Branch Out

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F
703-324-3100 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035
Ashley Atkinson
Editor, Branch Out

Department Resources

Related Resources

Create a “Snow” Writing Salt Tray

By Tina Mraz, FCPL Early Literacy Services Coordinator

Kids love sensory activities, and studies have shown that children’s capacity to learn and retain information increases when multiple senses are engaged. Salt trays do just that! They are a fun, low-stress opportunity to help children work on letter formation. Try this project from for a DIY writing practice tool, and use the tracing activity above to practice fine motor skills.


  • Tray (baking sheet, pie plate, serving tray, shoebox lid)
  • Kosher salt
  • Alphabet cards (optional)
  • Stick or paintbrush (optional)
  • Colored or patterned paper (optional)*

*Get creative! Add colored or patterned paper to the bottom of the tray or even add jingle bells to the mix.


  1. Add enough salt to just cover the bottom of the tray. Don’t use too much; you want to be able to see the bottom of the tray when you make a line with your finger.
  2. Provide alphabet cards for children’s visual reference (optional).
  3. Have children use a stick, paint brush or a pointer finger to form a letter.
  4. Shake the tray side to side to erase and keep practicing!
Fairfax Virtual Assistant