Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Colored Salt Fun! (A Review of 150+ Screen-Free Activities Book!)

Looking for a different way to make art and have fun with the kids?  How about making your own colored salt?

Fun with Colored Salt!

3 ways to have fun with colored salt
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Recently crafting with Chuck has been a tad bit difficult.  He'd much rather read or play with toys. Plus, he told me that he doesn't like painting or getting his hands dirty. Oof.  It was like he stabbed a paintbrush right through my craft-loving heart.  What's a maker mama to do?

Fortunately, two weeks ago we received a copy of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids to review. It's written by Asia Citro, fellow Rockin' Arts Mom and the author of the awesome Fun At Home with Kids Blog.  

150 screen-free activities for kids

The book contains SO many creative ideas for keeping kids entertained with everyday household items!  It includes countless slime recipes, play dough recipes, ideas for small world play, sensory activities, homemade paints, and DIY toys.  

inside of 150 screen-free activities to do with kids

After scanning through the book (and ear-marking several activities that I wanted to try), we we ended up choosing to dye salt different colors. 

Now, there are some moms out there who are whizzes at dying things with food coloring.  Me, eh, not so much.  I pretty much only dye Easter eggs... so I worried that I wouldn't be able to dye colored salt correctly.

Fortunately, I followed Asia's super clear instructions and after a couple minutes of work (and overnight drying) I had myself several lovely colors of salt.

(It was so easy I feel like I could dye anything now!)

Then, I created a sensory bin for Chuck to play with using cups, plates, funnels, spoons, bowls, and various toys.

colored salt sensory activity

We stationed him outside over an old table cloth and he just dove right in and created his own little world.

(Heh heh, do you like how his shoes are in there too?)

boy playing with colored salt in sensory bin

Meanwhile, while Chuck happily immersed himself in play, I also stretched my creativity and  had fun making some easy colored salt art!

easy colored salt art

I simply took a black marker and drew outlines onto paper plates.  Then, I snipped off one corner from a plastic bag.  (Be careful how big you cut your hole.  Salt grains are pretty small, so smaller holes are better!)

prepping materials for easy colored salt art

And then I put everything into a tray and began making art!   I filled the bag with a little bit of colored sand and carefully poured it onto my drawing.  When I wanted to switch colors, I just poured out my old sand and poured in new colored sand into the bag.

how to present colored salt art activity to kids

And pretty soon I had artwork that looked like this! 

easy colored salt art

Chuck wanted to try, so I gave him a plate to do too.  

easy salt art

And then, the following morning Chuck spent a half an hour (Whoa!) hiding acorns into a pile of colored sand and then finding them again.  (He was pretending to be a squirrel.)  

boy hiding acorns in colored salt sensory bin

This book is SUCH a great resource for anyone who works with kids.  The ideas are easy and inexpensive AND a ton of fun.  (And if you're looking for a unique idea for the holidays- What about a DIY Sensory Kit?  Asia shares the how-tos on her blog.)

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids can be found worldwide.  Here are some links below, but if you can't seem to find a copy in your country, email Asia at and she will happily track one down for you! 

Happy creating, friends!