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Craft Ideas for Kids | Salt Dough Advent Spiral

This year, in place of a wreath, we’re going to have an Advent Spiral as our table centrepiece. We’ll move our candle one step closer to the centre every day, using it as a sort of Advent calendar, and introduce an extra candle for each Sunday of Advent.

Remembering the spirals my children have walked in the past, we’re going to have a big candle in the centre from which the smaller ones are lit, but there really is no right or wrong way to do this. Some people add a new candle every day, which is very beautiful but not quite right for us. Choose to do this in the way that resonates most for you and your family and it will be absolutely perfect.

You will need: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water, (Increase your quantities in order to have extra dough for making Christmas decorations or play dough), Mixing bowl and spoon, Candles

1. Mix the flour, salt and water together in a bowl until a dough is formed.

2. Bring the dough together with your hands and turn it out onto the table.

3. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape. (Our amount of dough suddenly looks smaller as we cut off a chunk for the decorations we wanted to make).

4. Coil the dough into a spiral shape. (We did this straight onto the base of a baking dish so that it was easy to move around whilst drying).

5. Use the base of a candle to make indents all along your spiral.

Note: If you’re starting your Christmas countdown from the 1st day of December you will need to make 24 holes, but if you’re starting from the first Sunday of Advent you will need to adjust. (This year you would need 26 holes).

6. Leave the spiral in a warm, dry place for a few days to dry it out, or pop it into the oven on the lowest heat to speed up the process. (The great thing about crafting with salt dough is that if you suddenly panic that you should have put baking paper under your spiral, or you've done too many holes, you can easily start over!).

Tip: The dough shrinks slightly as it is drying so it might be worth putting your candles back into the indents now and then to make sure they stay the right size for you.

7. When the dough is stiff enough to be moved without being floppy, (this only took us 24 hours with little bursts in the oven), you are ready to move your spiral to wherever you would like it to be and decorate it as you wish. We have chosen to surround ours with Evergreen leaves and cover the indents with crystals as the candle passes.

8. Take a special moment every day to light your candles and think about what Christmas means to you, moving closer to the heart of what that is with each passing day.

If you would like a more permanent version of this to use every year, as well as for birthdays, you may be interested in our wooden Celebration Spiral.

And last, but not least, the decorations we made with the extra dough, sprinkled with Bio-Glitter: