Preschoolers love this Fall sensory writing activity (and the free printable pumpkin cards make set up a breeze!). We love any opportunity for kids to be excited about learning to write, and this checks all the boxes.
Why try a Fall sensory writing activity?
Learning to write is one of the most important skills learned in early childhood.
Identifying and learning letter names are equally important preschool skills.
Plus, learning through sensory-based activities can make these valuable skills hands-on, interactive, and fun for kids.
This Fall sensory writing activity checks all the boxes
Writing practice ✅
Letter identification ✅
Sensory learning ✅
Related: Our GIANT 10-foot coloring page banners are outstanding for coloring practice (and kids can’t get enough of them!)
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- Free printable pumpkin letter and number cards
- Salt – the regular, inexpensive tub of iodized salt
- Liquid watercolors or food coloring
- Zippered plastic bag – I use a gallon-size
- Shallow tray – a baking sheet or casserole dish work well, too
1. First, make the colored salt (it’s fast and easy)
In your zippered plastic bag, add 1-2 cups of salt (the amount varies depending on the size of your tray).
Add a splash of coloring, starting with a little, because you can always add more if needed.
Zip the bag closed and shake, shake, shake!
In seconds, you’ll see the salt become colored, and it’s fascinating every time.
Add another small splash if you need more coloring to make the salt more vibrant. Coloring goes a loooong way with salt, and it’s easy to add more if needed.
Pour and spread the colored salt into your shallow tray.
2. Next, write the letters on the pumpkin cards
Print off and cut out the free pumpkin letter and number cards.
Invite your child to take one card at a time and to write the letter in the salt with their finger.
Note: If your child is uncomfortable with writing in salt, provide them with a paintbrush and invite them to paint their letters. Painting with a paintbrush allows children with sensory sensitivities to participate in this same activity in a more comfortable way.
As they write, talk about letter names and the types of lines made when writing (ex: This letter has one straight line and two curved lines).
Extensions for this Fall sensory writing activity
There are tons of ways to pumpkin spice this up:
- Name a word that starts with a letter on the table (ex: “bear”) and invite your child to find the letter and then write it for extra phonics practice
- Make uppercase and lowercase patterns by asking your child to alternate between uppercase and lowercase letters when writing
- Practice ending sounds by inviting your child to name a word that ends in the letter they are writing
- Make an open-ended sensory table with your salt tray by adding open-ended props
Any that can safely use the materials!
After the salt is completely dry, you can store it in a zippered bag or airtight container for years.
This Fall sensory writing activity is just “write”
Salt trays are one of my favorite early writing tools because they’re quick, easy, inexpensive, and interactive for kids.
I hope your kids love these, too.