I found this fun idea at Creative Kids at Home and thought it’d be a fun project for Claudia and me to work on while Sam was at school. I saved two days worth of used coffee grounds and we collected little things from around the house to use as treasures. We had some army men, marbles, rocks, and various small toys that have somehow shown up in their toy boxes. When we had everything ready, we went out to the deck to create. Claudia had a blast. She definitely enjoyed mixing the concoction up the most, and she continued to find other “ingredients” that needed mixed with water long after the treasure balls were finished.
While she continued to mix and measure, I popped a cookie sheet full of treasure balls into the oven to dry. They didn’t dry throughout, but the original instructions say that they’ll become rock-hard if allowed to dry for too long, so we only kept them in the oven for 30 minutes at 170 degrees. (The original post called for a shorter time at a lower temperature, but I found that this worked well for us.)
By the time Sam and his friends got home from school, they all had treasure balls to crack open in the sand box. I think the boys enjoyed that more than Claudia did. She had her fun in the mixing and creating part, but wasn’t terribly interested in the finished product.
“Recipe:” Treasure Balls
1 c. used coffee grounds
1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
1/4 c. sand
3/4 c. water
Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir until blended. Slowly add water until the mixture can be kneaded. It should be the consistency of bread dough. If mixture is too wet, add more flour. Break off a piece and shape into a ball. Press your thumb into the center to make a dent; put your treasure in and cover it with the dough.
Treasure balls can air dry for 2-3 days. Rotate occasionally. You can also place treasure balls on a cookie sheet and bake in a 170 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until dried evenly.