‘Tis the season for winter themes in preschool, and these winter paintings are perfect for young toddlers as well as preschoolers. This is winter process art at its best.
With no specific outcome intended, these winter beauties still make wonderfully sparkly keepsakes. (We’ve also made some similar Christmas process art, too).
How to Make Sparkly Winter Process Art with Kids
Ok, aren’t these paintings beautiful? They sparkle! (Because of my “secret” ingredient). And for being wintery 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.
I am always impressed by how unique each art piece is when the focus is process over product. This is not to say there is no place for crafts in preschool (I have posted about several), but admittedly there is something extra special about process art.
With winter being the theme here, my preschoolers told the most intriguing stories as I asked them to share their paintings with me.
It’s important to understand that even in these seemingly simple paintings, important decisions were made. Important processes were explored. And important experiments were conducted.
Materials for Sparkly Winter Process Art Paintings
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- washable tempera paint, paint brushes, and paint palettes
- thick art paper
- Epsom salt
- washable white liquid school glue
The process behind this winter process art
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 by miles! In fact, here are the books we read to support our learning of snow.
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 do children have the opportunity to just squeeze out ooey, gooey glue? Usually, we say rhymes like, “Just a dot, not a lot”, but that’s not needed here. You want your preschoolers to squeeze hard and use a lot of glue. This is also what we did for our Christmas process art canvases.
Finally, sprinkle some Epsom salt over the glue.
Epsom salts have a larger crystal than regular table salt or even kosher salt.
Why Epsom salts?
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 (not the same as table salt), so like glitter, make sure no one gets a taste.
The best part of winter process art projects like this one is that, with the right supervision, it is suitable for all ages. Even my barely toddler, with me by his side supervising him, completed his very own sparkly winter art piece. On the flip side, this is just the kind of art my 8-year-old would be into as well.
I love it when everyone gets to participate, and look how beautiful they turned out!
Looking for more winter themed activities?
Here are some other well-loved, tried and true winter themes activities your preschoolers are sure to love!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.