Kids love crafts, and they love marbles, so they'll have a great time helping you to make their very own marbles. Not only is this project easy and inexpensive, it's even a little educational. Touch on math skills by letting them measure the ingredients. Kneading and shaping the dough is great for helping to develop motor skills in very young children. But most of all, it's just plain fun.
Things You'll Need
1 cup plain white flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water
Clear craft lacquer
Pour the water into a small bowl and add a few drops of food coloring. Stir the mixture and add a few more drops of coloring if the shade doesn't look strong enough. Stir well and set aside.
Mix the flour with the salt in a large bowl. Pour in the colored water and mix well until the dough forms.
Lightly flour your working surface and turn the dough out onto it. Wear disposable gloves so that the food coloring doesn't stain your skin. Knead the dough for 10 to 20 minutes, until it's flexible enough to bend without breaking apart.
Break off small pieces of the dough and roll them into marbles between your palms.
Preheat the oven to 250 F. Put all of the dough marbles on a cookie sheet about an inch apart. Bake for an hour, then check them. They probably won't be done quite yet, but everyone's oven bakes differently. Check your marbles every 30 minutes or so after that, up to three hours of total time. When they feel very dry and hard, the marbles are done. Cool them on a rack.
Use markers, glitter and paints to decorate the marbles. Allow the embellishments to dry thoroughly. Apply a coat of clear craft lacquer so they'll be shiny. Let the lacquer dry very well, and go play marbles with the kids.
If your children insist upon tasting the dough, it won’t hurt them. But they won’t like it because it’s very salty.