Handwriting Practice: Gingerbread Salt Tray

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Handwriting practice in the salt tray has been working for our family. My kindergartener practices writing letters and numbers and and we’ve just introduced a few sight words.  My 10-year-old does cursive writing practice and writes his spelling words in the salt tray. The delicious smelling gingerbread spices and the texture of the salt make this a great sensory writing experience. We have both our candy cane salt tray and our gingerbread one out on the table this week.

writing for kids cursive practice


Use the salt tray for…

  • practicing handwriting or cursive writing skills
  • pre-writing strokes for toddlers and young preschoolers
  • spelling words for older kids
  • sight words for new readers
  • a sensory play tray with scoops or little cars or animal toys

writing for kids


  • 1 cup of salt
  • brown washable tempera paint (about 2 to 4 tablespoons)
  • spices: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • a large zip-lock bag
  • a cookie sheet


  • Put the salt and paint into the zip-lock bag and work the paint through with your fingers. My 6-year-old loved this part. You can add more paint if you want a darker brown color.
  • Spread the salt and paint mixture onto a foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. For 5 to 10 minutes.  You can leave it in a bit longer if it still seems damp.  Warning: Your house will smell like baking paint. Do not be alarmed.
  • Let the salt cool. It will be crispy so put it back in the zip-lock bag and work it through with your hands again to crumble it.
  • Add the spices to your liking (just a tiny amount on the cloves). My kids wanted even more gingerbread smell so we added a second round of spices. 
  • Put the mixture on a tray and you are ready for handwriting practice!

handwriting practice cursive practice

WARNING: Children and pets should be supervised with salt trays. Ingesting large amounts of salt can be toxic. 

More Handwriting Activities:

handwriting practice for kids