From: I saw this beautiful technique in an issue of Family Fun magazine.
- Watercolor paper or other sturdy paper.
- Watercolor paints or liquid watercolors (Click here to see how we made our own liquid watercolors from dried-out markers.)
- Paintbrushes. (These Crayola ones are my favorite paint brushes for kids.)
- Salt in a very small cup or bowl.
- Plastic tablecloth or other covering for your work area. (optional)
- Smock or bib for your tot. (optional)
- For the most eye-pleasing results only set out 3-4 colors of watercolor paints. (See Notes From the Trenches #1)
- Give your tot a piece of paper and invite him to paint all over the paper. Encourage him to cover all of the white space.
- Meanwhile, take a piece of paper for yourself and paint all over the paper. (See Notes from the Trenches #2)
- After you are done painting, but while the paint is still wet on your paper, demonstrate taking a small bit of salt between your fingers and sprinkling it over the wet paint. The salt will cause an interesting pattern to appear in the paint. Repeat a few times until you are happy with the effect.
- Give your tot a small amount of salt and allow him to sprinkle it over his own paper.
- Set the artwork aside in an out of the way location until it is dry.
- Once dry, brush any extra salt off the paper into the sink and enjoy your paintings.
Observations: After doing a couple of pictures my way, Sweet Pea decided she wanted flick her paintbrush to create splatters on her paper. This resulted in a way more messy activity than I had originally anticipated.
Sweet Pea loves art projects and this was no exception. We both had lots of fun and I would recommend it for tots (and adults) of all ages. 🙂
Notes from the Trenches
- If you let your tot use all possible colors, they merge together and create an unpleasant muddy brown for the finished product. I often let Sweet Pea use as many colors as she wants, but if we are making a gift or a special project, I usually limit her to 3. She never seems to notice one way or the other.
- I once read an excellent article about doing art activities with children, which stressed that an adult shouldn’t draw on or their child’s paper. I took a moment to think about how startling it might be if I showed someone a painting and they reached over and added their own marks to it and since then have always tried to demonstrate on my own paper instead of drawing on Sweet Pea’s work.
Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal)