Salt Tray

 
 
 
Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 (E was 27 months old.)




You’ll need:    

  • Tray, box lid or similar.
  • Salt.
  • Colored paper (optional).
  • Sticky tape (optional).
  • Writing implements like a pencil, paintbrush or similar (optional).



 

How to set up a Salt Tray:

Tape colored paper in one or more colors to your tray (optional). Cover your tray with a thin layer of salt. Offer writing implements (optional).

 



I taped one sheet of green paper to our blue tray. I was just aiming for a simple introduction to this activity but you can get as fancy with it as you’d like.

E started out touching the salt quite gingerly.

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

I suggested she try the upside-down pencil, and she did,

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 

but preferred going back to using her hands almost immediately. This time, she dove right in. She actually used both hands at the same time to make marks in the salt for a few minutes.

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

She tried different angles and got up to press her palms down on top of the salt.

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

After that, E decided to check under my carefully taped-down green sheet of paper 😉

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

It apparently wasn’t that interesting, and she soon stuck it back down and spread the salt back on top.

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

She spent some more time making marks and running the salt through her fingers,

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

before she simply dumped all of the salt on the table and put the tray aside.

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

She made more marks with big sweeping motions that turned into sweeping the salt off the table,

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

some of it into her palm,

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

but most of it ended up on the floor.

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.
 
 

The result: An empty tray, five minutes of vacuuming (E did most of it herself), and fun memories of exploring a salt tray.

 

Salt tray sensory fun and an interesting pre-writing activity for toddlers.



 

What I learned:

I probably could’ve done with less salt. You want to just barely cover the tray. The more salt you use, the harder it is to make marks that show the color underneath.



 

Additional suggestions:

  • Add different colors underneath the salt that your child can discover while making marks.
  • Offer a variety of items to make marks in the salt like different paintbrushes, feathers, nuts, sticks, etc.

 



Inspiration:

I saw the Rainbow Salt Tray idea at learning4kids.net and simplified it a bit. Teach Preschool used feathers to write and draw in the salt.

 

 

Have you used salt in a sensory activity? Have you made a salt tray? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!

 

 

 

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