These multi-step paintings are fascinating for the kids to do, and a great example of a process-oriented project. The kids enjoy “drawing” with glue, a novel way to use it. And once they start dabbing the watercolor paint onto the salt, watching the salt absorb the paint and spread is mesmerizing. Click here to download our Salt Painting lesson plan.
- Children will learn to work with both common and uncommon painting materials.
- Children will learn about primary colors.
- Children will learn to follow sequential directions.
- Children will learn about solids and liquids.
- 1 piece of 8×10” watercolor paper per child
- fine grained salt in a shakable containers
- clear glue in squeezable bottles
- liquid watercolor paints
- paint brushes (3 per child – one for each primary color)
- plastic trays larger that the watercolor papers to catch the excess salt
- Write each child’s name in permanent marker on the back of a piece of watercolor paper
- Prepare a salt container for every 2 children to share
- Prepare a glue bottle for every child to use
- Show the children an example of a finished project and explain they will be making these projects with paint – plus special ingredients: glue and salt.
- Have the children walk over to the supply table to pick out their glue bottle. We like to have the children get up to stretch their legs and keep their interest piqued. Having a supply table gives the kids a chance to take a break from sitting still and also to make a choice when they get to the table. For that reason, we always have one or two extras so that even the last child to the table gets to choose.
- While they are doing this, distribute the watercolor papers with their names on them on a tray, with the names facing down so they won’t interfere with their project’s image.
- Instruct the children to draw picture with glue on their paper – it can be of something in the real word (representational), or even shapes (abstract) – whatever they want.
- Distribute the salt shakers (or have the children get them from the supply table) and have the kids shake salt all over the glue lines on their paper. When finished, tilt the paper and shake it to remove excess salt.
- Have the kids walk to the supply table and select a paintbrush.
- Distribute watercolor sets, removing the lid to the first primary color. Our studios are process (rather than product) oriented, but we take into account using supplies that work well together, That’s why for this project we are using primary colors, one at a time – even if they mix together on the salt, they will create a secondary color. We structure the project in a way to maximize beautiful results, even though we are focusing on the process.
- Instruct children to dip their brush into the paint pot, then dab – not brush – it onto the salt. Watch the salt absorb the liquid watercolor and turn that color.
- When they are done with one color, the instructor should close the lid on the first paint color and open the next primary color. Children can get a clean brush from the supply table.
- Repeat again for the third color, and the paintings are complete!
- Let dry for a few days.