Sand Tray for Writing

We love sensory play activities in our home and this sand tray for writing has turned into one of my kid's favorites. They get completely engrossed and have so much joy playing with it!

Sand tray for writing

Sensory learning is incredible to help your children develop fine motor skills along with strengthing their hand and eye coordination, but it's also super fun! 

Thanks to the texture of the sand in this sand writing tray kids are able to develop their sense of touch whilst practicing their writing skills in a dynamic and fun way.

We have a whole collection of alphabet tracing cards that you could print off and use for this writing activity, but I would recommend using the shell alphabet tracing cards as they fit the sand theme perfectly. You could of course make your own too!

alphabet tracing cards for sand writing tray

Have you just discovered sensory writing trays? Head over to our rice sensory writing tray for another option to mix things up a little. 

sand writing tray

Sand tray for writing 

Sand writing tray - supplies

how to make a sand tray for writing

How to make a sand tray for writing

STEP 1: Paint the tray

To start off, take your wooden tray and paint it with the color you like most, in my case I chose a bright yellow to represent the sand at the bottom of the sea. Yellow also really stands out and helps make the letters you are writing really visible. 

Paint your sand writing tray

Let the paint dry completely before continuing!

painted wooden sand tray for writing

STEP 2: Prepare the colored sand.

Now grab your glitter and stir it into your colored sand. We used blue sand to represent the sea, but again you can use any color that works for you. Once you have mixed your sand and glitter take this mix and pour a thin layer of it into the wooden tray.


If you don't want to buy colored sand, don't worry! You can always use food coloring and dye regular sand.

colored sand for writing tray

sand writing tray

Your sand tray is now complete. You can use your finger or a paintbrush to make patterns or letters in the sand. 

STEP 3: Print out alphabet tracing cards

Whilst children will have a lot of fun making patterns in the sand with their finger and enjoy feeling the texture, it is a good idea to have some cards with letters or sight words on them for children to copy. You can make these from card or print out our alphabet tracing cards.

sand tray letter writing

Invite your little ones to play in their new sand tray for writing, show them all the things they can do if they're new to sand writing trays until they get the hang of it. We hope you like it. Enjoy!

sand writing tray - letter formation sand tray for writing

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