Continuing on with our hands-on learning activities adventure, we did what we thought was going to be an easy art lesson, which is to study and learn about the colors of the desert. Well that part was easy, but we got so tickled doing this easy art activity that we laughed most of the morning.
Doing sand art gave us a huge appreciation and admiration for those doing professional sand art because it’s not as easy to work with as it looks.
Look at the supplies Tiny gathered up to do this activity.
►box or two of salt. I normally have a box or two of cheap Morton salt stored.
►food coloring. I have the basic colors and some neon ones too.
►several ziploc bags
►sandpaper. I used the small sheets we had, but this could be done on bigger sheets. I just used what we had, so I didn’t have to haul in anymore stuff to my house. But, the bigger pieces of paper would look fantastic for this lesson.
►pencil for light sketching and drawing, several paint brushes and plain Elmer’s liquid glue
►tempera paint for the colors of the desert
Instead of buying sand, we made it cheaply by combining just two ingredients, which are salt and food coloring.
Depending on how deep you want your color, you can add up to 8 drops or as few as 4 or less. We made several different colors and shades and put each color in a ziploc bag. We did this the night before, so it had time to dry.
Lay out your bags flat on the kitchen counter or in a hot area like the garage so the salt can dry.
The next morning, we had a bag or two still damp, but we proceeded forth. We’re not very patient people. If we had placed the baggies in the garage, they would have dried faster since the kitchen counter was a bit cool.
Next, we lightly sketched out some desert scenes on the sand paper.
You want simple lines and not complicated detailed ones to keep this easy if you use more of the sand than the paint. Or, at least that is what we experienced. If you want to use equal parts paint and sand, then choose a more detailed scene.
We found a couple of desert scenes we like on the internet and sketched them out quickly. Then we applied liquid glue on the areas we wanted sand.
Chose a color, snipped a corner of the baggie and poured the sand over the area. It is hard to keep the colors separated and it gave us a real appreciation for the detailed work required on professional sand art.
Add some paint to your scenes and remember since you’re using sand paper, it’s a natural textured background for the areas you want to leave blank.
We had a huge mess today between some of the wet dye and paint and trying to get the right colors in the right spots, but we had a ton of fun as we read more about the desert.
Hope your kids like this as much as we liked getting messy!
Grab Day 1: Make a Hair Hygrometer here, look at 365 Days Hands-On Homeschool Activities – One for EVERY Day of the Year for more ideas and look at my category for hands-on ideas for your unit studies.
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