I’ve been wanting to try 3D salt art ideas for a while now. It’s such a fun way to mix a fall art activity with science. Salt and glue art is magic because the salt absorbs the water from the food coloring right before our wondering eyes! The glue keeps the salt from dissolving, and once the glue dries, you’re left with a cool apple art craft for preschool that is definitely fridge-worthy. Kids love making art projects like this, but be aware they aren’t the neatest projects (what I’m saying is prepare for the mess). Try this Raised Apple Salt Painting today!

apple theme salt painting activity for kids

Recommended Grade Level:

Salt Painting Art Supplies:

  • Cardstock/Watercolor Paper
  • White Glue
  • Salt
  • Red Food Coloring
  • Dropper
  • Water
  • Small Cup/Container

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

Learning Through Apple Crafts for Kids in Preschool



I like to think of process art as almost a scientific exploration. With table salt and watercolor paint art exploration, kids are learning what happens when colored water and salt interact. They’re seeing the role the glue plays in this apple theme art for kids project.

Process art can be messy, but it sure is cool. And since we love apple trees, it made this project even more fun for us!

Process art is highly beneficial for preschoolers as it emphasizes the creative journey rather than focusing solely on the end result. By encouraging children to explore and experiment with different materials, colors, and textures, process art nurtures their imaginations and self-expression.

This open-ended approach in creating salt art for kids fosters problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities, all while boosting their confidence in making choices. Additionally, process art allows young learners to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they manipulate various tools during the artistic process.

Couple the easy apple craft with thought-provoking questions to make the most of the learning:

  • What do you notice about the apple’s shape and color? How can you use different materials to represent those features in your artwork?
  • Apples are not just delicious; they also have seeds inside. Can you show me how you would depict the seeds in your art?
  • If the apple could talk, what do you think it would say? How can you use your art to tell its story or share its feelings?

What Can Preschoolers Learn While Making Salt and Watercolor Art Projects?



The apple art project also promotes emotional development by providing a safe outlet for expressing feelings and emotions through art. Ultimately, process art empowers preschoolers to appreciate their individuality, fostering a love for learning and creativity that will benefit them throughout their lives.

  • Creativity
  • Fine Motor
  • Problem-Solving
  • Self-Expression

Why Is It Important For Kids To Create Process Art?

Exploring process art, like salt art watercolor painting, raised salt painting, or cotton ball painting, offers a lot of benefits for kids, not to mention it’s fun!


Process art encourages children to explore and experiment, fostering their imaginative thinking and creative expression.


The open-ended nature of process art empowers kids to make their own decisions, building their self-confidence and sense of accomplishment.

Fine Motor

Engaging with various art materials and tools helps develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills in young learners.


Process art provides a safe space for children to express their feelings and emotions, promoting emotional intelligence and well-being.

How to Make the Raised Apple Salt Painting

To Prep:

First, prepare the colored water in a small cup.

For the tiny container I used about 10 drops of red liquid food coloring.

This is a messy activity!

We were lucky enough to have a beautiful day, so we did our activity outside. If you do it inside, cover your space with a plastic table cloth and stay far away from your furniture.

If you don’t have food coloring, liquid watercolors work as well. Your color might be a bit lighter.

Step 1:

Outline the shape of an apple onto the paper with glue. At first, we tried making a solid apple, but that didn’t work. Smaller lines are better for salt art.

Step 2:

Cover the entire thing of glue with salt, just like you would with glitter.

Step 3:

Shake off the excess salt.

Step 4:

Dip the paintbrush into water and blend with watercolor to soften. Saturate the brush with watercolor. Gently touch the paintbrush to the salt. The color will spread like magic!

Step 5:

Squeeze just a little bit of the colored water onto the apple and watch it spread across the salt. Keep adding coloring, little by little, until the apple is all read. Set the apple aside to dry. It will take several hours to dry. We left ours overnight.

Fall Shapes

Use the salt art concept in this apple activity to create other fall shapes, maybe fall trees, acorns, fall leaves, etc. Large shapes with few details are best.


This apple craft for kids is so engaging that it’s an obvious conversation starter. Talk with your child about the steps to make the apple, the effect of the salt, or just the apple fine motor experience in general.

Apple Snack

Nothing’s better after an art project than a themed snack! Break out the apples and peanut butter, applesauce, apple pie, or another delicious apple snack to enjoy while you wait for the project to dry.

More Activities You’ll Love:

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Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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