Fine Motor Fun: Holiday Writing Tray

So one of the things that kids love is playing in the sandbox during the summer. If you are looking for some fun and frugal ways to encourage fine motor skills, then this holiday writing tray is the perfect solution. You can make your own holiday writing tray for your child to practice their letters and numbers on with just a quick visit to your local dollar store. Take a peek below at how you can create your own in minutes!

Supplies needed for this activity:

Cookie sheet or baking sheet

Red or green craft sand

Candy cane

We found all three of these supplies at our local dollar store. We only needed one bag of colored sand to fit the medium-sized tray. It doesn’t matter what candy canes you use since you won’t be eating them. Just pick ones that have color that appeals to you.


Begin by pouring the sand onto the tray. Smooth it out with your hands. The nice thing about the cookie tray/sheet is that it has a lip, so there are no worries about sand falling over the edges.

Give the child a wrapped candy cane. This will act as their writing tool.

Using the candy cane, trace numbers, letters, and shapes into the sand. Talk with your child about what they are writing and the shapes they are making. You can even give them words or shapes to copy.

When your child is ready to start over, simply use your hand to clear the sheet and pat the sand back into place. When it is a thin and even layer, it is ready to be used again.

When learning time is over, you can place plastic wrap or tinfoil directly over the tray to protect the sand. Or, you can even pour the contents into a plastic sandwich bag for storage. Ready to play again? Just lay the sand back out on the tray.

See how easy it can be to not only make but enjoy your holiday writing tray? This is a fun, frugal, and hands-on activity that children are sure to love.

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