Salt Dough Snakes
Legend has it that Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. That’s probably not true, but since many people celebrated their Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day earlier this week, we decided that, rather than driving the snakes out, we would make our own Salt Dough Snakes!
Combine this activity with some of our favorite books about snakes: The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble (a Somerset County, NJ, author!); Snakes on the Job by Kathryn Dennis; or Verdi by Janell Cannon. Don’t forget to check out some nonfiction, too: Find it at 597.96.
What you need:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Cookie sheet
- Paint or markers
What you do:
- Mix the flour, salt, water, and oil. Blend well.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a counter or tabletop.
- Knead the dough by punching and turning and folding it over until it’s smooth.
- Take small chunks of dough and roll them with your hands into snakes in a variety of lengths and sizes.
- As you make them, set the snakes on a cookie sheet.
- Set the snakes the sun to dry for a few hours OR bake at 200F for 1 – 2 hours.
- When they are ready, color the snakes with markers or paints. You can make the snakes realistic or fanciful: Make an eastern hognose snake (native to NJ) or make it a crazy purple with yellow spots! You can see photos of NJ’s 22 varieties of snakes in an article at NJ.com: https://www.nj.com/news/2015/07/slithering_in_nj_meet_the_22_snakes_species_of_the.html
- If it’s helpful to see the process, watch this excellent video from our colleagues in Georgia at DeKalb County Public Library:
We’d love to see your salt dough snakes! Take a photo with your phone and post it on the Library’s Facebook page or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.