You will need:
- White card
- Felt pen
- A tray – the lid of a shoe box will do
- A photo holder/phone holder (optional)
Step 1: Make letter cards
Cut rectangles of card and write letters in pen.
Use lower case and make them nice and clear.
It is helpful to put a red dot at the starting point for each letter so that your child knows where to begin.
You could make a card for each letter of the alphabet but when you start the activity begin by asking your child to practice letters that they are familiar with. Those in their name and those they are learning at school are good to begin with.
Step 2: Set up your letter writing tray
Place a letter card in a photo holder and position it at the end of the tray.
A phone holder works too or you could even use a blob of plasticine to make your card stand up.
If you don’t have any of these just place the letter card flat on the table next to the tray.
We used a wooden tray that was part of a child’s play kitchen set. The lid of a shoe box works just as well.
Step 3: Pour in the salt
Pour salt into the tray, to provide a thin cover across the whole surface.
You could use sugar, sand or even flour if you like.
It has to be something that your child can write letters in with their fingers.
Ask your child to choose a letter from the letter cards.
Place the letter card in the holder and ask them to write out the letter in the salt.
Remind them that they should start where they see the red dot.
Before writing make sure your child knows the sound of the letter. Maybe sound it out with them ‘a a a’
They can practice writing the letter as many times as they want.
Once they have mastered one letter they can pick another letter card and try a new one.
Once your child is familiar with all the letters of the alphabet and can write them well you could make cards with digraphs.
Diagraphs are two letters that together make a new sound, such as ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘th’.
You could also make cards with simple words and ask your child to try writing the word.
It’s a good idea to use rhyming words so that your child begins to understand how they can change a word just by changing the initial letter.
You could make cards for rhyming words such as cat, mat and hat or ten, hen and pen, for example.