J is loving learning his letters and in recent weeks he is increasingly asking us to make dotted letters and numbers for him to write so I thought he was ready for some salt writing. There are different substances from around the house you could use to help your child learn to write – sand, flour, cocoa powder, sugar, but this time I decided to try some salt. I decided that I would theme the writing tray to attract J’s interest so that he wanted to participate in the activity and that is how the Halloween salt writing came about.
Equipment for Halloween Salt Writing:
- sea salt
- red or orange food colouring
- plastic spiders
- wobbly eyes
- rimmed plate or tray
- letters for your child to copy
- paper towels
- zip lock bag
- small paintbrush
Set-up for Halloween Salt Writing
To begin with I mixed red food colouring in with the salt. I wanted a dark red so I just kept adding the food colouring until I achieved the colouring I was looking for. The more food colouring you add, the darker the colour. Add the food colouring gradually so that it doesn’t make the salt too wet otherwise it may not fully dry.
I then laid out the salt onto paper towels which I had placed on top of foil. The foil stopped the food colouring from staining our kitchen worktops once it soaked through the paper towels. I left the salt out overnight to dry. The next day the salt was still a little sticky so I decided to leave it for another day and it was fine. I would recommend preparing the salt a few days in advance so that you can leave it to dry properly.
The following day, the salt was dry and I put it onto a rimmed plate and added a couple of black plastic spiders and some wobbly eyes to create a Halloween theme. I used some cardboard painted letter templates and spelt out the word spider above the plate.
J absolutely loved his Halloween salt writing tray and couldn’t wait to get started. I had put a small paintbrush next to the plate so that he could use it like a pen, but he went straight into the salt with his finger which was fab! When he did try the paintbrush later on it was a little too small and didn’t make a clear enough path in the salt so I emptied some of the salt out and then it worked well.
I encouraged J to trace the cardboard letter first and then I held his finger and drew the letter in the salt (this was his first time of doing an activity like this and he wasn’t quite sure what to do). Then he copied the letter and drew it into the salt himself. He did a fabulous job. Initially his S was a C (a very good one at that) but then he recognised that it was a different letter and when he had another go he did an amazing S as you can see in the photos. His I and E were also really clear.
J loved drawing the letters in the salt and he wanted to write more letters, so he spelt out his name. Once we had finished the activity, I popped the salt into a ziplock bag and will then use it again for some more writing play later this week. I will definitely be doing lots more writing in a range of materials for him over the coming months. Don’t want to miss out? Sign up to my newsletter below.
Love it? Save it for later? Pin it!