Olympic Craft: Salt-Dough Olympic Rings

Feb 7, 2014

Get creative, learn about the Olympics, and practice basic math concepts with salt dough Olympic Rings.

My son and his friend who comes to our house for daycare love threading beads with pipe cleaners. We've recently been making our own beads from classic salt dough. With the Olympics in full swing I though it would be fun to make some in the colours of the Olympic Rings.How to Make Salt Dough Olympic RingsCombine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 1/2 cup water in a mixing bowl. Stir and then knead until desired consistency is reached. It should be soft and mouldable but not sticky.

Next, form small pieces of dough into loops. Or, use a small round cookie cutter to make circles and then poke a hole in the centre of each circle with a straw.Bake on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet at 250°F for approximately 2 hours (more or less depending on the thickness of your rings).
Allow rings to cool and then paint them in the traditional Olympic colours. We used acrylic paint from the dollar store.While making our rings I showed my son pictures of the Olympic Rings and explained what they represent (the colours of the rings along with the white background of the Olympic flag represent the colours found in the flags of all nations at the time the Rings were created in 1913). At only 3.5 years old, a lot of his went over his head. He is however, beginning to grasp the concept of symbols and this is a fun way to build on that understanding.
We've found many ways to play and learn with our salt dough Olympic Rings. My son has made several bracelets and we've used them to practice making patterns. Other math concepts that can be explored with these include counting and sorting (by colour and/or size. If your child forms the dough into rings by himself you will likely get a few odd-sized ones like we did!). 

They would also be great stand-ins for coins while playing shop. My son loves baking and so it's no surprise to me that he's been using the rings as sprinkles on a pretend cake. I'm interested to see what he comes up with next! 

Article Author Ann Harquail
Ann Harquail

Ann is a mom of one and operator of a small home daycare. She lives with her husband and son in Atlantic Canada. A country girl at heart, Ann is inspired by nature and is a big proponent of outdoor play. She believes that young children learn best through play and hands-on, meaningful experiences. Ann blogs at My Nearest and Dearest where she shares activities for the preschool set as well as the occasional recipe and parenting post. You can also follow Ann on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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