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ATK Kids

Kitchen Classroom 2021: Week 16

Resources to help kids learn in the kitchen—and make something delicious along the way.
By Published Apr. 16, 2021

Welcome to week 16 of Kitchen Classroom 2021, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly kid-tested and kid-approved recipe, hands-on experiment, or activity paired with a “Learning Moment” that brings learning to life in the kitchen.  

We want to hear how Kitchen Classroom is working for you and your family and what you’d like to see in future weeks. Please click this link to complete a short survey about Kitchen Classroom. After completing the survey, you’ll receive a coupon for 10 percent off at the America’s Test Kitchen Shop (restrictions apply).  
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It’s Kitchen STEAM Lab week and, this time, kids will use one of the most common kitchen ingredients—salt!—to create beautiful, colorful works of art in our Salt Art activity. Using the instructions in this week’s Learning Moment, kids can explore different types of salt and discover which work best for absorbing colorful paint. 

Don’t forget to share what your family makes by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #ATKkids on Instagram, or by sending photos to Visit the America’s Test Kitchen Kids website for more culinary content designed especially for kids, plus all of the Kitchen Classroom content in one easy-to-scan location. 

Here’s what’s cooking for the week of April 19th through 25th, 2021.

Salt Art

Kitchen STEAM Lab: Salt Art

In this week’s hands-on activity, kids will discover that salt can be used for more than just seasoning. They’ll use kosher salt, white glue, and watercolor paints to create colorful works of art. Plus, kids can learn about different types of salt (table salt, kosher salt, and flake sea salt) by comparing how well each absorbs the watercolor paint. As kids are painting, they might enjoy listening to episodes of our podcast, Mystery Recipe, and picking their favorite character to draw and paint! (Hint: Check out Season 1, Week 2 and Season 2, Week 3 to learn more about salt.)

What You’ll Need
Watercolor paper or card stock
Rimmed baking sheet
White glue
1 cup kosher salt
2+ small bowls
Small paintbrush
Watercolor paints

Learning Moment
Science (Structure and Properties of Matter; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations):
In this activity, kids will use salt to create a colorful work of art, but will different types of salt yield more (or less) colorful results? If you have different types of salt at home, you can try this simple experiment comparing kosher salt to table salt and/or flake sea salt. 

  • Divide and label one piece of watercolor paper or card stock for each type of salt you’ll be testing.
  • Choose a simple design, such as a line or a squiggle, for your test—this way you can replicate the same design for each type of salt. 
  • Choose one color of watercolor paint to use for your comparison test.
  • Ask kids to make a prediction: Do you think the finished pictures will look different or the same? 
  • Follow the activity instructions to create your salt art, sprinkling each design with a different type of salt.
  • When their experiment designs have fully dried, ask kids to observe their results: Do the pictures look different? How well did each type of salt absorb the paint?

Salt is hygroscopic, which means it's very good at absorbing water from its surroundings, which is why it readily absorbed the watercolor paint. Different types of salt crystals are different shapes, depending on how the salt is harvested and processed. The different shapes of the crystals affects how much salt sticks to the glue and how well the salt can absorb the paint. Kids likely observed that the large, irregularly shaped flake salt was often larger and wider than their line of glue, so their finished designs didn’t have crisp, sharp colored lines. The table salt began to dissolve in the white glue, making it less able to absorb the colorful paint (hence why the activity calls for kosher salt). For more information on salt, check out our article How to Season With Salt

Take It Further
Arts (Creating)
Our podcast for kids, Mystery Recipe, is all about the fun, fantastical, and fascinating sides of food. Encourage kids to choose their favorite character(s) from the podcast and illustrate them with salt art! They might create Mitsy the Oven Mitt, Oliver the Cat, Intern Parker the Pot Holder, Detective Hollandaise or even the host, Molly! Share what kids make by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #ATKkids on Instagram, or by sending photos to

On sale April 2021

Burger Box

Our May box includes everything kids need to achieve burger bliss—and much more! With recipes for Cheeseburger Sliders, Juicy Turkey Burgers, and Spiced Chickpea Burgers, plus DIY ketchup, pickles, and burger sauces (mixed up with the included mini whisk), there’s a burger combo for everyone! After you eat, play Burger Thrown Down, our fast-paced, family-friendly card game. On sale through the end of April, this box arrives in mid-May.  
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Catching up on Kitchen Classroom? Find previous weeks using the links below: