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Salt Crystal Painting Preschool Activity

Painting with salt crystals is a fun and creative way to practice making observations with your preschool-aged child. Thanks to Coffee Cups and Crayons for the inspiration!

Elyse Handel, Early Childhood Educator at The Children’s Museum, explains why this is a great project for young hands:

Using squeeze bottle glue and pipettes to further strengthen young children’s fine motor muscles in their hands/fingers. This is a great activity for fine motor development.


  • White card stock
  • White school glue
  • Table salt
  • Eye dropper
  • 4 plastic cups
  • Food coloring
  • Spoon
  • Water
  • Trash can (or other large container)

What to do

1. Partially fill the cups with water.

2. Add a few drops of food coloring into each cup of water. Mix with a spoon.

3. Use the school glue to draw a design on the card stock.

4. Before the glue dries, hold the card stock over the trash can and sprinkle salt over your design.

5. Allow excess salt to fall into the trash can.

6. With the eye dropper, drop colored water on the salt crystals on the card stock. You can also use a thin paint brush instead of an eye dropper. Just make sure the paint brush is very saturated before placing it over salt. You can use liquid watercolors instead of diluted food coloring.

Try mixing the colors and observe the different shades.

7. Set salt crystal drawing aside and allow it to dry completely.

8. Put your colorful creation on display.

Consider making these changes and watch what happens

  • Experiment with different designs and colors
  • Try replacing the card stock with different material—cardboard, aluminum foil, etc.

Looking for more preschool projects and activities?

We've brought together some fun and creative activities for you to do with your preschool-age child. Check them out!

You can see all of our at-home activities on the blog or on Pinterest.