Our goal is to foster children's curiosity by discovering materials in a unique way. We sometimes combine those materials with themes so that not only are they exploring the art methods but also using their imagination to do so. Like with most of the projects I do this one is layered with many steps to move through, exploring each material as they do so.
Most children have used glue to bind two materials together and most children are familiar with salt for eating and most children have painted using liquid watercolor, but this project puts all three together with the idea of a labyrinth.
I read the children the story about the Minotaur and the Labyrinth from Greek Mythology just to get to the thoughts flowing.
With the young kids ages 5-6 we just gave them glue to squeeze onto the paper while discussing with their peers about making a maze and how it might work. They might not look like labyrinths but the ideas are there. With the older kids ages 7-10 I gave them pencils to draw out their labyrinth. Each took their time to draw and share ideas about the trap doors and dead ends. When finished I gave them glue bottles to draw with.
After they feel satisfied with the glue drawing I gave each child a cup of salt and asked them to sprinkle it all over the glue so that the glue sparkled.
The last step in this process is to add the watercolor using a pipette. We really stressed how to be careful and just drip the color and watch it spread through the salt, creating these lines of colorful crystals.
The ooooohs and the wows of excited children exploring the materials is so delightful to hear.
They take overnight to dry and after you shake off the excess salt the combination of glue salt and watercolor leave a crystallized masterpiece.