Pagoda Salt Painting!

Pagoda Salt Painting!

Hi pen pals! 

Welcome to Xi'an, China! Xi'an is the home of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. But it's also one of the best places on Earth to get noodles and dumplings (called 'jiaozi', say it like 'jow-zee'). YUM! Steamed dumplings, fried dumplings, and boiled dumplings... I could eat them all day. 

Sorry, I got distracted by all that talk of dumplings. I know I was going to tell you something really important and interesting... 

OH! I remember now. Did you know that Xi'an is one of the OLDEST cities in all of China? And one of the oldest buildings in Xi'an is still standing even after huge earthquakes and many wars.

The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

(The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Photo credit: Alex Kwok,

I bet you're wondering why this building is called the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda if it doesn't look anything like a goose! Maybe you're also wondering what a pagoda is. And maybe you're curious how old this particular pagoda is! Check out the free printables below to learn more and to make your own pagoda salt painting! 

Materials list:

  1. Download & print the 2 free printables below!
  2. White glue
  3. Salt (regular kitchen salt works)
  4. Watercolors (liquid watercolors work best, but regular is fine too)
  5. Pipettes (you can also you a regular paintbrushes in place of a pipette)


Step One: Place your pagoda printout on top of a workspace. Things are going to get wet!

Set up your workspace

Step Two: Glue along the lines of the pagoda (don't be shy, make your glue lines thick). Be creative and make any other criss-crossing designs you want!

Glue the salt lines on your pagoda

Step Three: Sprinkle salt over all of your glue lines. Tap off and collect the excess salt to use on future paintings!

Sprinkle salt all over the glue

Step Four: Paint your salty glue lines by using your pipette to drop different colors on to the salt (or if you're using a paintbrush, by gently touching your brush to the salt). Watch as the color spreads and mixes!

Paint your salt painting

Step Five: Ta-da! That's it. Your very own pagoda salt painting.


Now click to download the free printables and get started:

Make your own pagoda     The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

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