What you'll need:
Shallow wooden box, or shoe box lid
Salt, Sand, or Sugar
Number and Letter Exemplars (Free Download)
Printer & Cardstock
In the classroom, you have likely seen that we use sandpaper letters to help teach letter and number form—a foundation tool for handwriting, math, and phonics.
These cards are fairly common, and you can easily purchase a set online or make your own. However, a quick and easy DIY alternative is the introduction of a sand or salt box. This tool encourages students to begin independently forming letter and number shapes using exemplar cards. You can either use pre-purchased sandpaper cards, or print our free download with uppercase letters and numbers.
Simply find a small, shallow box. We used a Melissa & Doug Lacing set box that had two built in compartments so that we could stand our letters up; but you could use two separate small boxes or a shoe box lid and stack cards to the side.
Simply display your cards one at a time and have your child trace the shape in the sand/salt—demonstrating as needed—and practicing number and letter identification/sounds.
Note: If you have access to a laminator, you can also laminate the cards and have your child trace them with a dry erase pen.
What it teaches:
Number & Letter Recognition
Number & Letter Form
Intro to: Handwriting, Math, Phonics