Questions to Ask
When beginning the process, ask the children how the ingredients
Do they remind them of anything else? Examine each with a magnifying
glass. Ask them to describe what they see. How are they alike? How
are they different?
Examine the completed painting and ask the children
to predict how long it will take to dry. Where is the best place
to put the wet painting? When it is dry, look at it through a magnifying
glass. What do you see?
Food coloring, flour, and salt will mix into water and make a colored
dough. The fine particles spread evenly throughout the water. As
the water evaporates, the mixture dries and becomes solid again.
Salt forms into crystals as it dries. The crystals are shaped like
cubes with flat sides that reflect light causing the sparkle.
To explore colors and crystals
What You Need 3 Squeeze bottles
3 Colors of food coloring or tempera paint
Equal parts flour, salt, and water
Cardboard, wood, or old cereal box as a canvas
1 Large bowl
3 Small bowls
What to Do
Decide what type of measuring unit you want. (You and the children
might choose a paper cup, measuring cup, or jar. It does not matter
which you select, as long as you use the same measuring unit throughout
the process.) Ask them to measure EQUAL
amounts of salt, flour, and water and place them in the large
bowl. Stir the ingredients. Then, divide the mixture, and place
equal amounts into the 3 smaller bowls. Color each third with
a different color. Pour each color into a separate squeeze bottle.
(You may want to use a large funnel.) Squeeze the paint mixture
onto the cardboard, wood, or paper in any design.
Crystal: Crystals are solids that form when molecules connect
together in regular repeating pattern.
Equal: The same amount
Evaporate: To dry out the moisture. The water changes into a gas
called water vapor.
Funnel: A tool shaped like a hollow cone, with a tube extending
from the small end that is used to channel the flow of a substance
into the mouth of a container
Measuring unit: Any container can be used as a standard to measure
out equal volumes when the absolute volume does not matter.
Color the white mixture with powder paint. Does it make a difference?
Instead of placing the paint in squeeze bottles, you might want
to use it as finger paint. How does it feel? Which is more funfinger
painting or squeeze painting? How do the colors mix when using
the squeeze bottles? How about when you are finger painting?
Saturate a small amount of water with much salt. (Keep adding
the salt until it will not dissolve in the water.) On a piece
of black paper, paint (with a paintbrush) the salt solution. Let
dry and then examine. What do you see? Try using a magnifying