TEXTURE INVESTIGATION – Exploring Paint and Texture

Children explore a variety of ways to make texture with paint by mixing it with things such as salt, coconut and hamster shavings, and applying it with different textured surfaces, then they use what they have learned to create a texture painting.

Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 1


Language Arts
Visual Arts


bumpy create explore feeling rough smooth soft texture touch


Crayola Washable Paint Crayola Paintbrushes - 5 Count Crayola Doodle Pad - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Recycled Newspapers Hamster Shavings Table Salt Shredded Coconut Bubble Wrap Small Rolling Pins String Hot Glue Gun Hot Glue Sticks Paint Containers Paint Trays Masking Tape Paper Towels

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TEXTURE INVESTIGATION – Exploring Paint and Texture - Step One

Step One

  1. Gather all the materials listed under MATERIALS.
    - paint
    - paintbrushes
    - paper
    - small rolling pins
    - bubble wrap
    - string
    - hot glue gun
    - hot glue sticks
    - hamster shavings
    - table salt
    - shredded coconut
    - paint trays

    - paint containers
TEXTURE INVESTIGATION – Exploring Paint and Texture - Step Two

Step Two

Set up Texture Investigation Centre

  1. Mix 3 separate containers of texture paint. 
    - salt + paint
    - shredded coconut + paint
    - hamster shavings + paint
TEXTURE INVESTIGATION – Exploring Paint and Texture - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place the texture paints, bubble wrap, rolling pins, paint trays and newsprint on the centre table.
TEXTURE INVESTIGATION – Exploring Paint and Texture - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Invite students to investigate and explore with the materials on a piece of paper. 
  2. Encourage them to create an artwork using the textures. 
TEXTURE INVESTIGATION – Exploring Paint and Texture - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Invite children to share their work and talk about what they discovered in the centre.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • create personal responses to the centre materials;
  • share their ideas with peers;
  • explore texture;
  • demonstrate a sense of accomplishment.


  1. Texture Walk - As a class go on a walk around the school. Look for textures. For example, the walls. Feel the school walls and talk about how the walls feel. Look outside at the brick walls, talk about how children think the bricks feel. When they go outside they can feel the bricks to check to see if they were right.
  2. Science Centre - Go on a nature walk.  Collect a variety of natural objects the children can observe and explore.
    - Tree trunks – bumpy, smooth, rough, flaky
    - Leaves – slick, smooth, prickly
    - Rocks – smooth, jagged, rough
    - Dirt – smooth, bumpy, soggy
  3. Sensory Bin- Make Goop as a class. Encourage children to explore, investigate and share their discoveries. Observe the children while at play.  


  1. Gather materials needed for the Texture Investigation Centre.
  2. Make texture rolling pins for the students to use. 
    - Wrap string around one rolling pin taping it in place at the beginning and end of the string.
    - Use a hot glue gun on another rolling pin creating shapes and designs on it.
  3. Create a 'feely bag' – a bag containing a variety of objects with different textures, such as a dried peach pit, a smooth stone, a bumpy, mini action figure, a piece of fake fur.


  1. Pass around the feely bag.
  2. Ask children to feel the objects and see if they can guess what they are. (Depending on your students you may decide to place one object in the bag at a time and then repeat the process.)
  3. As children call out their ideas write words on chart paper.
  4. Reveal the objects. Discuss how their sense of touch helped them guess what the objects were. 
  5. Talk about the ways the textures of the objects are different and encourage children to use words to describe them.
  6. Introduce natural texture (leaves, bark, shells, etc.) and textures you can create.
  7. Introduce the challenge. 




The Challenge

  1. Use your imagination and problem-solving skills to explore the centre materials.

The Process

  1. Plan and set up the Texture Investigation Centre together as a class. 
  2. Talk about each material you are putting out. 
  3. Have the children mix 3 separate tubs of paint plus one of the texture materials.
  4. Put out the bubble wrap and rolling pins. Talk about the texture they create. 
  5. Allow children to explore, investigate and create art with the texture paints and materials. 
  6. Raise questions about the textures you are using. 
    - What does it feel like painting with salt? 
    - What effects can you create with these textures?
  7. Observe and listen to the children as they work in this centre. 


  1. Ask children to share their discoveries with the class. 
  2. Ask the presenter questions, for example, 
    What surprised you about working with all the different materials? 
    - What materials did you like the best? Why?
    - What materials did you like the least? Why?
    - What does this remind you of?
  3. Encourage children to think of texture words to describe their creations.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the artwork, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - TextureInvestigation_tracking.pdf)