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Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers*, and we’ve been getting a head start on Christmas by making these lovely star decorations from microwave salt dough.
How to Catch a Star – What’s the Story?
How to Catch a Star is about a boy who decides that he would like a star of his very own to keep, so he sets about trying to find a way to catch one. Unfortunately, his space rocket is out of fuel as he flew to the moon last Tuesday…
How to Catch a Star – Microwave Salt Dough Star Decorations
A while ago, I spotted this recipe for microwave salt dough, and have been wanting to try it out. I’ve never bothered making salt dough in the past, as I can’t be doing with the thought of having to leave it in the oven for hours. I’m far too impatient for that! So when I read about microwave salt dough, I thought it was worth a try.
This activity was really simple as the salt dough itself has only three ingredients – salt, flour and water. M and I simply mixed it up, kneaded it for a bit, then rolled it out and cut out some stars. We then decorated the stars with some assorted beads – just by pressing them into the dough.
We made holes in the dough so that we could thread ribbon through them, to make a mixture of hanging decorations and a star garland. Once they were made and decorated, we just popped them in the microwave for 90 seconds or so to harden. After they’d cooled, we threaded the ribbon and hey, presto! Beautiful star-themed decorations.
You will need:
- One portion of microwave salt dough
- Star cookie cutter
- Assorted beads
- One drinking straw
- A microwave (but you could use a normal salt dough recipe if you don’t have one of these!)
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How to Catch a Star – What M thought
We’ve had this book for a long time, and it’s one that M enjoys going back to periodically. She always finds the boy’s different attempts to catch the star amusing, although I think she is still too young to understand a lot of the nuance of the story.
M loved the activity, although I think she thought we were making biscuits – she didn’t quite understand that the finished products weren’t for eating! I think she’ll be really pleased once Christmas arrives and we can put up her very own decorations.
If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here, and you might like to join my Early Years craft and activity Facebook group; Play Craft, Explore. We’d love to have you! And lastly, don’t forget to Pin it!
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