Lavender and Glitter Sensory Salt

Here’s how to make the most wonderful sensory play material for mark making, pre-writing, fine motor skills, sensory investigation and relaxing playtime fun!

A while ago we posted about making pink salt for mark making and letter practise, which was a fantastic learning and sensory play experience.

To build on that play time we created some new sensory salt, this time adding purple colouring, lavender essential oil and silver glitter. It truly is the most marvellous sensory material ever! So wonderfully soft and smooth, it pours so well between containers, feels lovely between your fingers (and toes!) and can be raked, drawn in, moulded, smoothed and used to create patterns and impressions.

How to make sensory salt:
  • ¬†pour some fine salt into a zip-loc bag
  • add a few drops of liquid food colouring (or gel colouring mixed with a few drops of water)
  • shake it up and mix with fingers through the bag until all colour is combined
  • add glitter and a few drops of essential oil and shake again
  • PLAY!!
  • Store in an airtight container indefinitely
We poured it out on a table top that had been lined with tin foil, with a little edge created all the way around by scrunching up the foil to form a barrier. This gave it a shiny underlay that would reflect beautifully when marks were made.
To the salt we added feathers, a potato masher, a little rake, forks, cups and fingers!
The masher created wonderfully deep impressions in the salt, with ridges that could be traced like a finger-tip maze!

Hands made lovely swirls and patterns, as well as an opportunity to practise letter and name writing for Cakie.

The feathers were great fun for mark making and creating wavy, zig-zag and line patterns. They are easy to hold and can’t be used or held wrong, making them a great pre-writing tool for young children.
As well as the learning and play benefits, it is also a lovely way to calm down and relax, because of the therapeutic nature of playing with a sensory material and the effect of the lavender oil. It’s almost a mini- zen garden for kids! Great for the end of the day when tiredness is setting in!

Learning Links:

  • literacy: mark making, copying and following handwriting patterns, holding and using mark making tools, pre-writing skills
  • physical: strengthening hand muscles for fine motor development, gross motor “sweeping” skills, developing dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination through pouring, scooping, filling and emptying
Cakie: 3 years 9 months
Pop: 2 years 3 months
Bean: 17 weeks


  1. Tiffany P. says

    Thanks so much for all of your wonderful ideas. Yours is definitely my new favorite blog. My oldest is 2 yrs and 4 mos and I’m always looking for new and creative ideas for her. Really appreciate your taking the time to share!

  2. says

    This was great, thank you!! We subbed actual lavendar for the oil, wrote letters with stones then also counted the stones, my 22-month old loved it!

  3. Anonymous says

    Thank you… This sounds amazing plus I will.use with a little I work with who has autism…

  4. says

    Last night we had a “pajama playdate” with girls ranging in age 4-7, and we made the Lavender and Glitter Sensory Salt. The girls chose their own color and glitter, did the mixing in the baggie, and played in the beautiful salt they created. We used glass storage containers to play in, as that is what we had on hand. I think it would work great in foil pie plates, plus those would be a great send-home for playdates.
    Thank you!

  5. says

    Following the link from your FB page, I did this on the fly this afternoon – but instead of using essential oil, I nabbed some stalks from the dried lavendar I have in a jug on the windowsill and crumbled some of those in it!!