Apple Cinnamon Clay

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Apple Cinnamon Clay smells wonderful and kids can make and sculpt the dough into holiday themed shapes.

By Kim Swanger and Andrea Mulder-Slater [Kim is an teacher at Lakeview Elementary in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Andrea is a co-creator of]

Apple Cinnamon Clay Introduction:

  1. Inform students that they will make cinnamon ornaments to decorate their homes.
  2. Tell students the dough will look like cookie dough but won’t taste good.
  3. Provide a model of what the ornaments may look like. Permit students to examine it closely. Point out the fragrance. Permit students to examine the cinnamon.
  4. Have students assist in measuring the ingredients.
  5. Model procedure for making the ornament.
  6. Once ornaments are completed, place on a piece of cardboard. Write child’s name below ornament on the cardboard to avoid confusion.

What You Need:

  • applesauce (see recipes below for amounts)
  • cinnamon (see recipes below for amounts)
  • white glue (see recipes below for amounts)
  • plastic wrap
  • large mixing bowl
  • wax paper
  • cookie cutters
  • ribbon or yarn
  • paints and brushes (optional)
  • rolling pin (optional)

Dough Ingredients required for a classroom of 15-20 children

  • 4 cups cinnamon
  • 3 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 cup white school glue (Elmer’s® works very well)

Dough Ingredients required for just a few children

  • 1 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup white school glue (Elmer’s® works very well)

What You Do:

Preparing the Dough

  1. Mix ground cinnamon with applesauce and white glue in a large mixing bowl.
  2. If the mixture feels too stiff, add a touch of water.
  3. Knead the clump together and wrap it in some plastic wrap, allowing it to sit for about an hour.

Working with the Dough

  1. Take some dough and flatten it between two sheets of wax paper using your hands, or a rolling pin.
  2. Make sure the dough isn’t too thin — you’re best bet is to flatten it to 1/2″ or so thick.
  3. Use your cookie cutters to create fun shapes in the dough.or
  4. Make coils of dough and sculpt your own designs such as letters and shapes.or
  5. Roll little balls of dough and press with cookie stamps.or
  6. Press dough into ceramic cookie molds.
  7. Be sure to punch a hole in the top of each shape with a pencil or, press a paperclip in the back of the ornament while still wet to act as a hanger.

Drying or Baking the Ornaments

  1. Once you have a few ornaments ready, place them on a cookie sheet.
  2. You can either let them dry naturally over a period of 3 to 5 days, or you can bake them in an oven (adult assistance required!) at 200 degrees for about 2 hours (making sure you flip them halfway through).

Decorating the Ornaments

  1. Once dry, you can decorate your yummy smelling ornaments with paint or glitter, or you can leave them just as they are.
  2. String some ribbon through the hole you punched, or through the paperclip, and display your creations with pride.

Kim says: “I’ve used this lesson with a variety of ages. The kids love making the dough, the families love the ornaments which quickly become keepsakes, and the teachers love the way the room smells when they’re working on the project. This is definitely a multi-sensory art experience that appeals to everyone involved. The bonus is the small amount of clean-up involved. This is not a very messy project.”

Did You Know:

Cinnamon was at one time more valuable than gold! The Ancient Egyptians used cinnamon for their embalming process while the Roman empire imported large amounts of cinnamon for use in perfumes and fragrances. Today, cinnamon is a very common spice which is used to flavour everything from baked goods to specialty coffees.