Sensory Cactus Craft

Last year we spent spring break traveling around Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Mason has always been interested in the dessert and was especially so excited to see all of the different cacti! We have planted a couple of cacti at home, but my black thumb hasn’t been able to keep many alive. But now we have cacti we can’t kill!


  • Coarse salt
  • yellow food coloring
  • bowl
  • utensil for mixing
  • green and white papers
  • glue
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • rice


  • Pour coarse salt into a bowl and add a few drops of food coloring. I used a drop of red and drops of yellow but found you really only need yellow. I initially stirred with a craft stick but found using my hands was more effective.
  • Draw a cactus on the green paper, cut it out and glue it on the white background paper.
  • Put white glue around the base of your cactus. I wound up giving the kids a paintbrush to spread it around. Sprinkle your colored salt on top of the wet glue.
  • Dot white glue on your cactus. Sprinkle rice grains on top.
  • After your picture has had some time to dry, lift it and let the excess salt and rice fall away. You should do this step outside or over a trash can to cut down on the mess!
  • If you do complete the craft, I’d love to see it! You can email me a picture at!

Recommended Reading:

You can learn more about cacti by checking out one of these books available through our eCommunity!

  • Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich, available at our branches
  • From Seed to Cactus by Lisa Owings, available on Hoopla

Extension Activity:

This handprint cactus card would be a very cute option for Mother’s Day!