For this center, students will paint hearts using watercolor paint and then add salt to the areas with water to create a crystallized design. Students love the “magic” of seeing how the salt absorbs the water and leaves behind the crystal design.
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This project is great for elementary-age students. I use this watercolor and salt trick as a center/station in my classroom. It’s great for a Valentine’s Day classroom party!
To get started, have students create hearts with watercolor paint on watercolor paper (or cardstock). Either use liquid watercolors and select a few colors for students to use, or give your students a palette of traditional watercolor paints (in the trays) and have them select their own colors.
After your students have painted the heart(s) design they want, then they can pinch a small amount of salt onto the wet areas of their hearts. If the paint has dried too much, you can instruct your students to add more water. Then, when students sprinkle the salt into the water, they can watch as the water is absorbed by the salt.
Children shouldn’t use too much salt. I poured it out into a small container and told them that was all we had for the entire class. They were great about not using too much since we had talked about it. Just a pinch. Too much will cover the paint, and the crystals won’t really show up.
Thanks for exploring watercolor and salt trick. I’d love to see what you create if you decide to do this project. Please tag me @artwithjennyk on your favorite social media channels so I can see what you do with this idea!
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