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Hidden Shapes in the Salt Tray

Shape Activities for Kids

What shapes can you find in the salt tray?  They are hidden under the salt; use your paint brush to sift through the salt to see if you can find them….

Hiding black paper shapes in our homemade Rainbow Salt Tray and searching for them is a fun, engaging and motivating activity for kids to learn about their shapes.

What you will need?

making a salt tray

For this activity we have re-used our Rainbow Salt Tray from a previous activity and added black paper cut out shapes.

Firstly I removed all the salt from the tray and sticky taped 6 main shapes we have been learning onto the rainbow paper.  Then I added the salt back into the tray again.  You will also need a paint brush for this activity.

Let’s Read 

shape books for kids

Before starting this activity Miss 2 and I read the book Play Shapes by Begin Smart Books, which is a board/foam book that has removable shapes much like puzzle pieces that are used to match the shapes on different pages.  You can see the black circle in the middle picture is matched to the circles to the ladybug, it inserts into place.

Let’s Play

hidden shapes in the salt tray

This was such an exciting play opportunity to learn about shapes for Miss 2 as she sifted with the paint brush through the salt to find the hidden shapes.  The concentration on her face was priceless as she tried to control the strokes with the paint brush.  Miss 2 also tried different techniques for moving the salt around the tray, some were more fast circular sifting strokes and others were long and slow strokes but she had every success in finding the shapes.

Miss 2 loves to copy and repeat words that I say at the moment so this was a great opportunity to continue to encourage this and say the names of the shapes she found.  It is also a great opportunity to count how many sides and corners some of the shapes have.

Let’s Learn 

learning benefits of a salt tray

Learning Opportunities

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

More Activity Ideas:

Exploring Shapes

Rainbow Salt Tray

Printable Dot-to-Dot Shapes Charts

22 thoughts on “Hidden Shapes in the Salt Tray”

  1. I love the idea of a salt tray, especially with rainbow colors! This would be great for me to do with letters for my 3 year old, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. This is a great activity because it taps into kids sense of discovery and they are much more likely to take in all the characteristics of each shape when they are finding them in the salt. Well done. Love this.

  3. This looks like a lot of fun & I’m sure my preschooler would love to do this while her older siblings are doing their school (we homeschool 🙂 ). I’m wondering, though, about the mess factor? Does the salt splatter around a lot, and how hard/easy is the clean-up? Thanks!

  4. I keep meaning to try out the salt tray, this has given me even more reason to, as my 2 year old is right into her shapes at the moment. Awesome idea!!

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Picture of Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.

I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.

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