Monday, July 7, 2014

Zoo Animal Salt Painting for Kids

This week is Zoo Week and we are kicking off the week with two giraffe themed crafts that can easily be adapted to use with any sort of animal or theme.

To start off we read Giraffe's Can't Dance by Giles Andreae and then we did some giraffe salt painting! 

Giles Andreae is our Virtual Book Club for Kids author for July so we have loved getting to know some of his books better. 

Salt painting is easy and a lot of fun! It also is a great activity for building strong finger muscles, since involves some fine motor skills.

Materials Needed: 

  • Giraffe printable... or a printable for your favorite animal (printed on cardstock)
  • salt
  • medicine dropper (or paintbrush)
  • white glue
  • liquid watercolors
  • water
  • bowls (or cups for paint)


To get started I pre-cut the giraffes.

Next I gave each child a bottle of white glue and they added drops and designs to their giraffes. They wanted their giraffes to have colorful spots. My three year old had to be reminded not to just make the entire thing one big blob of glue. 

Next we sprinkled salt all over the glue using a salt shaker. My kids love to use our handheld vacuum so I wasn't too worried about the mess on the table, but if you are, make sure to put your image on a tray or inside a shallow box to contain the mess a bit. After the glue mostly dried we shook off excess salt.

Once the salt and glue was mostly dried (not completely though since my kids couldn't wait that long)... then we added drops of liquid watercolors (diluted a bit with water) to the salt/glue using medicine droppers and watched as the colors spread.

The kids really had to practice only picking up and squeezing out a little watercolor at a time so that they didn't completely flood their animals with color. We kept a piece of paper towel nearby to dab up colors if they ended up flooding the animals :) The paper towel quickly sucked up some of the excess water.

After their creations mostly dried then we mounted them to colored cardstock to display. We made sure to give them another shake in the trash before we hung them up to get more of the excess salt off of them.

My kids loved this salt painting process and are excited to try it with a few of their other favorite animals!

Ways to include younger toddlers...

I did this activity with my 6 and 3 year old during my 1 year old's nap time. If you'd like to try this activity with your younger toddler you may want to give them a paint brush instead of an eye dropper. Be prepared to have the giraffe (and your child) covered all over in glue, salt, and liquid watercolors. I know my 1 year old would've loved this! I prefer to do activities like this either outside or with my 1 year old strapped into his high chair. Instead of cutting the giraffe out, just tape the entire paper in place on a table or high chair tray.

If your child likes to eat paint, glue, and salt, try doing this as a mess free activity. Cover your giraffe in glue and stick it in a large ziploc baggie. Add paint and salt and close the baggie. Tape the baggie to a window or table and let your child do some mess free baggie painting! I'm sure the experience will be just as fun and field beautiful results!

Have you done salt painting before? Have any other tips to share with me?

Do you have any other favorite zoo themed crafts or activities or books you could share with us? Head on over to our Zoo Week landing page to see the other activities as we share them this week. Check back later this week to see our other giraffe themed activity as well!

Make sure to come back next Monday (July 14th) for more Giles Andreae book inspired crafts and activities and our Virtual Book Club for Kids July Blog Hop!

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