Handwriting Practice: Candy Cane Salt Tray

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Make handwriting practice fun with an easy salt tray.  Inexpensive and fun to put together, even more fun for kids to do handwriting practice (cursive practice, too) this salt has the fragrance of peppermint and is a great sensory experience.   

writing for kids

Ways to Use the Salt Tray

  • Practice learning letters and numbers for younger children.
  • Practice sight words for kids learning to read.
  • Practice spelling words for older kids. 
  • As a sensory experience.
  • Pre-writing skills for toddlers and preschoolers: draw lines, curves, shapes, etc. 

writing for kids


  • 1 cup of salt
  • red food coloring
  • peppermint extract
  • large plastic zip-lock bag
  • large candy cane for writing 

cursive practice


Put the salt in the zip-lock bag.  Add a few drops of red food coloring. You can add more if the color is too light.  Work the food coloring into the salt with your hands.  Add a few drops of peppermint extract, more if you want it to smell really pepperminty.  Work the extract through the salt.  

Place the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 10 minutes. This gives the food coloring and the extract some drying time.  Don’t worry if the salt looks dry and crumbly after baking.  When it cools, put it back in the bag and work it with your hands again.  My kids loved the sensory experience of touching the warm salt and mixing it with their hands through the plastic bag.  

Spread the candy cane salt on a tray and give your child a large candy cane to write with.  

Warnings: Kids and pets should have supervision while making or using this recipe.  Due to the salt content, it can be toxic if ingested in large amounts.  

This recipe and many more activities can be found in my book, available in print for $10.99 at Amazon, and via ebook here, for $6.99.

handwriting worksheets

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