Create a Harry Potter sensory writing tray for learning spellings, practising sight words, phonics patterns and more literacy based learning activities for school aged kids!
Harry Potter Sensory Writing Tray
Following on in our now well-stablished collection of sensory writing trays, we’ve made this latest one with Harry Potter theme to suit the current interest of Miss 7! She has been racing through the books and now Miss 6 is joining her too, and they both sit in bed each night avidly devouring each page by lamp-light. I just love watching this new passion for these stories unfold!
Our sensory writing tray series has often been with a focus on Miss 4 learning how to write her name and begin to make marks and form letters correctly. But we always make these to span the whole age range and with the dual purpose of being a MUCH more exciting, kinaesthetic way to practise those boring spelling lists that get sent home from school!
Instead of picking up a pen and paper, how much more fun is it to write in sparkly magic dust with a magic wand?!
For this Harry Potter sensory writing tray we simply used a thin layer of salt in a gold serving tray, with extra silver and gold glitter over the top and a sprinkling of sequin stars.
We used a small stick to create a magic wand, wrapping one end in gold sticky tape to make it a little more magical, and painting the other end with golden glitter glue. Ta da! So much more interesting than a pencil.
We look at some of the words on the most recent “tricky words” list and I wrote them out onto some silver card, cutting them into star shapes ready to use. They played the look, read, cover and write game, which is the standard way of encouraging kids to learn new spelling patterns. Once they’d seen the new word and written it once already. they then turned over the star and had a go at writing it again using the magic wand.
They are learning cursive hand-writing at school so joined up the letters as they wrote. They tray gets a little shake in order the re-set the glitter and they can go again!
The tray is also lovely for just practising how to join letters together in the cursive script, either through looped patterns or repeating one letter over and over until it’s fluidly joined.
I absolutely believe there’s a place for this kind of teaching and learning in the Key Stage 1 and 2 classrooms and wish more teachers would be confident to embrace these kinaesthetic learning styles. Paper and worksheets are both literally and figuratively flat and one-dimensional, and are just so boring, not to mention can cause hand cramps and tiredness!
As is often the case with these trays, they fought over who was going to get to go first and all enjoyed using it. Miss 6 also practised tricky words and common sight words, and Miss 4 worked on her name (which is a long one!) and some of the initial SATPIN letter sounds she has been learning.
We have been working on another popular theme for Miss 6’s favourite movie series and she is loving it! We will share that on here very soon too. There are limitless options for themes you could create, just ask your child what they’d love the most and make one together!
Meanwhile, here is the huge collection of other Sensory Writing Tray themes that we have done over the past few years if you’re looking for some inspiration to get you started!
See our Playful Literacy archives for many fun ways to learn to write names, letters and words, enjoy storytelling and rhyme and find favourite book recommendations!
Follow our Literacy Play pinterest board for LOADS more ideas to use at home and in the classroom too!
This is such a good idea – thank you! My boy doesn’t like writing with a pencil and we had a great time with our ‘magic dust’ instead
Anna Ranson says
Brilliant! Yes, there are SO many more interesting ways to write than with a pencil or pen aren’t there?! This keeps it a bit more magical and fun 🙂