I first read about baked cotton balls through Fun at Home with Kids and Time For Play, and knew that at some point it would need to be a must try for us.
The ingredients for the balls are quite simple:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
large handful or cotton balls
food coloring (optional)
Mix all the flour and water in a bowl, and add food coloring if you'd like. The other sites show how you can make different colors, which was prettier in the end. In our case we were just making the one color so we added it to the original mix.
I dunked all the cotton balls at once and smooshed them around until they were all coated. It felt sooo cool, but I couldn't get the boys to come help and mix. Afterwards I spread them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I sprinkled a little gold glitter on top.
We then baked them in a 350 degree fahrenheit oven for about an hour. When they came out they were dry, hard, and crunchy to the touch.
Because we were mostly interested in the "smash" part of the activity we'd seen I laid out a few materials for smashing: Home Depot aprons, toy hammers, and eye goggles.
The boys got their gear on and got to work. They were harder to smash open than we expected, but when they did burst open the boys were rewarded with soft cotton ball pieces still inside. They could then pull out the cotton.
They decided they needed a few more tools and raided the rest of the toy tools to add in. They tried pulling them apart in different ways.
So despite the unusual color and overall look, the activity itself was a definite hit. Great way to break up a rainy snow day stuck inside.
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