Motherhood, Art, Creative Play, and Finding Joy in Everyday Life

DIY Salt Tray and Alphabet Cards


salt tray-4
salt tray-2
salt tray-1
flashcards-upper case
flash cards-lower case
The other night I put together this salt tray and set of alphabet cards set for Simon. He has been into learning about letters lately, and loves to trace things. Also, anytime he gets to do sensory play is exciting for him.

There are so many different, awesome ways to make salt trays and to play with them, but the one that inspired me was from this great Montessori site. I re-purposed a wooden tray that came from a Melissa and Doug lacing card toy that Simon got for Christmas. The cards, I made by cutting up pieces of various thick watercolor paper that I had on hand. I made all the cards the same size, just right for inserting into the small compartment on the wooden tray. I painted all of the letters of the alphabet in capital on one side, and lower case on the back.

In addition to working on making letters, Simon also likes to use the tray to draw pictures. Sometimes he asks for a q-tip to do this. He really likes running his hands through the roughly textured salt, and making little piles in the tray too. As for the alphabet cards, we have spread those out in a line on the floor, and sung our ABC’s as we walked along, steppingย  and jumping in front of each letter.

There are so many possibilities, and we are having lots of fun with these. ๐Ÿ™‚

Author: thismummaslife

I am a Mumma, Wife and part-time Assistant Children's Librarian. I want this blog to be a collection of moments from daily life that may inspire or be relatable. Please feel free to leave me comments, thoughts, feedback or stories from your own life.

52 thoughts on “DIY Salt Tray and Alphabet Cards

  1. What a great idea! I’m going to pin this! I love your painted letters, too =)

  2. What a fun way to learn letters and practice writing them!

    • I know, I am jealous! I wish I had one when I was little. ๐Ÿ™‚ That is one of the fun parts about being a Mom, is living vicariously through your kids and coming up with fun things for them.

  3. looks so, so awesome Krista!

  4. Hi! I saw this on Pinterest this morning and had to stop over. I used to use rice to teach my kids but I love your salt tray even better! And your letters are so pretty in watercolor. I pinned it to a mega DIY board, so hopefully you will have some nice traffic coming your way!
    All my best ~ KIM

  5. Krista, this is brilliant – I love it and will definitely be making one – thanks!!!

  6. That looks so inviting with the watercolor letters and wooden tray! Thanks so much for linking to my post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Adorei! Vou fazer pra minha filha tambรฉm! Obrigada!

  8. love the painted letters!! thanks!

  9. I’m the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, we’d love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

  10. I adore this! The Melissa and Doug boxes are full of so much potential and you’ve found the perfect use for them. And your watercolor letters are gorgeous! Not to mention the brilliance of drawing upper and lowercase letters on them.

  11. Hi! Can I use your photo and link to your blog on my new blog called DIY Dyslexia: Help for Parents of Dyslexic Children? I want to write a blog post about tracing letters and learning the sounds the letters make. You can check out my blog at and let me know about this. Thanks!

    • Hi! You may definitely share my post on your blog, and you can use the photo as long as it links back here and credit me for the photo. I hope my idea is helpful to the parents who come to your blog! Also, check out the version that inspired me, I linked to it in my post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Pingback: DIY Salt Tray and Alphabet Cards : Teach.Learn.Imagine.

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  14. Pinned this the other day & came back today to read the actual post. DD JUST received the same M&D lacing set yesterday and I was trying to figure out what we were going to repurpose the box for…now I know!!

    My only question is….can you give an approximate size of your cards? Thanks so much for the fantastic idea!!

  15. What kind of watercolors did you use? Those are some beautifully vibrant colors!

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  19. Hi Krista! Love your salt idea :). Would it be OK to post the “F” picture on’s Facebook page? Our fans would love it and we always link to the original. Thanks!

  20. Pingback: 15 activitats creatives per treballar les lletres | Educaciรณ i les TIC

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  23. you can also use play dough
    for writing letters, pat out dough like a pancake, write your letter with cards with a popsicle stick.

  24. Fantastic! This has a lot of applications for children with Autism! I am featuring it on my weekly “Found on Pinterest” article. Thank you for sharing this great idea!


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  28. Love this. Using it with my son tomorrow. Thanks so much.

  29. Thanks so much. Using this tomorrow with my son.

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  34. Reblogged this on Law of Love and commented:
    I just saw this post and was instantly drawn to it because of the private teaching I do. But, truly, what a wonderful kind of love it is to seek out fun ways to help children learn. And then to sit with them time and time again, expecting progress..expecting understanding..whether quick or slow.
    That kind of love makes me tingle with delight.
    Grounded, focused, love.

    Enjoy, friends!

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  36. Where would I get the trays? What a great idea!! โค๏ธ

  37. Wow wow wow I absolutely love this idea! I was only wracking my brain in bed last night,in how to get the little one to write :).

    Was it difficult to get the affect or color on the card?

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