Need an easy art idea for kids? You will love this simple colorful salt art project! It’s one of our favorite ways to combine art and science!

The best art activities are open ended and use simple materials! You probably already have all of the supplies you’ll need for this salt art activity!

RELATED: There are so many cool ways to paint with kids! We have a great list of 15+ creative ways to paint with toddlers.

What do I need for salt painting?

Toddler Approved is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my Disclosure Policy.

Salt Art Project Supplies:

Want to see salt art in action? Watch the video below or scroll down for the full tutorial!

Video Music credit:

Prep Ahead

Before you get started, here are some important things to do first!

  1. Fill up each child’s water cup (half way)
  2. Open up the watercolor sets so they’re ready to go
  3. Give each child a bottle of white glue and have them open it and make sure it works!
  4. (Pro-Tip) Drop a little water in each color of the watercolor sets to prime them for kids.

How do you make salt art?

The salt art process is super simple, which is why it’s one of our favorites.

Here’s what you do to make this simple salt art project:

  1. Draw your design with glue on the black (or colored) paper.
  2. Drop the paper in a cardboard box and cover the glue design with salt.
  3. Shake off the excess salt.
  4. Put the salt covered paper on a craft tray (or a baking pan)
  5. Paint the salt with watercolor paint! Touch the paint covered paintbrush gently to the salt as you paint the salt covered design.
  6. Once painted, let dry completely.

See! Wasn’t that easy?

Do I need to let the salt and glue dry before I paint?

Nope! You don’t need to let the salt and glue dry on your salt art project before you start painting. You can paint the salt/glue design as soon as you shake off the excess salt.

Once you’re done painting, then let the salt art dry.

What is the science behind salt painting?

Salt art is a cool science and art activity! This salt art project teaches kids about absorption!

Salt is a hygroscopic substance that absorbs water. Hygroscopic means it attracts water from its surroundings.

When the watercolors touch the salt, the water is absorbed immediately (before the water can touch the glue) and leaves the paint on the salt.

Try This! Experiment with using more or less water as you paint and see what happens! Which one makes the color faster? Slower? Watch and see what happens!

RELATED: Want to try more simple toddler science projects? These 25+ science activities are so fun!

In addition to using paint brushes, you can also use eye droppers for this art activity! Just squeeze colorful water onto the salt designs. Check it out in action here where we tried Spring Salt painting.

Have leftover salt? Try making these cool salt crystals?

Do you have any other favorite easy art and science ideas that kids will love? Tell us about them in the comments!