Let Your Creativity Shine! Cool Salt Art Inspired by the Sky

final salt art painting

Create the sky you see with your eyes (or make the sun that lives inside your heart) with this wonderfully sparkly art project for kids. Salt painting draws inspiration from the world overhead because the salt mixed with paint makes the finished picture glisten like rain, glitter like the sun, or sparkle like snow—sort of like special effects for the preschool set—making this art project for kids a favorite!  

Materials for Salt Art Projects

  • Table salt in a shaker or a bowl
  • Glue: white or clear liquid (optional)
  • Paint brushes
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors (use liquid watercolors and not the dry, pressed watercolors for this project.)
  • Tag board or simply paper plates (you can use paper, but the water-based paints and food coloring will cause the paper to wrinkle; tag board stays stiff and works a little better than paper plates, but those do the trick as well!)
  • Jar of water
  • A baking tray or art tray (this will help contain drips of paint)

Boy in plaid about to paint

Salt Painting Instructions

1. Place your tag board or paper plate “canvas” onto a cookie sheet or art tray with sides.

2. If using glue, squirt out a fun pattern for your sky. Don’t worry about trying to make perfect puffy clouds. Use your imagination!

3. Liberally cover the glue with salt and shake off the excess.

4. Drip a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolor on and around the glue; use as many colors as you'd like. The salt will quickly absorb the color, which is totally cool to watch! (You can also dip a brush in water and add it to food coloring to see what happens.)

paintbrush in action

5. Have fun and experiment with techniques. Tilt the tray so that the food coloring rolls around or use a brush to blend the colors to create the sky of your dreams.

6. Add more sparkle to your sky: Shake some salt directly to the food coloring. (The painting should be fairly wet so the salt absorbs the color.)

7. Conversation points: As you make your sunbursts and sparkling skies together, tell your child about some of the most beautiful skies you’ve seen or talk about a time you got caught in a rainstorm. Ask your child what kind of weather they like best.

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