Stimulating Salt

This week our mini Art Explorers have been getting to grips with salt.  We have been busy making Rangoli patterns using coloured salt and Diva lamps with salt dough. I thought I would include this in the blog this week as a few people have asked how I made them and it is so easy it seems only fair to share!

Salt is a wonderful ingredient for art activities with little ones because a) they love the feel of it and sprinkling is great for fine motor skills b) it can absorb colours with magical effects and c) it is cheap and easy to buy at your local supermarket.  So, here are a few salty ideas for you to try at home:

  • Salt Dough.  This is great; similar to playdough but it can be baked so you can keep all of those fantastic creations.  Children love to paint it once it is baked.  My own children made play food such as fruit and veg in this way.  A great exercise in observation as well as modelling!

          Recipe for Salt Dough

         2 parts flour

        1 part salt

        1 part water

        Mix together to form a dough…voila!  Once again, little ones will enjoy the mixing part. Bake creations for around 1 hour at 100°C depending on size.

  • Coloured Salt.  Place required amount of salt in a plastic tub, add a squirt of paint, put on the lid (firmly!) and shake vigorously.  Children will enjoy making this – they will see the colour gradually spread throughout the salt as they shake.  Spread out on a tray to dry for a few hours.  Once it is dry it can be used to make pictures using glue (such as our Rangoli patterns). For really little ones it is a great sensory experience without the glue.  How about hiding some objects in the salt?
  • Sprinkled Salt Effects.  Salt absorbs liquids and this can be used to great effect on a piece of art work.  Liquid watercolours work best for this but ordinary paint would work too.  Paint an area and then sprinkle with salt.  Allow to dry and shake off the salt.  Where the salt has been will be a lot paler than the rest of the picture.   This is a great way of achieving a night sky or watery effect.  ‘Magic’ as far as little ones are concerned!
  • Squeezy Salty Patterns.  Children can make a pattern using PVA glue and then sprinkle with salt.  Shake the paper so that only the salty pattern remains.  Using pipettes filled with liquid watercolour or food colouring, they carefully squeeze colour onto the pattern.  The colour will travel along the line of salt.  You will get some beautiful effects as more colours are added and they start to bleed in to each other. For older children this is a great way of practising letter formation.  NB: Children LOVE pipettes…every arty, crafty home should have them!  More on this in another blog…Happy experimenting! x

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