I recently introduced a sand (well... salt) tray as part of our writing program. The sand tray is a great sensory experience for beginning writers. Using the laminated copy of the alphabet (from this handwriting book) the children are able to practice their letter formation. I am hoping that the sensation of the moving the sand and the larger arm and hand movements made when writing in the sand tray will discourage some of the common letter reversals (d/b, p/q, s). And that by using the first two fingers of their writing hand the children will then use the same fingers when they grip a pencil to write with.
I have one gorgeous child in particular who will request to use the sand tray everyday, he loves the extra stimulation that the texture of the sand brings. He also loves using the brush and shovel to sweep up any lost 'sand'.
Ways to extend this activity:
- Use an ice-block stick to write with.
- Draw pictures or shapes in the sand.
- Use coloured match sticks build letters in the tray.
- Create sentences or words using magnetic letters.
- Write digraphs and trigraphs in the sand.
- Or... drive cars through the sand and bury them (a current favourite in Room 1).