Recently, while making salt dough handprints with the kids, it struck me how important it is to stop and create these lasting impressions while our kids are young.
To stop and appreciate their littleness and preserve just a piece of it for the future, when we can barely remember those pudgy little hands or believe that their heads could ever fit into the palm of our hands.
There are moments when I look at my daughter and think, “Wow, you’re so little for such a big presence in my life.” And truly, this little person who’s barely registering at three feet tall fills our home and my heart so full that it’s sometimes hard to remember that she’s only three.
There are the loving moments, those special sweet actions or insights into her personality that make this whole parenting thing worth doing… and there are those moments of sheer frustration or fear or inadequacy that make her (and my parenting insecurities) feel like a giant.
With all of the pressures and tasks of daily life, it’s so easy to let their littleness slip by. To catch fleeting moments of it, but forget to really document it and show our appreciation for it while they are still little.
I remember the last time she fell asleep on my chest.
I’m glad I breathed deep.
I look at baby pictures and simultaneously think, “that was only yesterday,” and “I don’t remember you being so little.”
I’m thankful for those pictures.
I feel the tug of time whenever I fold away a piece of clothing she has grown out of all too soon.
The unstained clothes are harder to let go of, like she hasn’t lived in them enough.
Whenever a new interest starts, or a milestone is conquered, I’m excited but also taken aback at her increasingly defined sense of self.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up.
I wish I had started one of those cute monthly traditions of parking her in front of a camera with the same props, but I’m thankful for the pictures that I do have, and the tokens of her littleness that remain.
It’s never too late to start the traditions.
Making a batch of salt dough and pressing their hands into it, or covering their feet in paint and printing them onto a canvas, these little activities are easy to let slip our minds, but that intentionality of a few minutes once a year to preserve the memory of their littleness, your future self will thank you for it.
Hug their little bodies, kiss their button noses, and hold their tiny hands in yours for as long as you can, and when they’re big and not always there to cuddle, you’ll have these salt dough memories to remind you of when they were little and you made the time.
To make your own salt dough handprints:
Mix 1 cup of flour with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup water. Add more water if necessary if the dough is too crumbly, but don’t let it get too wet.
Knead the dough well for at least two minutes after it has been fully incorporated, and then roll out a handful for the children to press their hands into. You may need to press evenly on the top of their hands to make a defined impression.
Let the salt dough handprints air dry overnight or bake them for one hour in the oven at 350F (if they start to yellow or brown remove them immediately).
Once dry and hardened, allow the children to paint their salt dough handprints with watercolours.
Dry. Save. Cherish.
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Check out some other Salt Dough ideas from my fellow bloggers:
Galaxy Salt Dough | Lemon Lime Adventures
Salt Dough Memories | Sugar, Spice and Glitter
Making Salt Dough Fossils to Awesome Music | Witty Hoots
Nature Inspired Dough for Lively Sensory Play | Peakle Pie
Crayon Salt Dough Recipe | Sugar Aunts
Scented Salt Dough Pendants | Raising Lifelong Learners
Salt Dough Seashells | Creative World of Varya
Microwave Salt Dough | In The Playroom
Nature Printing with Salt Dough | Squiggles and Bubbles
LEGO Salt Dough Paperweights | The Pleasantest Thing
Cinnamon glitter salt dough fossils (puzzle and mobile) | Glittering Muffins