Watermelon and Summer. They just belong together! The juicy pinkish red and green fruit is the perfect handheld snack to enjoy during summer. It’s definitely a favorite around here! Given that my children LOVE watermelon, I wanted to spend some time reading watermelon books and exploring some fun learning activities with this household favorite fruit. I set up a watermelon sponge painting art activity for my preschooler and she was absolutely thrilled that it started off in a way that involved her taste buds! This sponge painting art activity will invigorate the senses, spark creativity, and add in a little bit of math all in a tactile way!
Want even more watermelon theme ideas? Continue the fun with a full week of watermelon play and learning with our printable lesson plans for home preschool and home preschool.
Materials for Watermelon Sponge Painting
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- Sponges cut in various sizes of triangles
- White Cardstock
- Tempera paint
- Small paper plates
- Kraft Paper (optional)
To keep our craft table clean from any paint spills, I covered our work space with some Kraft Paper. I cut several sponges into triangle shapes, rounding the bottoms to give it the shape of a watermelon’s rind. Before beginning the art project, I cut a slice of watermelon and asked my preschooler to carefully examine the shape, colors, texture, and of course- taste! That was her favorite part!
I then asked her to tell me about the parts of the watermelon. After discussing the rind, flesh, seeds, and colors of this tasty fruit, we added pink, green, and black paint to some small paper plates.
We used a piece of heavy white card stock for the canvas of the picture. I prefer to use a heavy card stock for painting as it holds up better and allows for the art to be displayed without the paper curling.
I asked my little one to create a picture of watermelon slices from biggest to smallest. This really got her thinking as she carefully selected the correct sponges, dipped them into paint, and placed them in order of the biggest to the smallest piece of watermelon. We decided the watermelon slices needed to be a little bit darker, so we mixed in some red paint and touched them up a bit.
For the rind, we used a paintbrush to draw it on. Once the green rinds were painted, she noticed that we needed to add some seeds. I told her she could set the paintbrush down and use her fingers!
Using her fingerprints for seeds was probably her favorite part of the art activity because she got to get a little messy! It would also give me an adorable keepsake!
She loved the watermelon sponge painting so much that she asked if she could do it again! This time around, the sponge painting was more open ended, giving her free reign over her art. Child directed art is an excellent way to let creative juices flow. It also lends an opportunity to work on verbal skills and strengthen vocabulary while you and your little artist discuss their project. We chatted about how many sides the slices of watermelon had, how the sponge texture looked a lot like the watermelon’s flesh, and even how her picture was going to be a “watermelon party!”
Taking the watermelon shaped sponges one by one, she sporadically placed them all over in a collage and followed the same steps to add the green rind and black seeds.
I really liked how her “watermelon party” turned out because it was her creative work.
To extend math into this work of art, I snuck in some one to one correspondence by asking her to count how many fingerprint seeds were on two different slices of watermelon and make a comparison between the two amounts. Which slice has more seeds? Which has less/fewer seeds?
It’s always fun to start an activity with an idea and see where it takes you. So often, I find that our art activities can easily lead us to integrate skills across the curriculum.
What are some ways you like to integrate learning across the curriculum when doing art?
For more watermelon inspired art, vist our easy torn paper watermelon craft project.
Get a Full Week of Watermelon Theme Learning and Play
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Watermelon Seed Counting Game
2) Roll and Color Watermelon Seed Math Game
3) Watermelons on the Vine Beginning Sound Sort (6 initial sounds)
4) Watermelon Word Family Building Activity Set (5 word families)
5) Watermelon Fractions Matching Activity
6) Watermelon Life Cycle Printable Chart
7) Ten Frame Watermelon Seed Counting Mats
8) Growing a Watermelon Emergent Reader (2 versions)
9) Watermelon Letter Matching Puzzles
10) Watermelon Life Cycle Sequencing Set
11) 0-35 Watermelon Theme Number Cards