A few weeks ago, Ellie was asked to pick out a Christmas craft for her 3rd grade girls’ book club. They were going to discuss The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, so we wanted to find a craft that went along with the story and was also age appropriate for 8-9 year olds.
I had never read the story before, so after she finished reading it on her own, we read it as a bedtime story for the whole family. It’s a fun story and gives a different perspective about the birth of Jesus.
After scouring the internet for just the right craft, we settled upon making homemade nativity baking soda ornaments. There was a little bit of trial and error, but I think the end result came out pretty cute. I love that these were homemade and also tell the story of the birth of Jesus.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup cornstarch + more for kneading
- twine, for hanging the ornaments
Here’s what to do:
- Mix baking soda and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add water, stir until smooth.
- Cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly for about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from stove once mixture is thick and doughy.
- Transfer dough to a plate and let cool at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
- Knead into a smooth dough. Add more cornstarch if it’s too sticky.
- Roll out dough to no less than 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut out desired shapes and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Use a straw or chopstick to poke a hole in the center top of each decoration.
- Bake at 175 degrees for 1 hour.
- Add twine.
We bought these cute nativity cookie cutters and each girl got to decorate them with sharpies. I’ve also seen ornaments that were just left white. We’ve made salt dough ornaments before and they come out a little off white, but since these are made with baking soda, they come out a really bright white. They actually look really stunning without decorating them, and are perfect for not so artistically inclined people (like me)!
This is also a great way to share the story of the birth of Jesus with your kids. As they decorate each ornament, you can read the story as told in the Bible in the book of Luke. The cookie cutters we purchased also had a little booklet in it with Bible verses that corresponded with each shape.