When my students arrive to preschool each morning, they know that the first thing they need to do is to put their jackets and backpacks away and then come and join me for morning circle.

This is why I got a little chuckle out of seeing this little hand print in the salt tray before circle time began. Someone just couldn’t resist giving the salt tray a quick try before putting their jacket away.

I had two small salt trays set out along with a short, chubby paint brush in each tray and the children’s name cards sitting by the trays.

Because the children are used to using materials like this for scooping and pouring, I took a minute to show them how to use the salt trays for printing practice rather than for scooping and pouring today.

We talked about how you can use the sides of the brush to smooth out the salt and either end of the paint brush to print the letters of their names in the salt.

Each tray holds about one full container of salt. I will save the salt in a “salt box” for future printing practice. I could tell the children really wanted to scoop and pour the salt but I have lots of other materials they can use for scooping and pouring so I stuck to my guns this time.

We are spending extra time on our lower case letters and the children are all quite proud to show me how they can write their name with the lower case letters.

One of the children remembered how we hid our letters in the rice last time we did something like this and decided he would rather go on a letter hunt, so in the end – we did wind up with a little digging and scooping.

Oh well, sometimes you just have to let the children try new ideas their way and trust that in time, they will be more ready to try the process in the way you would like them to.  So we did a little printing, a little digging, a little hunting, and more than a little salt ended up on the table:)

But we will bring our salt box out again soon and try some more printing – the kids did enjoy the salt box writing process with a little scooping here and there along the way.

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