Painting With Watercolors and Salt

Most children are introduced to watercolor painting from a fairly young age so they are at least somewhat familiar with using it.

Whether you are teaching your child to draw at home or to a larger group of children, watercolors are probably a staple in your drawing kit.

Easy Painting with Watercolor and Salt

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There are a few reasons why I find this a great material: Easy to use and easy to clean.

Fun Watercolor and Salt Art for Kids

It gives kids great practice in drawing and learning about different types of brushes if you want to introduce that, it’s easy to use – you can thin it out to lighten it or almost wipe it off if you mess up, and you can keep layering it to make the colour more vibrant.

Make a Heart with Watercolor and Salt - DIY

With this project, you don’t need too many materials and there are two ways to take advantage of the lesson – either add a layer of construction paper on top like we did with the heart, or just paint and add salt without gluing the top layer of paper.

Complete design of watercolor and salt paintings

I will guide you through how to do both of these methods.

Painting with Watercolors and Salt with Children

Before teaching, you will need to decide what you want to teach so that you can have the necessary materials in advance.

Create a heart shape with watercolor and salt

You can also give them choices and let them decide.

Create a simple heart with watercolor and salt for kids

In my class, I ask each student to start with a heart shaped piece, then I tell them that once they have created a piece like that, they can do whatever they want and it works out well.

DIY - DIY Watercolor and Salt Art

Painting with water color and salt

You will need:

  • Watercolor paper for each child, I recommend at least 2 sheets per child.
  • glass of water
  • The toothbrush comes in several sizes for each child.
  • disposable plastic tablecloths
  • cape or apron for each child
  • salt – (just regular table salt)
  • drag
  • colorful craft paper
  • pencil
  • watercolor paint
  • glue
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Beautiful Watercolor and Salt Art for Kids

Step by step guide

To start, lay down a tablecloth to catch the wet paint and salt.

Give each child a pencil, paint, water, brush and watercolors, along with paper.


The idea of ​​this project is to create more abstract paintings.

If they get caught up in drawing a specific scene or anything too detailed, it completely defeats the purpose of it. For kids who struggle with the concept of “abstract,” just tell them to focus on the colors and blending them, and not think about creating a specific subject.

Use watercolors

Add color with brush

It’s about color and texture.

I suggest that you pick about 3 favorite colors from the palette that you think look good together and are appealing to the eye, then fill the entire sheet of paper with those colors.

Step 1

Explain to children who are unfamiliar with this type of paint how to mix colors to make brighter colors.

Step 2

When you start painting, the color is often lighter and lighter, so let the color soak in for a few minutes and add more layers until you reach the desired color.

Step 1-1

They need to understand that too much water can be too much and will lighten the color, so it is best not to use too much water and only use it when necessary.

Watercolor and Salt Art for Kids

Add salt

Now, for the salt, you have to wait until there is enough moisture before adding it, otherwise the salt won’t have much effect.

Step 4

In my classroom, I find that if I allow children to add their own salt, they go overboard.

Step 3

Even with middle school age kids, which I didn’t expect, it was too much, and it took over the picture in a bad way.

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Drawing with Watercolros and salt - background

So I tell them to paint for a few minutes, then I start walking around with salt in my hands and when I see a wet area with nice, bright paint, I ask if they are ready.

Salt on watercolor art

Some people will wait, and some people will do. If you sprinkle a little in the palm of your hand and take a pinch, it is most effective.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the area and sit back and watch it work. You should see the dots appear and start to grow a little. If there is no reaction, it may not be wet enough.

You can ask them to add a little more water and paint and try again.

Art Projects for Kids - Watercolor and Salt

If you trust them with the salt, I would leave out 2 salt shakers so they can easily share if there are more than two kids.

Sprinkling salt from a sprinkler will work if the entire painting is nice and wet, otherwise quite a bit of the salt will probably fall off and not stick.

Watercolor and salt creations for kids

As your child plays with it a bit and gets used to seeing it in action, they will get a better sense of the texture it creates and how much they want to add to their painting. Sometimes less is more and looks nice here and there.

Ask them to blend the colors in at least a few places to make them more cohesive and not necessarily look “striped”.

Step 5

Another fun way to do this is to add water to the paper first to dampen it and then add a few drops of paint. This will help the paint to soak through the paper neatly, but it’s not easy to control the results, so you have to be willing to deal with that.

See also Letter P Worksheets for Preschool and Kindergarten

They can also add small shapes or other details to make the painting more interesting, like the swirls I added to my painting, but adding too many will take away from the overall look and texture of the piece.

The final step is to let the painting dry and then tap it gently to remove excess salt.

Painting with watercolour and salt

Cut out a heart shape from construction paper

To add a heart or any other shape to the top – Let your child choose a color or construction paper and give it to them along with a pair of scissors.

(I found this to be a useful lesson – teaching children how to cut out beautiful hearts.

Show them how to fold a piece of paper in half and draw a heart shape in half or just cut it out so they have a nice, symmetrical heart shape when they open it up. Many of the children I teach have never done this.)

Cut out a heart shape from construction paper

When the paint is dry, use glue to stick it on the heart shape.

The paint needs to dry before you can glue the heart on, so if they have to leave before that happens, just send it with them and tell them to glue it on later. (Or maybe it’s best to tell a parent!)

Draw a Heart with Watercolor and Salt - Art for Kids

This is really a great project for Valentine’s Day!

Simple painting with watercolor and salt for children

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Categories: Activities for Kids

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