Who else loves a simple kids’ art activity involving watercolor and salt painting, along with 100 days of school project idea all rolled into one?
If you do, then today let’s talk painting with your kiddos! I used to watch Bob Ross when I was a kid, painting happy little trees with oil paints.
I used to love to watch how skillfully he would paint, and layer by layer the canvas would turn into a beautiful outdoor scene. He really was both relaxing and amazing to watch.
For me though, oil paints were a bit too scary to use with small kiddos. So, I decided to start with a medium that was a little less permanent.
I purchased some watercolor paper at Hobby Lobby. The kids also had 100-day projects to do for school soon, so I decided to combine the two ideas.
Read on for an easy watercolor and salt painting tutorial that you can easily do with your own kiddos!
Product List for Watercolor Salt Painting
The materials we used are pretty basic. Watercolor paper, paint, paintbrushes, salt, and buttons, which were for the 100 days of school project.
The great thing about this art project is you can give them a little science lesson in the process. I’ll talk more about that toward the end of the post.
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- Watercolor paper (similar to the kind I bought)
- Craft paint brushes
- Watercolor paint
- Table salt
- Buttons (found at Walmart)
- Mod Podge
Paint your Watercolor Paper
For this art project, I just let them paint a background for the 100 button design. One chose not to use salt for her snowman project, and to just paint the background in a rainbow of colors which was totally fine by me!
I set them up with water, paper, and paintbrushes and let them get to work. We had old watercolors that they had gotten from school, so we were able to use them.
It was fun to watch them designing their own pictures!
Add the Salt to the Watercolors
Next, while the paint was still wet, we added the salt. Do not be like me and try to use a spoon to dump the salt onto the paper! 😉 I had a heck of a time trying to scrape all that salt off of the paper after it dried!
My kid had a better idea, he just picked up some salt with his fingers and sprinkled it onto the wet watercolors.
It’s funny how much you can learn from your kiddos! The heavier the concentration of salt, the more white spots you will most likely have!
Let the picture dry completely. Then rub the salt off with your fingers.
This is the cool effect that the salt and the watercolor give you!
Add Button Design for 100 Days of School Project
I had them count out 100 buttons and then choose a design. We arranged the design on the table first to make sure it looked good.
Then working in small sections at a time, we used a paintbrush to brush on the mod podge. We then placed the buttons on the mod podge to create the design on the watercolor papers.
One chose a snowman, the other an owl, and one chose to create icicles hanging off a branch.
You could use any design you like to create your 100 days of school project!
Watercolor Paint and Salt Science Lesson
A cool thing about this project is learning why salt creates the design. Basically, the salt absorbs the water and with it some pigment.
So wherever you sprinkle your salt will create whiter areas on your paper.
For you out there who love science, it works similarly in humans. When you eat a lot of salt, you get thirsty and crave water. This is because your blood vessels contain saltier than normal fluid, and the salt then tries to pull fluid out of your cells.
Salt loves to absorb water! To prevent this from happening, the body tells the brain “drink some water!” Read more about the biological process of increased salt intake at recipes.howstuffworks.com.
Final Thoughts on Watercolor and Salt Painting
Art, science, and a 100-day project idea all rolled into one! That’s my kind of kids’ activity!
If you’re already past the 100-day mark on your school year, then be sure to pin this for later! It’s also just a fun project to do any time of the year!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial on an easy watercolor and salt painting with kids activity!
Related Articles for Kids’ Activities
For more activities to keep your kids busy on a rainy day check out these two posts!
Easy Handprint Tree Craft For Kids and How To Make Easy DIY Warm Packs With Kids!
Thanks so much for reading! Any questions or comments, please post below! And consider signing up for my email list for kids’ project ideas delivered right to your inbox!