Welcome back to our new blog where we hope to inspire, inform and share with all you ReCreators. This great activity is still being influenced by the crazy weather we’ve been having but this time we are using salt instead of ice. This has also been a great hit in our STEAM workshops in primary schools and suitable for all ages. There are many ways you can use the coloured salt once it’s ready but here we used it to create large collaborative pieces using circles as our starting point.

First you will need:

  • Salt (2 or 3 containers from the supermarket will be needed if working with a classroom group)
  • Chalk (the more vibrant the colours the better)
  • Paper cups or Ziploc bags
  • Gold or silver insulation foam backed foil
  • Circular shapes in a range of sixes such as plastic lids or bottle tops
  • Sheet of cardboard covered in our double sided white contact paper, cut to size for groups to work on together

Working in groups of 5 we pealed back the clear cover on the contact paper leaving a sticky surface to work on. We then selected circular shapes and placed them into the contact (each child was given 1 or 2 of different sizes). The older the participants the more detailed and complex the imagery or shapes can be but for this session the children where 5 yrs. Old. Cutting our gold and silver foam backed foil into small squares we made a ‘mosaic’ boarder around the card and the circular shapes. Imitating stepping stones each child then joined their circles to the others on the card.  The lids were then removed to reveal abstract patterns and shapes on the white surface.

Now it’s time to become chemists as we colour the salt with the chalk sticks. This can be done in paper cups or Ziplock bags, both creating different sensory experiences. If using the paper cups, a small amount of salt is poured in and the child then swirls a chalk stick in the salt, slowly transforming the it into a vibrant colour of their choice. If using the Ziploc bag method, salt is poured into the bag with a stick of chalk, sealed and then rolled on the table until the salt becomes the chosen colour. Once each bag or cup of coloured salt is ready, it can be used to fill in the shapes on the card, created by the circular shapes and the foil squares by pinching a small amount in between fingers and dropping just over the surface.

Deciding on what colour each shape should be can be fun, encouraging peer to peer collaboration and discussion. Large tactile images or individual works can be made.

More emphases can be placed on the shapes created to integrate it further into a maths or science lesson, but this is also a great way of exploring mark making if you are apprehensive about drawing or painting. The older the participants the more detailed and complex the imagery or shapes can be. Let us know if you try this explorative drawing and colouring activity and keep an eye out for our next creative adventure.

Until next time,

Deirdre

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