Using salt to teach your child how to write

Thanks for following along with all these activities. We hope they’ve been fun for your children as well as given you some ideas of how to make learning a little more active.


This week, we’re focusing on writing characters. As you have probably experienced either yourself or seen it happen with your children, writing characters repeatedly on worksheets have a limited value and children often balk at the work.

Hopefully, your children will enjoy this activity a little bit more than just writing on worksheets.

Quick Tip: Your child may be tempted to just play with the salt/sand instead of write. That’s ok. Just let them play for a bit. Then try to have them write again.


  • Big pan or tub/box
  • Salt/sand/flour
  • Chopstick or unsharpened pencil or stick

*Alternate materials: baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, dropper


  • Pour out just enough sand/salt/flour to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Choose 1-6 characters for your child to practice and lay them out on a white board, flash cards, or a sheet of paper where your child can see it.



Writing Characters in Salt/Sand (age 3+, single players)

1) Have your child practice writing in the sand/salt until they want to stop.
2) Repeat until you are done with all the characters you want to use.

Alternate ideas: Instead of a stick and sand/salt, you can use fingers. Or, you can get use a pan full of baking soda and color vinegar with food coloring and use the dropper to write the characters.

Quick Tip: If you do decide to go the baking soda and colored vinegar route, make sure you do it in an environment where you don’t mind getting messy. Actually, if you do any of this activity, make sure you’re ok with it getting messy!


We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!


Use context and visual cues to help your child remember characters.
Memory is a funny thing and can often be triggered by songs, pictures, and even smells. Use all the cues in the Sagebooks to help your child remember the characters. Have your children look at the engaging illustrations to guess what will happen or jog their memory. If your child is having difficulty recalling a character in a sentence, flip back to the chapter introducing the character. Often, seeing it in its original context or sentence will remind your child what the character is.

Join us in our Facebook Group and meet other parents who are teaching their kids Sagebooks Basic Chinese 500 at all different ages and levels.

Have a wonderful day and we’ll see you next week!


We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

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