Hidden Shapes in the Salt Tray

BY ON Jan 6, 2013
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


Find more shape activities & other ideas…..

Exploring Shapes

Rainbow Salt Tray


Available in Our Online Shop

Click on the image

Buy large activity art and craft tray online
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22 Responses to “Hidden Shapes in the Salt Tray”

  1. My girls would love to be little detectives and uncover the shapes. Cute idea!

  2. Erin says:

    I absolutely love this idea! And it could be used for so many things – ABCs, numbers, sight words, etc! Pinning is right now!

  3. Aleacia says:

    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! :)

  4. Ashley says:

    I love rainbow salt trays! Not sure why I haven’t made one yet. Thanks for another cute use for one!

  5. Oooh, I really like this idea. I found you at Link & Learn, and I’m going to pin this!

  6. Debs says:

    Fun, fun, fun! We’ve recently been doing a salt tray for learning names :)

  7. Kelly says:

    This is a fun way to learn shapes! My son loves uncovering things :-) Thanks for sharing

  8. What a great idea, Miss 2 loves her salt tray, I never thought to hide things in it.

  9. 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.

  10. Julie says:

    This is a fab idea! Gets kids guessing as well as shape recognition.

  11. Penny says:

    So much fun. I didn’t know learning could be so much fun until blogging. Honestly, I’m a better mum because I follow blogs like yours!

  12. Kylie says:

    Another awesome idea, I should make this up for Pebble. She has yet to play with a salt tray!

  13. Anna P says:

    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!

  14. Cam loves the salt tray. Will be great to get it out again. Thanks.

  15. Rebecca says:

    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!!

  16. Sugar Aunts says:

    Looks like so much fun, my kiddos would enjoy this one! We would love for you to stop by and link up on Share it Saturday! http://www.sugaraunts.com/2013/01/share-it-saturday-1-12-13.html

  17. Jennifer says:

    Welcome to a new Linky Party for Kid-Focused Bloggers. Monday Kid Corner is a place to share your kid-friendly activities and crafts. Please join us at http://www.mondaykidcorner.blogspot.com. See you there!

  18. Sugar Aunts says:

    We wanted to let you know we are featuring you this week on Share It Saturday! Stop by tomorrow an check it out. Be sure to link up some more of your posts…We look forward to hearing from you again!
    Colleen http://www.sugaraunts.com

  19. jaala says:

    I am going to do this with letter recognition with my 4 year olds :)

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