Add this candy cane writing tray to your Christmas writing centre for some super sensory festive mark-making!
Candy cane Christmas sensory writing tray for mark making
A sensory writing tray is a wonderful addition to a literacy centre.
The trays are good for very young children who are just learning about making marks all the way through to older children who are working on spelling.
The great advantage of using a writing tray is that it brings a multi-sensory element to mark-making and spellings.
see the letters
feel the flow of the letters as they write the word through the salt/sand
smell the herbs or essential oils in the salt/sand, giving an extra sensory boost to the activity
hear the word, as they say it out loud as they write
They’re combining four senses to help them learn the word/letter.
Changing up your sensory writing tray for each new unit or festival of the year keeps the activity fresh ad engaging. Here’s an idea for a Christmas sensory writing tray that’s candy cane themed.
:: shallow tray
:: red-dyed salt or sand (see below for instructions on how to add colour)
:: writing implements: a red-and-white paper straw, a red pencil, even a candy cane!
:: peppermint extract (optional)
:: printable set of candy-cane coloured alphabet cards (see below for details of how to download them)
How to make sensory coloured salt
Find a container to be your tray.
It needs to be shallow, so your children can easily write in it without having any trouble leaning their hand inside, and big enough to write a word.
A kitchen tray, a baking tray with shallow sides, the lid off a storage box or a cardboard box with the sides cut down are all good options.
Fill your container with your choice of material: sand, salt, sugar all work.
You can add colour to salt and sugar by placing your material in a plastic bag and adding paint or food colouring gel.
Give it a good shake and mix to spread the colour through the salt/sugar.
Spread it out on your tray and leave it to dry over night.
To colour sand I grate in some chalk and mix it in.
Add a drop of peppermint extract to your salt/sand/sugar to make the writing tray smell like candy canes.
You only need a shallow layer of your material – if you make it too thick it’s hard to see the marks and letters you make.
Then you can use your finger, a pencil, or a candy cane to make marks and write in your tray.
Sensory writing activities
You can use your candy cane sensory writing tray in many ways::: Younger children can make marks, patterns, or single letters
:: Drawing shapes, squiggles, and zigzags in the tray helps children get to grips with holding a pen
:: They can learn to write their own name
:: Older children can use the tray as a multi-sensory and fun alternative to pencil and paper to practise spelling
:: You can use my candy cane alphabet and number printables alongside your writing tray to make letters, numbers and words to copy
More candy cane themed activities
This teaching kit gives you everything you need to teach an engaging program of activities all based around candy canes.
With ideas for math, literacy, science, play, sensory, arts and crafts your children will love learning all through the holiday season.
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