Easy Salt Painting Activity for Kids

How to make a salt painting at home

This classic activity can be done with just a few craft and household items. It’s great for fine motor skills, and makes an amazing STEAM activity too.

We’re excited to share these easy raised salt painting instructions by Paige from Teach Me Mom.

One of the things we like best about this activity is it is so easy to set up.

Older and more confident children can even create their own glue templates, or design them for each other.

What you need to make a glue and salt painting

The clue’s pretty much in the name with this one! 

All you need are:

  • Kid-safe craft glue in a squeezy bottle
  • Watercolour paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water in a container
  • Paper
  • Salt

If you don’t have watercolour paints, you can also use liquid food colouring diluted in water.

A good way to prepare this is by filling an ice cube tray with water. Add a few drops of colour to each section.

Using glue for salt painting with watercolors at home

Salt painting step-by-step instructions

This activity can be adapted to suit any theme or interest.

For example, if your kids are fascinated by dinosaurs at the moment, they can make dinosaur-themed paintings. If you want it to be a seasonal activity, such as Christmas or Easter, it works great for that too.

Another good way to make the most of this activity is by using it to practise early numeracy or literacy.

Kids can paint along the glue guidelines and see the numbers 1-10 magically appear – or even their own name. How exciting!

How to do salt painting for kids

Here are Paige’s simple salt painting instructions:

1. Create a pattern or picture using squeezy glue on white paper or card.

2. Whilst still wet, pour salt generously over paper to cover the glue.

3. Carefully lift up the paper and gently shake to remove the excess salt.

4. Use watercolours and a small paintbrush to add colour to the salt and glue. Make sure the paint is watery for best results.

Remember to carefully rinse the paintbrush in between colours!

5. Let your masterpiece dry and enjoy showing off your homemade salt painting craft!

Instructions for watercolour painting with salt and glue

Questions to ask your kids about their salt paintings

Here are some questions to get your kids thinking about their glue and salt art:

  • Why does the salt stick to the glue? What do you think makes glue sticky?
  • What happened when you touched the salt with your wet paintbrush?
  • Did it make a difference how wet or dry your paintbrush was? 
  • How difficult was it to paint the salt? Was it quick or did it take a long time? Why?

A simple explanation of how this salt painting experiment works

This activity works because of something called absorption. Absorption happens when something takes in another substance.

Have you ever spilled a drink? Did you use a paper towel or something similar to soak it up? That’s absorption – your paper towel absorbed the drink.

When you do salt painting, the salt absorbs the watery paint. That’s why it changes colour.

The colour doesn’t spread all over the paper because it is absorbed and held in place by the salt.

Salt absorbs water because it is really attracted to it. It can also absorb water vapour from the air.

If you leave salt out in the open air on a damp day it will probably start to clump together. This is because it has absorbed water vapour from the air.

salt watercolour painting activity ideas

We hope your kids had fun with this classic salt painting process watercolour art!

If your kids love to paint, we think they’ll also love leaf painting.

Thanks to Paige from Teach Me Mom for sharing this awesome activity with us! You can explore more of her fun and creative kids’ activities here.