Moon Dust Writing Tray

I’m so excited to be back with more fine motor activities for Fine Motor Fridays! After a break for the holidays I’ve been re-energized and have a bunch of new activities to share with you all this month! First up is a space-themed twist on the classic salt writing tray! I called it a Moon Dust Writing Tray to spark an interest in writing with my son! And it worked! He really enjoyed practicing mark making with this simple fine motor activity!

Moon Dust Writing Tray | A fun space-themed twist on the classic salt writing tray!


  • salt
  • gray tempra paint
  • tray
  • wooden peg doll
  • white acrylic paint
  • black permanent marker

To make this Moon Dust Writing Tray was really simple. I followed the directions on How to Make Colored Salt from Nurture Store and let it dry thoroughly in a sunny window. It got a little clumpy, but it was easily broken up with my hands.

The writing tool is an astronaut! I painted a wooden peg doll with white acrylic paint and drew a face on him with permanent black marker.

Moon Dust Writing Tray | A fun way for preschoolers to practice writing!

Caden was very eager to play with this as soon as the salt was dry! At first he thought it was a new sensory bin, but after I showed him how to write and draw in the salt he was ready to give it a try!

moon dust 4

After my demonstration of how to use the salt tray, Caden tried to trace the letter A with the astronaut writing tool. I was pretty impressed, as we haven’t done too much writing or drawing lately.

moon dust 6

Then he said he wanted to try with his finger and I encouraged him to do so. Using his finger to write in the salt provided tactile sensory input which further enhances the multi-sensory learning and memory of this activity. moon dust 3

Since Caden is just starting to recognize the letters of the alphabet, and writing is a new concept for him, he mostly drew circles in the “moon dust”. But this still is a fun way for him to practice his fine motor skills and pencil grip. And the more we do these kinds of multi-sensory writing and alphabet activities the more confident he will become in these skills.

If your preschooler doesn’t recognize letter yet, I would encourage different mark making in the salt tray. Try vertical lines, horizontal lines, diagonal lines, wavy lines, zig-zag lines. All of these marks will help improve handwriting down the road. I wish I had thought of that when I first introduced this activity! Oh well, there’s always next time!

 Happy Fine Motor Friday!


Check out these great fine motor ideas!

Fine Motor Rainbow Ball from Still Playing School

Size and Colour Valentine Match Activity from Craftulate

Tissue Bleed Valentine Hearts from Powerful Mothering

Snowman Scissor Skills Craft from School Time Snippets

We Are in a Book! Mo Willems Inspired Writing Activity from Lalymom


Fine Motor Fridays Pinterest Board

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5


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10 thoughts on “Moon Dust Writing Tray”

  1. Looks like a great way to practice letters!

  2. Dedra Clutz says:

    Great idea. I will have to pass this on to my daughter.

  3. Oh wow! SO cute!!! I am over the moon for this, pun intended but still! What a great way to use his interests to engage him!! Love it!

    1. Samantha says:

      hahaha! Thanks Laura!

  4. Kaylene says:

    This is adorable! My sensory kiddo would love it! Totally pinning for future reference. 🙂 Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  5. Jill says:

    How creative! Love your learning ideas and tools. Pinning and sharing 🙂

  6. Jill says:

    This is a terrific idea for a fine motor and sensory play session!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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