Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and think about all the sights, smells, and sounds of my favorite season: FALL. Nature transforms into brilliant colors all on its own; pumpkins, apples, squash, and corn are done with summer’s heat and ready for us to enjoy.
And school is back in session! Your students will love this fall theme calico corn salt painting! Or you can adapt it to another theme you’re crazy about (back-to-school, pumpkins, or apple theme)!
Salt painting is simple to prep and packs a lot of learning into one project. You’re going to love getting creative and scientific at the same time.
Learning About Watercolor Salt Painting:
PAINTING with EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNERS
SALT PAINTING FEATURES ITS OWN TYPE OF MAGIC, AS THE COLOR TRAVELS THE LINE OF GLUE AND SALT. WE CAN USE THIS FALL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITY TO TEACH ABOUT THE SCIENCE BEHIND THAT MAGIC.
Introducing lots of different art mediums is an integral part of early childhood development. Children learn and grow by working with paper, scissors, paint, watercolor, glue, glitter, and more.
Salt painting produces a textured finished product, but it also begs some important questions:
Why is the color “moving” along the glue line?
What happens when colors mix?
Do you use salt for anything else?
Depending on the age range of your students, choose a line drawing that is not overly complicated. The more simple and thick the lines are, the more likely they will be able to trace them to produce a recognizable shape in the end.
Salt and glue painting fits into any theme. All you need to do is choose the appropriate drawing.
In addition to learning about the fall harvest, you might also explore:
What is the life cycle of corn?
What other fruits and vegetables are harvested in fall?
Why do leaves change color in the fall?
What changes do you see in the weather in fall?
What Is the Science Behind Salt Painting?
DIGGING DEEPER WITH ART
ASKING STUDENTS TO THINK ABOUT WHY AND HOW THE COLOR TRAVELS ALONG THE SALT AND GLUE IS AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF SALT PAINTING.
This is the simple explanation, including some important vocabulary words your students will LOVE learning:
Salt is HYGROSCOPIC, meaning it absorbs both water and water vapor.
When you touch the water-filled paintbrush to the salt line, it automatically ABSORBS the water.
If you use more/less salt, the ABSORPTION will vary.
The salt also absorbs the water in the liquid glue, which makes it dry into firm lines.
Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn How to Paint with Salt?
Aside from the fact that kids’ crafts are good old-fashioned FUN, salt painting offers a few other benefits young learners can add to their bank of skills and knowledge.
Develop a Child’s Creativity
Arts and crafts projects are a wonderful way to allow your child to show off their creative side.
Fine Motor Skills
Squeezing intricate glue lines, sprinkling salt, and dipping into watercolors are awesome for strengthening fine motor skills.
Activities like tracing lines with glue and sprinkling salt help improve hand/eye coordination.
Art activities can provide a safe space for children who are feeling upset or frustrated and need to calm down.
More Crafting Inspiration:
Create a full maker space for these awesome crafts!
Keep your craft supplies stocked and these inspirational books and craft kits on hand for that moment when inspiration hits!
24 Sets Fall Leaf Suncatchers Ornaments Decorations DIY Window Paint Art Stickers Craft Kit Autumn Maple Leaf Sun Catchers for Kids Classroom Thanksgiving Harvest Party Art ProjectLow-Mess Crafts for Kids: 72 Projects to Create Your Own Magical WorldsCraftorama Sewing Kit for Kids, Fun and Educational Animal Craft Set for Boys and Girls Age 7-12, Sew Your Own Felt Animals Craft Kit for Beginners, 165 Piece SetSupla Fall Tree of Thanks Craft Kit Felt Fall Tree Board with 52 pcs Detachable Autumn Leaf Ornaments Autumn Bulletin Board for Kids Classroom Craft Thanksgiving ActivityWinlyn 72 Sets Magic Color Scratch Fall Leaf Ornaments Craft Kit Scratch Art Paper Maple Leaf Cutouts Hang Favor Tags Bookmarks for Kids Classroom Autumn Party Favors Halloween Thanksgiving DecorWATINC 12Pcs Fall Stick Art Craft Autumn Theme DIY Wooden Popsicle Sticks Pumpkin Maple Leaf Turkey Fox Owl Halloween Thanksgiving Party Favors Classroom Art Supplies Decorations for Kids Boys Girls
Materials needed for Salt Paint Calico Corn:
Get the Supplies Here:
Don’t worry about making a special trip to the store. You can get all the supplies for this activity right here.
- Simple coloring page printed on white thick cardstock (recommended)
- Watercolor paint palette
- White glue
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Watercolor Paint Set With 21 Paints and PaintbrushElmer’s Washable No-Run School Glue, 4 oz (6 Pack)Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt – Full Flavor, No Additives and Less Sodium – Pure and Natural Since 1886 – 3 Pound Box
Expand your activity library with these amazing resources!
How To Create the Calico Corn Raised Salt Painting
SALT PAINTING with preschoolers AND KINDERGARTENERS
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY USING WATERCOLORS WITH KIDS! SALT PAINTING IS A GREAT INTRODUCTION FOR KIDS TO SEE HOW A LITTLE BIT OF PAINT AND WATER GO A LONG WAY!
First, print a simple line drawing on cardstock (corn, maple leaf, pumpkin, or other fall theme object).
Trace around the image on the coloring page with glue.
Sprinkle salt onto the glue as you would with glitter. Tap the paper to settle the salt into any
grooves. Gently lift the paper and shake to remove the excess salt.
Dip paintbrush in water and blend with watercolor to soften. Saturate the paintbrush with
watercolor. Then, gently touch the paintbrush to the salt. The color will spread.
Allow the picture to dry completely before displaying or gifting.
This fun art project won’t disappoint, even if the glue lines are a bit messy. It’s a wonderful learning activity for kids to explore color, absorption, and more!
Children will also enjoy feeling the unique texture of their project when dry.
More Salt Painting Ideas:
If you don’t have liquid watercolors handy, create your own. Just add a drop or two of food coloring to a cup of water.
Turn this process art activity into a science experiment by substituting sugar for salt, or alter the type of salt used.
Investigate the “magic” of watercolor painting using salt by asking why and how the salt absorbs the color.
Our Favorite Fun Fall Books:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun salt art craft, take it a step further and create a full fall themed unit with these engaging books:
LeavesPete the Cat Falling for AutumnHello, Fall!: A Picture BookA Tree for All Seasons (Rise and Shine)Goodbye Summer, Hello AutumnSplat the Cat and the Pumpkin-Picking Plan: Includes More Than 30 Stickers!The Leaf ThiefFall Mixed Up (Carolrhoda Picture Books)Leif and the FallThe Busy Little Squirrel (Classic Board Books)There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves!