This art activity is fascinating to children and beautiful as well! At our CEFA Early Learning schools children love working on it, from the youngest students to the oldest. All you need is glue, salt and watercolours, so give it a try at home.

Best Ages for This Activity

One to five (if your child is older, try it also – it is great for older children too).

How to Make It

You Will Need

  • Cardstock or any other kind of thick paper. You can also use a paper plate or recycled tray (preferably white or transparent) if you prefer
  • Liquid watercolours or you can use food colouring if you don’t have watercolours (even dilute them a little)
  • Table salt
  • Glue in a squeeze bottle, like this
  • Paintbrushes

Let’s Get Started!

  • Invite your child to draw using only white glue. They can draw something specific (like a car or a house) or they can make squiggly lines with the glue, as shown above. Make sure the glue is laid on thick, like a little cable, rather than spread.
  • Once your child finishes their work of art with the glue, put their work on a tray (so the salt doesn’t go everywhere) and sprinkle the whole painting with salt, completely saturating their glue drawing with the salt.
  • Shake off the excess salt
  • Dip the paintbrush into the watercolour, and very gently touch the salt covered lines with it. Watch as it magically spreads in both directions!
  • Let the painting dry (it may take longer than 24 hours to fully dry).

Learning Opportunities

This is a fun visual arts activity for your child. It is also magical to look at, and a great way to experiment with texture. It is also good fine motor activity, a precursor to writing.

As I like to teach our CEFA Early Learning schools Teachers, the purpose of visual arts is to invite your child to express themselves, to bring the inside out. Your child will discover themselves, the beauty they are capable of expressing through art, and that is an amazing thing to witness – enjoy every moment of it!