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Coral Reef Water Colour Art Project for Kids

Hi, I’m Terri at Creative Family Fun and I’m excited to be here at Rainy Day Mum! We live in the middle of the United States, so we don’t often get to see the ocean. We do a lot of virtual traveling, where we use books and activities to explore the world. This time, we went on a fun coral reef exploration and created this fantastic Water Colour Art Project based on the Ocean Theme.

Pinterest Image for a water colour and salt coral reef that kids can create for a summer art project

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Coral Reef Art for Kids to Make

The book we used was One Small Square: Coral Reef by Donald Silver. One Small Square dives the details of a coral reef. We learned about the animals and plant life in a coral reef. We also learned about how they are formed and why it is so important to save coral reefs. This is a wonderful book but it is aimed at kids 5 and up. If you’re working with younger kids, Life in a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer is a great choice for preschoolers, and toddlers would love Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes.

materials needed for kids to create a salt and water colour image inspired by the book one small square.

After reading all about coral reefs, we got out some of our art supplies to make our own watercolor and salt coral reefs. The salt added a fun texture to our projects.

Supplies Needed for watercolor coral reef

A child painting a rainbow of stripes using watercolours.

How to Make your Coral Reef Water Colour Art Project with Kids

We used our watercolors, white paper, and salt to make our plants and animals for our coral reef. We started by painting designs on our white paper. We painted stripes, blobs, and curvy bits. There is no need to get into too many details at this point. While the paint was still wet, we sprinkled salt over it. When the paint dries, the salt will add a fun texture to your painting.

Coral reef picture created by a child in water colours with salt on top to create an effect with the paint drawing the colour out.

Once the painting were dry, we shook off the excess salt. We were left with a cool texture that was perfect for our coral reefs. We then used our scissors to cut our paintings into some of the shapes we saw in our books. We had large fan shapes, smaller blobs, tree-like shapes, and more. We even cut a few fish shapes. Once they were all cut out, we arranged them on our blue paper and glued them down. We were left with a perfect coral reef, that was as individual as any found in our oceans. And, along the way, we learned about the importance of the coral reef and the creatures living in them.

Coral reef art work created as a summer art project with kids.

I hope you enjoyed our virtual trip to the coral reef!

More Ocean Themed Arts and Crafts for Kids

Under Sea Painting

DIY Mermaid Tiara

Torn Paper Sea Horse

Crazy Sea Monsters

DIY Sea Turtle Stamps

Ocean Animal Canvas

Under Sea Clay Animals

Terri from Creative Family Fun

Terri is a writer and mom of two elementary-aged girls. She has a passion for learning and is always looking for ways to make learning fun. You can find her at Creative Family Fun where she shares art, craft, fun learning ideas and family fun ideas.

You can follow along on Facebook for Creative Family Fun. Or, follow along at Pinterest for a ton of fun ideas.

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