We use Spell to Write and Read and Cursive First and they both suggest to use a salt box to help with beginning penmanship. It is a great way to help develop and/or reinforce fine motor patterns needed for writing. Plus it is great for kinesthetic learners who may need a more tactile experience. When teaching my daughter cursive, she practiced her letters in the air, on my back, sometimes in paint, and always in the salt box before ever writing the letter with a pencil on paper. I am now using the same technique with my 5 year olds.
Well, if I can figure out how to make something rather than buy it, in most cases I will. So, while you can purchase a salt box for fairly cheap, here are instructions for making your own!
You will need:
- a photo box (like the one below…mine measures about 7.5” x 11”) ***make sure that the inside of the box is black…so that there will be a contrast with the salt***
First you want the box to be shallow so that it doesn’t impede the writing skill. So, to make it easy, take the lid off the top of the box and put the lid on the bottom of the box. Once you have the lid on the bottom of the box, trace all the way around the box. (It is not so easy to take a picture with one hand while trying to show how to trace the lid with the other! LOL)
Next, remove the lid and cut the box along the line you traced. Now, your box will be about 1.5 inches or so deep and the lid will fit on it perfectly. (see photo below)
Now, just add salt and let your little scribe get to work practicing!