Rainbow Salt Tray

BY ON Jun 5, 2012
Pre writing activities

Rainbow Salt Tray is a fun and inviting pre-writing activity.


Why would you need crayons, textas, pencils and paper to draw when you can have more fun with a Rainbow Salt Tray!  Draw pictures, create patterns and practise writing your name with this simple to make Rainbow Salt Tray.  The greatest thing about a Rainbow Salt Tray is that it is cheap to set up, educational, you will find all the items around the home and it will entertain the littlies for hours!


A Rainbow Salt Tray is a great activity for kids of all ages, my 22 month old had a go and my 6 year old also had a play.  I just adapted and encouraged some ideas for them to try as they played.


What you will need?


You will need 5 basic things to create your very own Rainbow Salt Tray: about 100g cooking salt, sticky tape, coloured paper, a tray (see below for some ideas) and a paint brush.

  1. Cut the paper to fit and cover the base of the tray in order of the colours of a rainbow.
  2. Place sticky tape over the joins of the paper to avoid the salt moving underneath the coloured paper.
  3. Cover the paper lightly with salt.


Tip: Only a small amount of salt is required for this activity as too much can make it harder to see the drawings.  You can also make your tray any colour you would like, possibly your child’s favourite colour, whatever motivates or interests them!


Some ideas to use for a tray:

  • The lid to a plastic tub or container.
  • A cardboard box with the side cut down to size if needed.
  • A medium to large plastic container that has low sides.


Let’s Play 

There are SO MANY things you can do with a Rainbow Salt Tray – here are a few ideas to try!


The Rainbow Salt Tray is a great activity for Miss 4 to practise writing her name and for Miss 22 months exploring the cause and effect of what happens when using the paint brush in the salt.  I think the look on her face says it all – FUN!


The Rainbow Salt Tray is a fabulous motivator to get kids who need that extra support to learn how to write their names.  The fun is watching the colours come through when writing and drawing in the salt.


Let’s Learn 


Miss 4 loves her numbers at the moment but is reluctant to try and write the ‘more difficult’ shape numbers such as 2 and 5.  She was more willing to have a go in the salt tray because she could so easily shake the tray and try again!  I also lightly formed their shaped in the salt for her to copy and trace over.

Miss 6 practising her current sight words, no boring paper and pencils here!


Let’s Explore 


The Rainbow Salt Tray is great for encouraging creativity, with the freedom to make patterns and pictures.


Pre-writing skills actvities


Shake it and start again!  Hours of fun!!


Learning benefits of playing with a Rainbow Salt Tray:

  • Creativity
  • Fine Motor Development – Pre-writing skills
  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Cause and Effect
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space


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49 Responses to “Rainbow Salt Tray”

  1. Sue Stirling says:

    Pretty amazing
    I can’t wait to try it out with children

  2. Jackie says:

    I absolutely love this idea. Mainly because it is a new idea to me, and I never would have thought of it myself.
    I would love to know what you use for your tray. It looks perfect?

  3. Rebecca says:

    That’s so clever and really beautiful. I’m definitely going to give this a go.

  4. […] love this idea for a Rainbow Salt tray from Learning 4 Kids. It’s so simple yet looks so beautiful and I’m sure any child would love to play with […]

  5. Rebecca says:

    Thought you’d like to know I’ve featured this on the Sunday Showcase. Here is the link so you can take a look. http://www.herecomethegirlsblog.com/2012/06/23/sunday-showcase.html

  6. […] you can still use code HANDS20OFF for 20% off!]  What do I Spy… ?I spied… a rainbow salt tray to practice pre-writing [and writing!] skills from Learning 4 Kids.I spied… a homemade […]

  7. […] some cookie cutters and other gadgets, see what marks they make in your carpet!Display a rainbow under salt in a tray for some pre-writing sensory play! [Learning 4 Kids] Similar to the contact paper art, only make […]

  8. Oh, Janice. This is deliciously awesome! I can’t wait to try this!! Pinning now so I remember to do it in the fall!

  9. Cheryl says:

    The dollar stores have the throwaway aluminum pans that I think would work as the tray?
    Great idea – can’t wait to try with my 2 1/2 year old grandson – short attention span!

  10. […] awareness – experimenting with shape and space   http://www.learning4kids.net.rainbow-salt-tray   Let me know how you go…. Mrs […]

  11. donna says:

    i have never thought about using paintbrushes, preferring the children to use their fingers for that added sensory experience!!

  12. I was inspired by your Rainbow Salt Tray. I just wrote a blog on all the communication actvities you can do with it. Just thought I’d share with you in case you wanted to check it out! Great idea by the way!!!! http://communicationstationspeechtx.blogspot.com/2012/08/12-communication-activities-to-do-with.html

  13. Kate says:

    Are you a Montessori teacher? This is so much inline with the Montessori method! If you are not, you ought to look into it!

  14. Wow… I just LOVE this idea for my 2.4year old and can’t wait to try this with her tomorrow. Love love love. Thanks!

  15. […] I first saw over at Learning 4 Kids. Mom had fun sticking the coloured paper together and drawing in the salt before handing it over to […]

  16. […] activity was inspired by this Rainbow Salt Tray from Learning4Kids, which is something we will definitely try out at some point.  Our version was […]

  17. […] faydalarına gelirsek  ( Learning 4 kids sitesinden […]

  18. […] I first saw over at Learning 4 Kids. Mom had fun sticking the coloured paper together and drawing in the salt before handing it over to […]

  19. […] saw some time ago this Rainbow Salt Tray idea and have been meaning to try something similar for some time. When C went to bed I set up this […]

  20. […] spied… a rainbow salt tray to practice pre-writing [and writing!] skills from Learning 4 […]

  21. […] Inspiration Comes From: Learning 4 Kids Teach […]

  22. Ashley says:

    I just love all the great ideas on this site, thank you!

  23. […] – coloured salt tray (idea from here) […]

  24. I’ve featured this activity in my latest Craftulate blog post on Larder Crafts for Toddlers. You’re welcome to see it here http://craftulate.blogspot.com/2013/02/30-larder-crafts-for-toddlers.html – please grab a Featured Button if you’d like to. Thanks for the inspiration!

  25. […] while at the same time having educational and/or developmental benefits. When I came across this_kmq.push(["trackClickOnOutboundLink","link_51416e9b94b3c","Article link […]

  26. […] rainbow salt tray that I found at Learning 4 Kids was so much fun and really easy to do. I cut different colors of construction paper to sizes that […]

  27. […] the place, but I will always remember the first place I saw it. I immediately fell in love with Learning 4 Kids Rainbow Salt Tray simply because of the colors.  I have been meaning to make a salt tray for my boys, but never got […]

  28. […] Assemble a rainbow salt tray.  In short, glue colored construction paper into the lid of a shoe box and pour a thin layer of salt on top.  Your child can form letters with her finger or use a paint brush or other tool to write.  For complete step-by-step instructions, visit https://www.learning4kids.net/2012/06/05/rainbow-salt-tray/ […]

  29. MsRebeccaBlack says:

    This is so simple. Yet so fun. Thanks for sharing! xx

  30. Cherine says:

    This is such a smart and beautiful idea!! My daughter loves rainbow art, and has been using rainbow markers!! She would love this tray!! Thank you for sharing it:)

  31. […] saw the Rainbow Salt Tray idea at learning4kids.net and simplified it a bit. Teach Preschool used feathers to write and draw […]

  32. […] 6 Things to Do with Salt and Kids from Making Boys Men Salt Dough Ornaments  Rainbow Salt Tray from Learning 4 […]

  33. Brenda says:

    Excelente actividad. Me encanta. Gracias.

  34. sharon evans says:

    thank you for such wonderful ideas , the simplest things are highly educating.

  35. resa says:

    fate brougt me here :)) lots of great ideas, but definitely gonna try this one first wih my 2.5 ds. Thanks!

  36. resa says:

    hi, stumbled my way to your site and found lots of great ideas, but definitely gonna try this one first with my 2.5 ds. Thanks!

  37. […] he doesn’t like getting anything on his hands. So when I saw the Rainbow Salt Tray activity at Learning 4 Kids  I knew it would be great for […]

  38. […] Display a rainbow under salt in a tray for some pre-writing sensory play![Learning 4 Kids] […]

  39. lukman says:

    Hi just tried the salt try. Added some edible coloring / non toxic washable paint paste to make it colorful.

  40. Maria says:

    So excited! I just made this, but I used contact paper (from the dollar store), instead of taping the edges, to cover the whole thing! It looks great, and I think it will increase the longevity of use even more! :) We are going to use this at our learning themed play group! Thanks for sharing!

  41. Anisha says:

    Fantastic idea.. Did for my 2 year old son and he loved playing with it.. Thanks so much ..

  42. Patty says:

    I love the tray, I had a hard time getting the paper to stay.. I got 2 clear plastic trays at the dollar store, purchased a pack of colored sharpies, made stripes with markers and painted the bottom of the tray with white paint. I couldn’t find white trays.. My 5 year old grand has played for hours..Hopefully her sister that is struggling in kindergarten will love hers as well.. Thank you for the idea, I think it will help so much.

  43. […] absolutely cannot take credit for this one. I found this idea on Learning 4 kids and fell in love with the easiness of setting it up. This activity is perfect for kids 18 months […]

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