When I was a little kid, I used to love to squirt lines of glue across construction paper, then pour on pencil shavings and see my “designs” turn into a fuzzy wooden work of art. This is a version of that same craft using salt instead of pencil shavings. Salt is easier to come by, and it allows for a neat scientific twist!
By adding a small drop of watercolors to a squiggle of salt, you can demonstrate capillary action. This is the property of liquids that allows them to move in small spaces without external help. The same principle is shown when water “spreads out” on a paper towel, or a flower in colored water takes on the color of the water. The water colors aren’t only a science lesson, they’re super pretty!
Lay a piece of heavy paper (it can be construction paper, cardstock or anything else that won’t warp when wet) on top of some newspaper. With a bottle of glue, “draw” whatever patterns you desire. You could write a message, or draw a nice Valentine heart, or just some Picasso-esque squiggles. Make sure the glue lines are pretty thick, but not big puddles.
Pour normal table salt over the wet glue. You’ll need a lot of salt for this. Make sure it gets onto all the glue. You can do this by tilting the paper after the salt is on it. Then shake off all the excess salt onto the newspaper or into a plastic container.
Using watercolors, paint the salt whatever colors you please. Make sure the paint is nice and watery so the paint brush doesn’t actually have to touch the salt that often. Don’t let it get too wet though, or it’ll wash the salt away. I recommend experimentation.
I love the intensity of the color you get with this technique, especially against a darker paper, and the tie-dye-like effect. Happy art making!
Kids' work is to play. WeeWork is a Mommy Poppins series offering an easy daily activity for grown-ups and children to do together, making kids' work an important part of your day. We aim to inspire together time, creativity and fun using only your imagination and things around the house. You can see all our WeeWork activity posts here.
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