Upper and lower case letters in the salt tray

My pre-k class has made some wonderful progress on their letter recognition and writing this year and one way we explore the writing of our upper and lower case letters is through this simple salt tray activity…

I already shared this salt tray before but to expand on the idea a bit, we added two squares of paper in each tray and invited our prek students to use one square for the upper case letter and one square for the lower case letter…

The paper that is in each tray is just regular construction paper. I did not laminate this paper because it makes the surface too slippery for the salt to separate clearly when the children are writing.  It works better on the plain paper.  We have used thesesame sheets of construction paper for many weeks now…

I set out cut-up sentence strips with upper and lower case letters on them.  The children simply choose a letter then print the upper case letter on one side of the salt tray and the lower case letter on the other side of the salt tray.  This is a very simple process and my pre-k students are very, very good at it…

Then they shake the tray to erase the letter and start again with a new letter…

After they are done, they pour the salt back into the box and at the end of the day I stack the salt box, scoop, and trays up until the next week. We have the salt trays out every Wednesday during our morning center time…

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By |2012-04-25T07:00:29+00:00April 25th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. crystal@growingajeweledrose April 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Rosie loves drawing in salt/flower/any fine grain material. I am excited for when she is just a little older, and canbegin learning to write her letters ( excited, but not rushing it. She is already growing up way too fast) lol

  2. maryanne @ mama smiles April 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    We’ve done something similar with cornmeal using fingers, but I think my kids would love the paintbrush version!

  3. School Sparks Renee April 25, 2012 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    Deborah – these are great pictures. Adding a paint brush as well as using fingers is great for reinforcing letter shapes. I use sand which is about the same as the salt, but I never thought about the red and blue paper for upper and lower case letters. Thanks, Renee

  4. Bette Vaughan August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Will do this with my VPK class this year. Love it!

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