August 28, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Sensory Tray

To go along with our apple themed unit study I put together a simple learning tray that smelled just like apples and cinnamon.  We used the sensory tray for mark making, letter practice, counting skills, and imaginative play.

How to make an apple cinnamon sensory tray for learning activities

Kindergarten Apple Unit Study

This is our second apple themed activity as part of the apple unit of My Father's World Kindergarten.  Yesterday I shared our apple graphing, and today I'm excited to share the apple themed learning tray I set up for J-Bug.

Adding scent and color to Epsom salts for learning and sensory play

How to Make an Apple Cinnamon Salt Tray

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Coloring Epsom salt for learning and sensory play

Directions:  J-Bug helped me mix up a batch of apple cinnamon scented salt.  We dyed the Epsom salt exactly the same way we dyed our rainbow salts.  First J-Bug dumped about a quarter cup of cinnamon into the Epsom salt, and then he squirted a generous amount of red liquid watercolor paint into the mix.  I sealed the lid tightly, and J-Bug shook up the mixture.  Table salt could easily replace the Epsom salt.

Mixing salt to add color and scent

Once the color was evenly distributed I spread it out on a cookie sheet from Dollar Tree.  Ideally the dyed salts should dry before play, but J-Bug was too eager to get started.  I handed him a cinnamon stick, and he quickly began making marks and tracing letters in the salt.

Mark making on an apple cinnamon salt learning tray

A salt tray is perfect for letter practice and prewriting skills for both preschool and kindergarten.  The added colors and scents enhance the sensory experience and therefore help children retain what they are learning.  To "erase" the marks and start again, gently shake the salt tray or flatten it with your hand.

Writing practice on an apple cinnamon learning tray

I gave J-Bug green pom poms to fill in the letters he traced.

Forming letters with pom poms in apple cinnamon salt

He also traced numbers and counted out the correct number of pom poms.  I encourage you to work according to your child's age and abilities.  There are so many opportunities for learning with a sensory tray, and it can easily be adapted to your child's level.

Counting and number recognition learning tray

In addition to learning, there was also quite a bit of sensory and imaginative play by all four boys.  Once play time was over I put the apple cinnamon salts back in a container and stored them for a future play time.

For more hands on apple activities for kids follow me on Pinterest.

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Sensory and imaginative play with apple cinnamon salt

 More apple activities for fall:

Apple Pie Dough - a simple to make sensory dough recipe, perfect for pretend baking and playing Apple scented soap foam - a simple to make sensory material that is fun for all ages! 


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