I love finding new ways for the boys to practice writing. Including a sensory element helps engage the boys in different activities. Often sensory activities are quickly rejected and it takes several attempts for them to be accepted. Our salt writing tray was different. It was a hit from day one. Freddie was so focused on writing each letter that he did not notice (and so was not upset by) the salt on his hands.
The tactile element had Freddie hooked from his first attempts. Whether using his finger or a cotton tip to write, he loved it. We began by practicing letters using our Hello Pear Alphablocks.
Our set of Alphablocks are perfect for learning literacy. They are handmade and just the right size for little hands.
1. Coloured Salt
Coloured salt was also a fun addition to our tray and very simple to make.
2 cups of salt
1 teaspoon vinegar
A few drops of food colouring
Add all ingredients to a sealable container, attach the lid and shake until the salt is coloured. Spread salt out on a tray to dry overnight.
Coloured salt will keep indefinitely if stored in a sealed container away from moisture.
2. Rainbow Tray
This is my current favorite and easy to make. Simply cut strips of coloured paper then tape the strip together down the seams. Attach the rainbow paper to the bottom of the tray and add uncoloured salt.
When letters or words are traced in the salt the bright colours show through.
3. Coloured Tray
The easiest, and probably best place to start, is just uncoloured salt on a brightly coloured tray. We don’t have any coloured trays so I used a piece of coloured paper instead. As long as the salt is not too deep each time a pattern or letter is traced the colour appears.
Almost any tray with a lip/raised edge will work well for a salt tray. We love using a wooden Melissa and Doug lacing tray or Kmart lacing tray.
We have been using a salt writing tray for over 12 months and it is still an engaging and welcomed activity.