Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Salt Writing Practice

While volunteering in Mia's first grade class, I noticed some small plastic tubs, each containing a small amount of sand. One child had written her name in the sand. This seemed like something I could easily "hack," and I was hoping it would get Logan interested in practicing his letters.

So I found one of many small wooden trays that we have scattered throughout the house (This one happened to come with something Melissa and Doug-related in it -- wooden beads, perhaps?) and added some salt. Why salt? Well, I don't normally have sand readily available, but salt I definitely have plenty of. (I usually buy the biggest carton I can find since we make so much play dough.)

Next, I scrounged through our alphabet magnets and pulled out one for each letter. I set them on the table and showed him how he use each magnet as a guide. I demonstrated writing the letter in the salt and then shaking the tray gently to clear it.

{He loves the tactile element.}

It worked great! He was excited and actually sat long enough to practice 21 out of 26 letters, which is darn good for someone with the attention span of a goldfish. (Note: I am not insulting my kid, here, merely pointing out what it is like to try to get a four-year-old boy to do anything that seems remotely educational.)

Once Mia got home from school, she seemed excited by the salt tray, too. She used it to practice her spelling words, which was great. The only downside was that left unattended for too long, Logan started playing in the salt the way he plays with rice and things got a bit messy. Fortunately, salt is easy to clean up. I can't say the same for sand in my dining room, though, so I am glad I went with salt!

Looking for more fun stuff to do with salt? You might like:

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