In a late night internet fog i got lost somewhere in blogland and stumbled across a post about a Montessori salt tray. Kids were playing with writing letters or drawing in the salt. They had laid brightly coloured paper on the bottom of wooden trays to contrast with the white of the table salt.
Somehow that image stayed with me.
Something we have in abundance is sand. Black sand. We live just up the hill from a whole lot of it here on the West Coast of New Zealand. It gets EVERYWHERE!...black sand tumbles out of pockets, out of the cuffs of jeans, it sticks to our scalps on windy days and is pretty much always in evidence after showers.
So, last we were near the stuff, i scooped up a container of it.
I sprinkled a layer in these retro melamine dinner trays and voila, sand trays. I love these trays. I found them while rummaging in a secondhand shop when Jed was still in a carrier and we use them so much. Picnics, dinner outside, sorting for collages, craft projects in the making, or lego. These two trays are esconced on the deck now and a few times a day a small one is hunkered down busy writing.
A simple tool for learning. The best kind.
And thank you so much to everyone who has voted for me in the Handmade Olympics! I was in tears reading some of your reactions on Facebook last night, such kind words my friends. Heartfelt thanks. x
Oh, and if you haven't voted, you still can! Go HERE and tick GrowMama's Picnic placemat rolls. Or click on the Handmade Olympics button above. Event one: most innovative design!