Activity idea: Sand letters

SandDrawing-300x169Tracing letters in salt, sugar, or sand is fun sensory play that improves hand-eye coordination for prekindergartners and helps develop early penmanship and important literacy skills.


  • Shallow baking pan
  • Salt, sugar, or sand
  • Pencil or dowel (optional)


  • Pour just enough of the salt, sugar, or sand into a shallow pan to create a thin layer that covers the bottom of the pan. You should be able to use your finger to draw a letter that is clearly visible. A dowel or the eraser end of a pencil can also be used for this activity.
  • Encourage a prekindergarten child to draw letters in the pan using his or her finger or the dowel or pencil. Help the child write the letters of his or her name one at a time, filling the space in the pan. Depending on the child’s developmental level, he or she may be interested in writing in uppercase letters, lowercase letters, or a combination of the two.
  • Talk with the child about the shape of each letter and the differences between the uppercase and lowercase letters. Shake the pan to resettle the salt, sugar, or sand and then encourage the child to write something entirely new.

Looking for more activity ideas? The KinderCare blog is a great resource.

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