All parents know how much their children change, and how emotionally and physically different a child is at the end of each year. The love, time and dedication each child needs allows them to transform and change— much like a butterfly! I LOVED doing this Spring Butterfly Salt Painting for Kids in my preschool classroom because it turned into a lesson about the lifecycle of a butterfly, and also on a more abstract level, how we are always growing and changing as people. So if you need to talk about growth and change, use the Spring Salt Butterfly Painting for Kids activity as a lesson on how we may start as one thing, but we can all change and grow into a new and beautiful version of yourself!

– Life Over C's Photo collage showing a colorful butterfly salt painting craft for kids.

Recommended Grade Level:

Spring Butterfly Salt Painting for Kids Supplies:

  • cardstock paper- white or colored
  • salt- any kind from fine to coarse
  • watercolors
  • paintbrushes
  • glue- white or clear

Table of Contents

Why Use the Butterfly Salt Painting Activity in Your Classroom

If you’re not sure what salt painting is, you can check out some of our other resources on salt painting. It’s a relatively simple multi-step painting process that. It’s a great way to get fingers working on fine motor skills by manipulating glue bottles and tiny grains of salt.

Salt painting can also teach students about absorption and how certain things can soak up liquids! If you’re talking about attraction, magnets, or opposites, salt painting would be a great activity to tie into those science lessons.

Science Experiments with Household Materials:

How to Create a Salt Painting Art Project

These Butterfly Salt Paintings are the perfect spring craft because they combine art practice and spring insects! Taking the time to study butterflies and incorporate them into this activity by creating Butterfly Salt Paintings for Kids.

Materials You Will Need for Butterfly Salt Painting:

  • Cardstock paper- white or colored
  • Salt- any type!
  • Watercolors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue- white or clear
– Life Over C's Overhead view of the supplies you need to make the salt painting.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Butterfly Salt Painting

Step One:

Go ahead and grab all the things you’re going to need to make your Butterfly salt painting! This is going to be paper (preferably cardstock), salt, paper and glue! At this step, you as the teacher or parent will draw the butterfly. (Or you can have each child individually draw the butterfly that they want to use in their salt painting!)

– Life Over C's The outline of a butterfly is drawn in glue on a white sheet of paper.

Step Two:

Once you have your butterfly outline drawn on cardstock, then you can take your glue bottle and go around the pencil marks on the cardstock!

Teacher Tip: Use enough glue to cover all of the pencil marks, but don’t make it too thick or goopy.

– Life Over C's A person is sprinkling salt onto the glue butterfly.

Step Three:

Put a thin layer of salt all over the paper. You want to cover ALL of the glue that you have on the paper. You can try to just hit the salt on the outline of the butterfly, but it is considerably easier to hit all of the exposed glue on your paper if you just sprinkle a layer over all of the page. Then you can dump off the excess into the trashcan, a tray or onto another salt painting!

– Life Over C's Shaking off the excess salt from the butterfly.

Step Four:

Dip your paintbrush into your watercolor and lightly brush it over your salt outline! You can make this salt butterfly any color you want it to be, and even fill the inside of the butterfly with glue and salt to have more surface area to paint!

– Life Over C's A person is using a paintbrush to paint the lines of the butterfly.
– Life Over C's The finished buttterfly salt painting next to water colors and a water jar.

Yay! You did it. What should you do with your Butterfly Salt Painting?

These would be the perfect artistic display in a springtime classroom! It would be pretty awesome to have students add florals to the wall, and add these in for a class garden. These can be displayed seasonally or can also be placed in a folder or portfolio and sent home for families to enjoy!

Ways to Adapt/Modify/Differentiate the Butterfly Salt Painting

Focusing on Seasons: Trade out the Butterfly Salt Painting for any other seasonal image! Although Butterflies are the perfect spring symbolism, you can really do this activity in any season! Students can identify other defining symbols of seasons and create them out of salt art!

Writing: You can extend this activity by adding a writing piece that is age appropriate. Students can write a sentence about butterflies, whether it is an opinion sentence about their butterfly, a statement about what they painted, or even a researched sentence about butterfly lifecycles!

Butterfly Lifecycle Research: You can extend this activity by having students add research to the salt paintings! Students can add an research on the lifecycle of a butterfly to go next to their salt painting. They could event do a salt painting for the different stages of the lifecycle as well.

More Ways to Explore Butterflies:

Frequently Asked Questions

These are frequently asked questions about our Butterfly Salt Painting for Kids.

Can I use Tempera Paint instead of watercolor?

You can other paints besides watercolors for your Spring Flower Salt Painting for Kids. We recommend watering down the paint, to make it drip easily from the paintbrush, so the salt is able to absorb the color.

What can I use instead of paint?

Water with food coloring also works great for this project! You can change the color intensity based on how much food coloring you use. I recommend starting with a small amount of water, so there is less waste.

Do I need to use a paintbrush?

This activity is SO versatile! You can see how we used droppers instead of paintbrushes with this rainbow salt painting art activity.

Does it matter what kind of salt I use?

That’s one of the best parts about this project- you can use the salt you have! No matter how fine or coarse, any salt will work for this activity.

Recapping our Spring Butterfly Salt Painting for Kids

Whether you are a preschool teacher, daycare provider or parent who loves an artistic moment, your kids will LOVE this hands on activity that brings butterflies to life! Leave a comment if you decide to try this Butterfly Salt Painting in your home or classroom!

Do you love this activity?

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– Life Over C's A butterfly salt painting on a white piece of paper.
– Life Over C's spring theme math and literacy activities for preschool and pre-k

35+ Spring Math and Literacy Activities

– Life Over C's preschool math and literacy activities for spring
– Life Over C's Spring theme preschool math and literacy activities
– Life Over C's Spring theme preschool math and literacy activities

Included in the Spring Math and Literacy Activities:

  • 2 Sets of Spring Number Mats (empty ten-frame, heart filled ten-frame)
  • Strawberry Beginning Sound Match Up
  • 4 Sets of Spring Clip Cards (color, ten-frame, array, shape)
  • Spring Flower Color Sort
  • Class Set of Spring BINGO
  • 2 Graphing Dice Games (Matching pictures and Numbers 1-6)
  • 2 Spinner Graphing Games
  • Spring Theme Line Tracing Cards & Picture Tracing Cards
  • Line-Up Puzzles for Counting to 5 & 10
  • 4 Matching Games (picture, number, alphabet, rhyme)
  • Strawberry Missing Number Cards
  • 3 Levels of AB Patterns
  • Spring Shape Play Dough Mats
  • 2 Sets of Counting to 10 Puzzles (array, ten-frame)
  • Spring Shape Puzzles
  • 2 Roll and Count Mats
  • 2 Sets of Spring Sorting Activities (shapes and numbers 1-10)
  • 5 Spin & Cover Games (1-5, 6-10, shape, picture)
  • Raindrop Ten-Frame Cards
  • Spring Bugs Tic-Tac-Toe
  • 4 Sets of Tracing Cards (uppercase, lowercase, number, shape)
  • Visual Discernment Clip Cards (What does not belong?)
  • Trace, Write & Draw the Room

More Butterfly Activities You’ll Love:

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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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