Exploring all kinds of shapes with salt box drawing

Each week, we explore the process of writing in our salt boxes or salt trays. To keep my students interested in the salt box writing process, I like to change up the tools we use to write with or the trays we write in or even change the materials from salt to sand or anything else I can come up with.  To promote time with shape recognition and drawing, I transferred our salt into boxes that come in different shapes….

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

I always tend to use a rectangular tray or box for my salt box writing but after a recent exploration on circles,  it occurred to me that we could use a round tray to extend our discussion on circles and to promote the process of drawing circles. I poured the salt from my other trays into our circular tray and then invited my students to draw up some circles…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

With every salt box shape we explore, I also set out the name of the shape on the table just as a way to connect the children to the shape word as they draw in the salt tray or boxes…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

I have been collecting boxes in different shapes to use for different games or collections of things we can explore with different shapes. The boxes I have collected are too big for salt box drawing but I noticed that the lids to each box would be perfect for the process…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

As soon as my students walked into the classroom, they stopped by the table to draw in the salt shape boxes before heading over to take off their coats and lady bug hats…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

As the children explored drawing in the different shaped boxes, I would drop by the table and invite them to draw all around the edge of their chosen shape or just talk about how the oval is long and narrow or the star has lots of corners…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

The boxes naturally invited the children to notice the shape and draw the shape but some of my students preferred just choosing their favorite shape and drawing a picture of their own…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

A fun and simple way to promote shape recognition, shape drawing, and conversations about the different shapes that we had spread out on our table…

Drawing in Salt Box Shapes by Teach Preschool

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By |2013-10-20T13:16:15+00:00October 20th, 2013|

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. Alexis October 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Any suggestions on how to collect or buy boxes in different shapes? I’m thinking Michael’s might carry something along these lines.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Lots of craft stores carry different shaped boxes but you could use a valentine box for a heart shape, plastic cake pans for other shapes, just keep your eye open and they will start to stand out.

  2. Nichole {youclevermonkey} October 21, 2013 at 2:25 am - Reply

    Great post. What a great invitation for children to explore different shapes. I’ve linked it up to my post on teaching shapes in early childhood –


  3. Scott October 21, 2013 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Deborah, I’m taken by the simplicity of this idea and the complex thinking it can spark. Sometimes learning activities seem to requre complicated and involved resources or procedures. It’s nice to be reminded that it isn’t so.

  4. Joy October 21, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Where did you get the boxes?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      This set of boxes all came from Hobby Lobby:)

  5. Sarah @ How Wee Learn October 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    What a great idea. We used soft sand in Kindergarten for a similar purpose, but I never thought to change the shape of the boxes. This would have been a wonderful thing to do to ‘spruce up’ those centers in the New Year.

  6. Amanda Lapthorne October 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    What a great idea. I think my kids would love to do this. It is so simple yet looks so fun

  7. Lisha October 22, 2013 at 12:08 am - Reply

    What a wonderful idea! My 2 year old son and I have been playing with salt for quite sometime and even yesterday we had a session with coloured salt. I think the colours in these shapes would make it even more exciting for kids. Jelly powder would also work well, adding colour and fragrance to the experience. Do give it a try!

    I hope to share some of your craft/art/exploration ideas as part of a Creativity special on my Facebook parenting page http://www.facebook.com/ConsciousParentingApproach sometime in the next couple of months – thank you for your ideas! Inviting you all to come say Hello to us too!!

  8. […] Salt Box Shapes for Writing […]

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