Easy apple salad spinner paintings that your kids are going to LOVE! Use kitchen tools to connect art and science.
Festive Fall salad spinner paintings
Some of my most frequently used classroom supplies: paint, crayons, and…salad spinners?!
YES! Actual salad spinners (the kind you use for drying off lettuce).
Salad spinners are one of our all-time favorite classroom supplies, and we always have several on hand in the classroom.
If you have a salad spinner, you’re going to love this.
Salad spinner paintings = fun for all ages
When I taught college, one of the courses I taught was entirely on how to teach Art and Science to kids (the dream college class). Each week, I led my adult students in many activities and they would always lose their minds over the salad spinner art.
Art projects are rarely (if ever) just for little kids. When doing these types of projects, make one (or seven) yourself, too!
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- Salad spinner – this works with any salad spinner, but we especially love the ones from Ikea
- Red, yellow, and green paint – I like having “regular” and neon of each color, but that’s not required
- White paper circles – we use the inside part of white paper plates, but you could also use thick white paper cut into circles
- Brown paper
- Green paper
Let’s get spinning
The directions are easy to follow, and make sure to have lots of circles prepped and ready to go because kids could make these for hours.
I’m not even overselling it.
Let’s hit it:
- Lay a white paper circle into the base of the salad spinner.
- Invite your child to add paint to the paper circle.
- Once there is enough paint to your child’s liking, put the salad spinner lid on and spin, spin, spin!
- Remove the lid and examine the paper circle (this is the best part).
- If your child wants to add more paint onto the paper circle, let them go for it. Sometimes our students love it just the way it is after the very first spin, and some like adding paint two or three times per paper circle.
- Remove from the salad spinner and let it dry.
- Cut a stem from the brown paper and a leaf from the green paper and glue them onto the backside of the apple.
- Repeat 700,000,000 more times.
How does a salad spinner work?
The short answer: science.
Whenever I have a science question, I call my big-brain-genius-scientist friend Mike and he breaks it down for me like I’m a preschooler. (If I’m ever on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and I have one phone call…I’m calling him.)
Salad spinners work well for art (and cleaning lettuce) because of both centrifugal and centripetal forces.
When the salad spinner is spinning around, centrifugal force is what pulls the paint from the paper to the sides of the container.
When the paint hits the side of the container, it stays put and stops moving because of centripetal force.
After doing this a few times, kids will quickly learn that the best strategy for getting the most paint on their paper circles is by adding the paint to its center.
Because of centrifugal force, the paint will move outward, so if the paint is only added to the perimeter of the paper, it will not add much color to the piece.
Any kids’ paint!
Yes!This project connects science, art, and math.
No way, José! You can pretend the circles are pumpkins, Earths, scoops of ice cream – the sky’s the limit!
Salad spinner paintings are fun for hours
These are something that we make and share every Fall, and we bet you will be saying the same thing, too.