STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and it’s an approach to learning that focuses on the development of key skills like problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. Offering STEM activities for kids has become extremely popular in Australian schools as it helps prepare children for the modern world, encouraging them to be flexible, observant and decisive, with an enhanced ability to communicate and navigate change.

How to Make a Raised Salt Painting

Looking for a super STEM activity for kids? This easy hands-on project combines art and science, encourages experimentation, and is a ton of messy fun! Little ones can express themselves, unleash their creativity, and play around with mixing and matching colours. They’ll also learn a lot, observing a special process known as hygroscopic absorption where the salt crystals absorb the watercolour paint. It’s like magic, but better – it’s science! Add an extra educational element by getting kids to draw shapes, and write numbers and letters for their salt and glue designs. It’s always a good idea to get them practising their fine motor skills.

What you’ll need for salt painting STEM activity includes salt, water paint and cardboard.

What You'll Need

Salt painting ideas: write your name, make patterns, or try drawing fun shapes.

Step 1: Before you start, cover your workspace in newspaper or use a messy mat to avoid mess and spills. Then sketch out a design on a piece of cardboard with a lead pencil. You could write your name, make swirls and curls, or try drawing fun shapes, like moons and stars.

Squeeze glue onto your design to make a salt painting.

Step 2: Using your pencil lines as a guide, carefully squeeze craft glue onto the cardboard, re-creating your design in glue.

Next step to making your salt painting is to pour the salt on top of the glue.

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Step 3: Sprinkle glue with a good amount of salt. Carefully shake off any excess salt. (Note: You don’t need to wait for the glue to dry before continuing to the next step.)

Use water and Officeworks watercolour paint to create your salt painting.

Step 4: Now for the science in the STEM activities bit: take a paintbrush, dip it in water and then load up with some watercolour paint. Dab your design and watch as the salt crystals absorb the paint. Continue dabbing your salt and glue with paint in many different colours.

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Raised salt paintings is an easy – and beautiful – STEM activity to do with your kids.

Step 5: Set aside your artwork to dry. This may take a day or two.

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