‘Tis the season for winter themes in preschool, and these mixed medium winter paintings are perfect for young toddlers as well as older preschoolers and kindergartners. This winter art project is process based, meaning that no specific outcome is intended, which is one reason why children of a range of ages will enjoy it. Not to mention they make a beautifully sparkly addition to any winter art display.
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Ok, aren’t these painting beautiful? The collage above are close-ups of a few finished masterpieces, so you can imagine how beautiful they are in full view. They sparkle! And for being process art done by preschoolers, they have a wonderful amount of depth that draws the viewer in. We kinda’ made our own little art gallery when we displayed these winter paintings in preschool.
Materials for sparkly winter paintings
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- washable tempera paint, paint brushes, and paint palettes
- thick art paper
- Epsom salt
- washable white liquid school glue
To make beautiful sparkly winter paintings
Begin by dolling out a few dollops of paint to each child. Because we had been studying all things winter in preschool, my students chose blue and white paint. I invited the students to begin painting, allowing them to mix the white and blue paint as they wanted on their paper.
This student made “swirls of snowflakes” like we had read about in a few books. I just love the selection of wintry children’s books available. We read so many and they extended our play and learning so much! In fact, here are the books we read to support our learning of snow.
Let’s just say that in preschool we read a lot of books. I mean, a lot. And the best part is that those books always work their way into activities like this one.
Before the paint has a chance to dry completely, squirt on some white liquid school glue. Squeezing on the glue while the paint is still wet will cause it to react a bit with the paint as it dries, changing the blue paint under the glue to a purple hue.
The students love this step because how often to children have the opportunity to just squeeze out ooey, gooey glue? And it makes them better writers, too, since squeezing the glue bottles strengthens their hand muscles.
Finally, sprinkle some Epsom salt over the glue.
The larger crystals make the salt look just like course glitter, but without the clingy mess. You know how glitter clings to everything it touches. Well, Epsom salt won’t do that, so any mess that works its way outside the tray can easily be swept up. That being said, Epsom salt is NOT edible, so like glitter, make sure no one gets a taste.
The best part of this winter art project is that with the right supervision, it is suitable for all ages. Even Kent, with me by his side supervising him, completed his very own sparkly winter art piece.
Luckily that blue paint is non-toxic. 😉