My son is in preschool, and they have already been practicing writing their letters on a dry erase board. I thought it would be fun to continue this practice at home in a more sensory way. Let’s work on some salt tray writing as pre writing for preschoolers.
Thanks to The Pencil Grip for sponsoring this learning activity.
Salt tray writing activity for preschoolers
We are all about the sensory activities these days. Ever since I realized my son was a sensory seeker, I have been seeking activities we can do to meet his needs in a more productive and safer way. He loves when we do activities with bright colors. We also need to practice sitting still and working on our pincer grip as part of the occupational therapy my son is doing. This activity is a perfect one to practice his skills. If you’re into Montessori activities, this is a great option for Montessori salt trays.
Setting up your Pre-Writing Practice in Colored Salt Trays for Preschoolers:
What you need:
- Pencil Grips from The Pencil Grip
- Pencil (unsharpened/new) or closed pen would work
- Food coloring (color of your choice)
- Plastic bag with zipper top
- Alphabet Letter cards or blocks
Make the colorful salt tray for preschoolers:
Make your pretty colorful salt writing platform by pouring about 1/2 cup of salt into a gallon-size plastic bag, add a bit of water and a few drops of food coloring. I added some red food coloring, but as you can see it turned out more pink than red. And that’s fine.
Zip the plastic bag and squish/shake until everything is mixed. Add more water if you need to. Then open the bag and let it dry.
If you overdid the water like me, it might take several days to dry out if you just let it air dry. So plan ahead and start small, but add more if needed.
The fun thing about writing in salt is you have that sensory resistance and you get to “erase” in a fun way using your hands as well. Or a fun spatula like ours. Sensory writing trays are wonderful for preschoolers!
Practice writing letters in salt:
We have these magnetic letter flashcards that have big bold letters on them. I felt they were great to use as a guide for letter practice.
I thought it would be best to start with ABC and then we’ll move onto his name when he gets the hang of things. This will definitely be an extended practice we will continue doing but just after a couple of days of trying I got him to write the letter C and D in the salt on his own, so that was wonderful.
You may have already seen our mess-free fish painting craft using the lovely Kwik Stix paints in an earlier post, and these pencil grips are brought to you by the same lovely folks.
Why use a Pencil Grip?
We received all four Grip types so I will quickly tell you about them here.
The Original Grip is easy and comfortable to use, great for pencils, pens, crayons, and other writing instruments. It is the #1 grip recommended by doctors, teachers, and OTs to increase comfort and teach proper hand positioning.
The Pinch Grip is a more transitional grip that develops proper writing technique that encourages fingers and hand to rest in the proper position for gripping.
The Crossover Grip has added wings to prevent fingers from crossing over each other. It works with the body’s natural physiology to gently place fingers in the proper position for gripping. This is the one we tried first and the one in the photos.
The Writing Claw is a great way to teach children how to hold a pencil correctly and can help all children, including those with autism, ADHD, and learning or developmental disabilities.
This video tells you more about what Pencil Grips are.
Salt tray writing benefits
Why is writing in sand important for pre-writing for preschoolers? One of the benefits of salt tray writing is that it can help to improve fine motor skills. This is because the child has to use their fingers to trace the letters in the salt, which can help to strengthen the muscles in their hands.
Salt tray writing can also help to improve a child’s hand-eye coordination as they need to look at the letter they are tracing and then coordinate their hand movements accordingly.
Another benefit of salt tray writing is that it can help children to develop a better sense of spatial awareness. This is because they need to think about how the letters are formed and how they fit together in order to create words.
Additionally, children can also learn about different letter sizes and how they impact on the overall appearance of a word when they are doing salt tray writing.
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