I have yet to meet a teacher that doesn’t love summer. But, fall?! What an exciting, beautiful, wonderful time of year! It’s the promise of an AMAZING school year, combined with cooler weather, sports, and other fun fall activities. Fall leaf salt painting for preschoolers combine fall’s vibrant colors with the science of changing seasons for the perfect hands-on learning opportunity.

– Life Over C's DIY Fall leaf salt painting with watercolor paints

Recommended Grade Level:

Fall Leaf Salt Painting Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Table Salt
  • Liquid Glue
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Paintbrushes

This Fall Leaf Art Preschool Salt Painting craft is the best! You only need a few supplies (water colors, salt and glue) to create an engaging art experience for all. Add this salt painting craft for preschool to your list of fall-themed activities today.

Benefits of Salt Painting in Preschool

Art projects are an integral part of preschool learning activities because they teach important concepts. Painting with salt in preschool is also a bit of a science lesson as students experience the magic of colors absorbing into the salt. Experimenting with watercolors helps reinforce important concepts like color saturation and blending.

Watercolor paint really takes a bit of practice to master. Allowing our youngest learners to experiment with what happens to colors when you add water will prime them for future projects using the same medium.

Painting helps develop fine motor skills by gripping the brush and dipping into the liquid watercolors. It can also meld into any preschool theme your class is doing. The leaf craft for kids easily adapts to any shape, even numbers and letters.

Art activities for kids also help develop confidence, language, and visual processing. There’s no question that whether your students are creating a fall tree or leaf or a winter snowstorm, they are benefiting in many ways.

How to Create the Fall Leaf Art Preschool Salt Painting

– Life Over C's Overhead shot of a fall leaf outline and salt for fall leaf salt painting.

How to:

  • Trace around the shape with glue.
– Life Over C's Overhead shot of glue on a leaf outline.
  • Sprinkle the glue with salt as you would with glitter. Lift and shake to remove excess salt, ensuring that it has adhered to the outlines of the shape only.
  • 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!
– Life Over C's Overhead shot of a paint brush painting a fall leaf salt painting activity.
  • Allow to dry completely before displaying or sending home.
– Life Over C's Overhead shot of completed Fall Leaf Salt Painting activity.

*TIP: Use a few drops of food coloring in a small amount of water if you don’t have watercolor paints.

Ideas to Teach Fall Leaves Salt Painting

Teachers have a lot of options with this activity. It allows you to delve into the science of the changing seasons or the science of the salt absorbing the color. Or, you can simply let them get creative with shapes and glue!

– Life Over C's Overhead shot of completed Fall Leaf Salt Painting activity.

You might consider using card stock in fall colors so the leaves turn out to be two-toned works of art.

Depending on the dexterity of your students, they will likely not trace perfect lines. It’s okay! Breathe. Even if your students’ fall leaf crafts turn into blobs of glue and salt, they will learn something from the experience.

Consider other fall shapes, too, like pumpkins from a pumpkin patch, apples, or gourds. Choose line simplicity that will match the fine motor dexterity of your students.

If you think your students might have a hard time tracing fine lines, consider pre-cutting leaf shapes so the project will resemble a leaf regardless of any creative licensing your preschoolers indulge in.

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– Life Over C's DIY Fall leaf salt painting with watercolor paints

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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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