going to give this a try...when we can keep the oven on for 3 hours without heating up the house during the summer. :)

                      Reply
                      1. Adrienne Aug 13, 2013

                        Hi there,

                        Just rolled out the snakes with my boys. I had such trouble with the dough! I kept having to add more oil because they kept breaking. Was the dough supposed to be cooked on the stove top before we rolled the out? It seemed likeour table salt grains were causing them to crumble. I live in Kenya and our table salt grains might be bigger than yours. Any ideas? They are bakin right now. I hope they don't break after they are done baking.

                        Reply
                        1. Sarah Aug 13, 2013

                          Hmmm, I don't know! Our dough felt somewhat salty, more salty than play dough, but it became smoother the longer we played with it. It may be a difference in ingredients! I hope they work out for you!

                          Reply
                        2. Carol Nicoll Jan 26, 2014

                          I'm a Preschool teacher and tried this recipe last week to make hibernating snakes. Because I needed enough dough for 16 kids, I doubled it - it was the perfect amount - but made up half a batch (the amount in this recipe above) the week before to estimate quantities, drying time, etc. I stored the first batch, wrapped in plastic wrap in a ziplock bag and made the second batch in front of the class so we could compare/contrast flour and salt and talk about measuring, etc. The 2nd fresh batch rolled out much nicer than the "premade" batch so next year I will wait and make it all at once. Funny story - I brought the snakes home to bake and covered them with a towel on the dining room table after they cooled for the night. My new rambunctious cat found them and batted them all over my house. Not one snake broke! Now that's a dough I will use again :-)

                          Reply
                          1. Lindsey Jun 6, 2014

                            Hello! I love ideas like this for my 3 1/2 yr old. They're fun and cheap! Do you have to use spray paint? Or will another kind work as well?

                            Reply
                            1. Sarah Jun 8, 2014

                              We used acrylic paint, and then I sprayed it with a coat of shellac to keep the paint from chipping off. Tempera paint would work as well, and would be more washable. You might want to spray it with shellac afterwards if your child is going to want to handle it a lot!

                              Reply
                            2. Amii Feb 15, 2015

                              These are great! Definitely pinning to do with my 3 year old. We like to make art for the garden... do you think the shellac will allow it to be in the elements without instantly degrading?

                              Reply
                              1. Sarah Feb 15, 2015

                                Hmm... I think it will break down eventually in the garden. I wonder if you could make some out of plaster of paris or cement? You'd have to have a mold to pour it into and then paint. Not sure where to find a snake mold - ha! The salt dough might last for one season, but I think that even with the shellac it would eventually break down. Cheap materials, though, so it might be worth a try!

                                Reply
                              2. Shanna Mar 9, 2015

                                Hi. May I ask what kind of oil you used...just vegetable oil?

                                Reply
                                1. Sarah Mar 11, 2015

                                  Yes, just vegetable oil.

                                  Reply
                                2. The Little Tourist Mar 11, 2015

                                  AWESOME! That pretty much describes this craft! lol!

                                  Reply

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