Erupting Salt Art – Name Recognition and Learning Numbers

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I saw a post from one of my frequently visited sites Learn Play Imagine where they made Erupting Watercolor Art. I loved the idea and really wanted to try it with our little gnomes. As mentioned by LPI, it is a fun activity that also helps develop fine motor skills. Tots are strengthening the muscles in their pencil-holding hands, practicing concentration skills by controlling the flow of the liquid through the eye droppers.

Meanwhile, as if that’s not a sensory overload as is…I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice name recognition and numbers. I remember reading that designs with lines work better with this so I thought letters and numbers would be perfect!

Materials:

  • Salt – I used 1/4 cup of salt
  • Baking Soda (bicarb) – 1/4 cup
  • Pipettes or eye droppers
  • Containers – to hold your colors
  • Food coloring
  • Vinegar – 1 tbsp per color
  • White glue – Elmer’s
  • Paper – thick watercolor paper preferred

Quick note: I didn’t end up using all of my salt+bicarb mix so you can definitely use less. Just use 1:1 ratio. It just depends how much you plan on using.

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I wrote out their names with the glue and also drew some simple pictures. You can have your child do this part too if you’d like.

Then I had them sprinkle my salt+baking soda mix (premixed in a small bowl) onto the glue. I helped them make sure it’s completely covered.

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Watch out! It does get a bit messy 🙂

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Then I helped them shake off the excess back into the bowl. Once that’s done, I had them start piping colors onto the glue. I taught them by demonstrating it’s better to drop a little bit of liquid at a time. You can see the colors being absorbed into the lines of glue. However, kids will be kids and they are still practicing their fine motor skills. They will end up squeezing all the colors out at one point! With my 23mo, I just put less liquid colors in her dropper. 🙂

It helps to keep paper towels handy to help absorb the excess liquid.

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Here are the numbers! So pretty!!

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As mentioned earlier, have paper towels nearby to blot the excess water. Place them somewhere safe to dry. I hung ours up on a string to dry outside 🙂 If it’s still dripping, make sure you have something below to catch the drips! Food coloring can still stain!

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