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.

Fall Theme Salt Painting Template

Recommended Grade Level:

Calico Corn Salt Painting Supplies:

  • Lined Drawing of Corn
  • Liquid Glue
  • Table Salt
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Water

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.

Hand-eye Coordination

Activities like tracing lines with glue and sprinkling salt help improve hand/eye coordination.

Calming Space

Art activities can provide a safe space for children who are feeling upset or frustrated and need to calm down.

Following Directions

Projects that require kids to follow step-by-step directions are great for working on listening and reading comprehension skills.

Overhead view of the supplies for the Fall Theme Calico Corn Salt Painting for Kids.

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.

Salt added to the glue corn shape for the Fall Theme Calico Corn Salt Painting for Kids.

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.

Glue being added to a calico corn outline.

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.

The painted Fall Theme Calico Corn Salt Painting for Kids.

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:

Food Coloring

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.

Try Sugar

Turn this process art activity into a science experiment by substituting sugar for salt, or alter the type of salt used.

Get Scientific

Investigate the “magic” of watercolor painting using salt by asking why and how the salt absorbs the color.

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

Fall Theme Calico Corn Salt Painting for Kids Featured Image
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author avatar
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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