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sand writing tray

letter symbols extension activity

The Sand Writing Tray is a tool for children who are starting to write. Children can write in the sand using their fingers as a tactile way of learning. Children may also use the writing stick to practice holding a pencil. 

Children can easily wipe away the marks in the sand and not worry about making mistakes. 

This allows the child to build the skills and confidence to write on paper. 

design considerations

A small box of naturally-scented sand is included with the tray to appeal to the child’s senses. 

The 30cm long tray is wide enough to fit 3 letter cards, forming a consonant - vowel - consonant, or CVC word. 

It is made from beech wood with a natural finish, inviting the child to enjoy the hand made qualities of this piece. 

how to start

preparing and introduction

Meet the child at a table. We recommend doing writing-related activities at a table to build the habit of good writing posture.

Model how to use the tray for the child.

If you’re using our Letter Symbols, place a letter card on the table. 

Say the phonetic sound of the letter. For example, “This is ahhhh” for the letter ‘a’)

Extending two fingers, slowly trace the letter on the card while saying the sound.

Ask the child to do the same by tracing the letter while saying the sound.

Place the Alphabet Card in the slot on the tray and write the letter in the sand either using your finger or the wooden stick.

Now it’s the child’s turn. 


After the child is familiar with writing single letters, this tray can be used as an extension of our CVC board for building consonant - vowel - consonant words. After forming the words, invite the child to set them up in the slot and write them.

Create a disappearing word game for children who are more hesitant to write. Take turns writing a letter and then closing your eyes, only to find the letter has disappeared when you open your eyes once again.

Try various “sands” to create a different experience with the tray. Short grain rice, lentils, dried lavender, small seeds or salts all create different and interesting writing experiences. 

Experiment with writing or drawing different symbols. This tray pairs well with our Letter symbols, Number symbols 1-10, drawing progression cards and more found at 

Bueno Market aims to provide aesthetically beautiful educational materials inspired by Montessori principles. Our products are designed with a soothing colour palette and use natural materials to effortlessly fit into your space. 

Every detail of the products is considered to support learning. The minimalistic aesthetics are chosen purposefully to reduce distractions and help children focus on the tasks at hand.

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