Salt Painting

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In this art meets chemistry activity, early learners discover the almost magical absorbent properties of salt while creating ethereal watercolor paintings. Learners first use watercolor to paint an image. Then, they sprinkle salt on the wet paint and observe. Use the provided discussion questions to encourage reflection.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 6

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Construction paper
  • Liquid watercolor
  • Paint cups with lids
  • Paint brushes
  • Crayons
  • Salt
  • Salt shakers
  • Masking tape
  • Butcher paper
  • Smocks
  • Small container of water (recommended)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
    • States of Matter
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access