Preschool STEAM (for children ages 2-6) is all about having fun with science, technology, math and art!  There is no right or wrong way for children to experiment – the fun and learning comes from the doing!  Early childhood research shows us that little hands and minds learn best when at play.

For our January STEAM adventure, we explored centrifugal force with Salad Spinner Art!  I got the idea from Tinker Lab.

How does a salad spinner use physics?
Everything within a salad spinner moves in a circle as it spins. This means that the contents of the salad spinner want to move in a uniform direction but a force applied by the inner bowl of the salad spinner makes them keep spinning.  In short, a salad spinner uses centrifugal force to separate the water from the salad leaves, enabling salad dressing to stick to the leaves without dilution.  Credit:  Jeff Regester

Just for Fun!

View the video below to get an in-depth analysis of the Physics involved in a salad spinner.

Supplies Needed

Salad spinner with a hand crank
Heavy duty paper plates
Poster paint/tempera paint


  1. Cut paper to fit inside salad spinner
  2. Place paper in the spinner
  3. Squeeze paint on the paper
  4. Close the spinner
  5. Give it a spin – turn it fast for the best effect!
  6. Open and admire your art
  7. Repeat

Artists Exploring Color and Centrifugal Force


Artwork Drying in the Sun

Creating and Learning


More Kitchen Art with Round/Circular Scrub Brushes

Join us on Monday, February 24 for another Preschool STEAM adventure!  Location: Central Library Studio on 4th or Children’s Patio (as weather permits).  Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.