Make Your Own Rainbow Writing Tray
Rainbow writing trays are a great way to encourage important pre-writing skills for our preschoolers. Writing trays are excellent for combining writing practice with a sensory experience. Use this free rainbow printable to make your own rainbow writing tray for writing practice and a fun sensory experience—a perfect addition to your rainbow theme.
Sensory writing trays are an excellent tool for encouraging handwriting and fine motor practice. They offer a tactile sensory experience to help preschoolers learn in a multi-sensory way. And, they are easy to set up and change out for different themes and lessons. Below are directions to help you get started with a rainbow writing tray.
*Teacher tip: Some students love to use utensils for writing while others benefit from using their fingertips. You can have students start with fingertips for a sensory experience and then gradually work towards using utensils to help with grip and for handwriting practice.
1. Start with printing and laminating your PreK Printables Rainbow Writing Cards.
Teacher tip: Laminating is one of the best ways to keep your materials lasting longer and it prevents the paper from becoming ripped while in the writing tray.
2. Next, you will add the laminated cards to trays and cover with a thin layer of your selected cover filler. Some suggestions include sugar, salt, or sand.
Teacher tip: Fillers can be wide range of things but if you are using a thick filler I would suggest only adding enough for one layer otherwise it can be difficult for preschooler to trace.
3. Use a paintbrush, popsicle sticks or your finger to draw the letter in the sand and reveal the letter underneath.
Writing trays are a great play-based approach for strengthening and encouraging pre-writing skills. Writing trays make letter formation feel a bit more like play. The multi-sensory approach allows for a deeper connection; therefore, preschools learn the letter formations much faster.
Writing trays can be wet or dry items. Both fillers allow for a completely different sensory experience. Writing trays can be used with letters, shapes, and numbers. In this image above, we added the cards to the tray for preschoolers to copy. But, you can also use writing trays without any visual examples.
Writing trays have become a staple in preschool because they are great for grip, pre-writing skills, and stroke sequencing. And as preschoolers advance in their skill level, you can customize the writing trays to include sight words, too!
Some of my favorite fillers:
Spices* If there are no allergies or food sensitivities
Since your rainbow writing cards are already laminated they are also perfect for writing practice with dry erase markers. These cards are also great if you do Letter of the Week as a display for preschoolers to see and you can demonstrate the letter formations.
Writing trays are great to have available in your writing centers at all times, and change them up as the themes, interests, and seasons change in your classroom. We hope your preschoolers enjoy this rainbow writing tray!
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