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For the game board:
- 2 sheets of construction paper of 2 different colors
- a large dinner plate (to use as guide)
- stick glue
For the markers:
- salt dough*
- 2 colors of tempera paint or food coloring
- glitter (optional)
- things with different textures (crocheted doilies, lace or corrugated cardboard, a plastic mesh bag from potatoes) or , rubber stamps with letters, toothpicks
To make the salt dough*
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar (this is optional, it helps to preserve the dough)
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1 tablespoon of oil
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Be careful since it’s very hot. (If you are lazy like me, just dump everything into your stand mixer and use the dough hook :o). Divide your dough in half and knead in your colors and glitter. You may need to add a little extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky.
To make the game board:
- Use the dinner plate to help you draw a curved line at the top of the paper. Use a ruler to help you draw 2 lines equal distance apart, that will stop about 8 cm from the top.
- Now here comes the hard part: lay each the two pieces of construction paper one on top of the other and weave the pieces together. This is a good lesson in patterns – smaller kids may not be able to weave the pieces together by themselves, but they can tell you which color should go next.
- Glue all the end pieces down. Your game board is finished.
To make the markers:
- Divide each color of the salt dough into 5 balls (about the size of a very large walnut). You will have a total of 10 balls. (We used about half a recipe per kid).
- Use your hands to shape a ball into a heart shape. (You could use cookie cutters, but really kids love the opportunity to create and manipulate the dough on their own. Plus kids have so much more satisfaction when they have made the whole project by themselves). Make sure the the heart fits into the tic tac toe squares. Do the same for the remaining balls of dough.
- Press some of the textured materials and letters into the heart.
- We wrote some Valentine’s Day inspired sayings on the board for the to press into their hearts if they wanted to, such as:
- I love you
- be mine