Ants in the salt tray plus more

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on September 18, 2012

in Ants in the Salt Tray, Children's Books, Hey Little Ant, Reading and Writing Readiness

Soon I will be introducing my prek students to the use of a salt tray as a tool to promote prewriting skills but to introduce the children to writing in salt, we explored ants in the salt tray…

But before I tell you about our ants in the salt tray, let me back track just a bit to share with you the wonderful book (recommended to us by Mrs. T, one of our grandparents) that we read about ants…

“Hey, Little Ant” by Phillip Hoose, Hannah Hoose, and Debbie Tilley is about an ant that spends the entire book giving reasons why the little boy should not step on him.  Super cute book that leaves the children with the question of what would they do? Would they step on the ant?

After reading “Hey, Little Ant,” we extended the circle time discussion on ants by singing “There’s an Ant Crawling on the Floor” available here and having ants crawl on us during the song…

Then we looked at a few ants on a log….

And took a very quick peak at the life cycle of an ant as we passed the magnifier jars around the circle…

Each of our magnifier jars had one toy in it which represented one stage of the life cycle of an ant inside…

And we had ants on a log for snack time…

And finally we were off to explore our ants in the salt tray….

The children used their fingers to draw ant tunnels in the salt and the tweezers to put the ants in and out of the tunnels or in most cases, just in and out of the salt…

We set out all the materials we had used in during our morning discussion for the children to explore as well…

A simple pre-prewriting experience for the children to explore and, as always, a good work out for those fine motor skills is always an important aspect of preparing young children for the writing process…

But wait – we also drew our own ants on a log too! But I will show you that process in my next post!

Available on Amazon



Be sure to check out all the Life Cycle Kits!

Links to Grow On

Writing in Salt by Teach Preschool

Ant Art by The Chocolate Muffin Tree

Ants on Anthills by Moments of Mommyhood

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Kelley September 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm

You should also check out “Two Bad Ants” by van Allsburg.. It’s awesome.

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 19, 2012 at 12:31 am

I will be sure to do that Kelley!

3 Suzanne September 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Now I really wish I had picked up that package of tiny ants. Maybe I can do some of the activities with my little spiders, though. I would love to get my buddies using tweezers but I haven’t really enticed them yet. I will just keep trying!

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

It’s funny how every group has their own interest. My little ones use tweezers for everything:)

5 Ophelia September 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I really enjoyed your ideas.

6 Kimira September 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Hi Deborah
Have you tried to build an ant farm? My kids wanted to do it, but I am not sure how to get the ants. Any ideas will be appreciated

7 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 20, 2012 at 5:42 am

We have so many ants outside in our woods that I haven’t had a need to try an ant farm but I know that if you purchase an ant farm kit, you can also purchase the ants either online or in most cases, the kit will come with a way or place to purchase ants to be sent to you.

8 mayette moreno September 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I like so much!!! It’s very impormative and helpful. Thank you for the GREAT IDEA!

9 LA SEÑO VANESPECIAL September 20, 2012 at 9:20 am





10 Sue Cockrell September 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

Could you tell me where you purchased the trays that you use? Thanks!

11 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2012 at 11:46 am

I purchase my trays from two different places Sue. This is where the yellow trays come from: and this is where other trays can be purchased that I like

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