Salt Watercolors Activity For Kids
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Salt Watercolors Art Activity for Kids


Salt Watercolors Art Activity for Kids

Salt watercolors is such a fun process-oriented art activity for little kids that we did it again with the art group!

Here’s how we did it, plus photos of the kids creating, as well as the finished salt watercolor artworks.

Salt Watercolors Art Activity for Kids - Painting

Salt Watercolors Art Activity for Kids

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*Use mat board, poster board, or even cardboard as regular paper will buckle under all the glue, salt, and watercolors.

**We like to use liquid watercolors for this activity. If you don’t have any, you can make your own with watered-down food coloring or watered-down tube watercolors.

Salt Watercolors Art Activity for Kids - Squeezing Glue


1. First, squeeze glue onto poster board in any design desired. These kids used abstract designs but older children might enjoy drawing pictures with the glue.

2. Then, cover the glue design with salt.

I dump a container of cheap Morton’s salt into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish for this part. The kids set their artwork in the dish and sprinkle salt generously on top then tip the mat board to dump off the excess salt.

Salt Watercolors Art Activity for Kids - Adding Paint

3. Finally, gently touch a paintbrush loaded with watercolor paint to the salt covered glue and watch the color travel through the design.

This part is lots of fun!

Salt Watercolors Activity

Some children, especially younger ones, will want to scrub the design with their paintbrush which is okay too—it’ll just have a different finished look (like the artwork above).

Here are some of the other finished salt watercolors ::

Salt Watercolors Art Activity for Kids - Finished Artworks

More Salt Watercolors Posts

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Salt Watercolors - A Process-Oriented Art Activity for Kids


  • Reply
    August 7, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! I love her books, but we haven’t dug into them yet. This one sounds like a great one to start with.

  • Reply
    Crafty Mom
    August 7, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I’ll definitely be trying this with my 3yr old! I absolutely love Mary Ann Kohl and we’ve got a growing collection of her books, but not Scribble Art, so I hadn’t heard of this activity before. Love it!

  • Reply
    Teaching My Little Bookworm
    August 7, 2009 at 9:39 am

    very pretty!

  • Reply
    Hwee Kiah
    August 7, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for sharing this craft and the lovely artwork by the little ones!
    One question, do u need to wait for the glue to dry before applying the watercolor?

  • Reply
    August 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    oooh i wanna try this… especially to see the watercolor travel through the glue

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle (ART IN HAND)
    August 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    liquid watercolors and salt….a woman after my own heart!
    Another twist on this project that was a hit with my groups…scoop salt into ziploc baggies, drip drops of liquid watercolor in, watch it spread/shake ’em up, THEN sprinkle the colored salt onto glue designs.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    August 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Nope. We don’t wait for the glue to dry before applying the watercolor.

  • Reply
    Aussie Mum
    August 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    These look so pretty – can’t wait to try this with my 3 year old.

  • Reply
    Sarah Lewis
    August 7, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    So fun. I can’t wait to try this with my daughter!

  • Reply
    Funkolicious Creations
    August 8, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I think all of your ideas are great! I came across your blog when I was starting my own and love what you are doing over there. It’s great how you have put everything together and how you have taken the time to document it all. Thanks for being an inspiration.

  • Reply
    Amanda Dittlinger
    August 8, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I love reading about all of your ideas. I try to take some of them and simplify them for my 1.5 year olds. Do you know of a book/blog that targets this age group? I’m so excited about art and I want to share with my twins. We did a simple glue project the other day and they got a kick out of it for sure. (

  • Reply
    August 9, 2009 at 5:46 am

    What a neat project. I’m starting a playgroup in the fall, and we’ll definitely be trying this. Thank you! (As always!)

  • Reply
    August 9, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I love this project– and truly love your blog, the toddler art group sounds amazing and I”m hoping to start one up this fall. I’m due with baby two this week so it probably won’t be until late fall, we’ll see!
    I’m wondering if you’ve ever found a parent, teacher or books that have similar approach as you do to art to dance and movement? I’d love to start a fun, creative movement based toddler group but am not sure how to start. My daughter is almost 3 and all the neighborhood dance programs are very pinky tutu-ed. Any advice welcomed!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    August 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Sounds fun Julie!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    August 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Yes, two books come to mind Amanda:
    First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos by MaryAnn Kohl is packed with activity ideas
    Young at Art: Teaching Toddlers Self-Expression, Problem-Solving Skills, and an Appreciation for Art by Susan Striker is great for the hows and whys and developmental stages

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    August 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Hmm. There must be a more play-based or experimental-based dance class for the 3 year old set… Have you looked into ones offered by The Little Gym (or similar)? I came across an article a while back about a neat preschool program in NYC that incorporated experimental dance and movement as well as art. I know it won’t solve your problem of a class for your daughter, but it was interesting to read. I’d be happy to send it to you if you e-mail me ([email protected]) with your address.

  • Reply
    Environmentally Friendly - Healthy Lifestyle and Nutrition tips for Healthy Homes
    August 10, 2009 at 7:01 am

    […] out The Artful Parents creative take on watercolors, which sounds like a great rainy-day […]

  • Reply
    August 10, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Hi! We really loved your post and decided to feature it as a part of our Mom Blog Round-Up over at KiwiLog. Cheers!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2009 at 6:35 am

    I think you have said before but I am not sure if I can search your blog…what type of liquid watercolors do you use? I definitely need to get some and this project would be so fun for my boys.

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle (ART IN HAND)
    August 11, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I know of someone here in Northern Virginia who is doing this sort of thing, but I don’t know where you are located. Inquire with Miss Amanda (she is wonderful) at [email protected]

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    August 11, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I use colorations liquid watercolors from Discount School Supply:
    I didn’t think about the search the blog aspect — I’m sure that’s something I could add to the sidebar. I always just use google if I’m looking for something I’ve done in the past (i.e. liquid watercolors + artful parent) and that’s worked well for me, but I can look into adding a search function to my blog.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    We did this yesterday, after I read your blog this week. Thanks so much for the great idea, my kids LOVED it!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2009 at 6:35 am

    WOW! Those are beautiful. I am going to try this tomorrow! I think my 2.5 yo will enjoy it and we have not painted in awhile. Thanks (as always) for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lisa Anne
    August 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    I love this!! This is such a great idea. I’m going to try this tomorrow. I really think my son will enjoy doing this!! I’m so your newest follower!!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I just discovered your blog in Parents Magazine and am soo excited! Love all these cool projects! I wonder if watercolor paper works for this? Anyone tried that yet?

  • Reply
    September 9, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Have you looked into Music Together? ( My son and I start our first class next week. This is their philosophy:
    Music Together classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning.

  • Reply
    dundee writer
    September 9, 2009 at 10:03 am

    We used watercolor paper when we tried this and it worked great. You definitely need something heavy. My son (and husband!) loved this project. Now when we get the watercolors out, J also asks for the “halt”. :)
    I think I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now! You’ve been a great source of inspiration for creative play. My friends and I are hoping to start our own toddler art group this fall. Wish us luck!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Hi I read about your blog from the website on educational art and craft! I will try this out for sure! I am writing to you from Kuala Lumpur and have sent on to my mother’s group your very interesting blog! Well done and I look forward to peeking into it whenever I find d time! Love your “play tent!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2011 at 8:11 am

    This is a great project – thank you!! –

  • Reply
    Anna - the Measured Mom
    June 14, 2013 at 6:48 am

    What a fun idea! I posted about it here:

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