How to Dye Salt for Sensory play

How to Dye Salt for Sensory Play

If you’re wondering how to dye salt for sensory play then you are in the correct place. Colored salt is a great sensory base, can be used in a writing bin or box, and is taste-safe for younger children.

Using dyed salt is a popular practice in Montessori writing trays, sensory bins, a classroom, and more. It is inexpensive and easy and children will love the tactile feeling of playing with the salt.

To dye sensory salt you will need salt and food coloring as well as an optional plastic bag to make it easier. Once it has dried you can add it to a sensory bin, a pencil case, a Montessori tray, and more.

Head down for the directions to make fun colored salt for sensory play and more.

how to dye sensory play salt

Dyeing Salt Tips for Success

*Using a plastic bag is the easiest way to get the colors mixed in thoroughly. You can also simply put the materials in a bowl and mix them together with a spoon but this takes much longer and the colors aren’t typically spread together as evenly.

*You can choose to dye salt in any color preferred. When we make sensory salt we like to do either one bright color or combine colors that mix together well. Too many colors together will create a brown that isn’t very pretty.

*Use more drops of food coloring for a brighter-colored salt, use fewer drops of food coloring for a more pastel or dull-colored salt. You can also use gel for coloring for this if needed.

Montessori Sensory Play Salt Tray

What Activities can you use colored salt for?

Colored salt can be used for a range of fun sensory activities. Some of our favorites can be seen below:

  • Use it as a fun and simple base for a sensory bin. Green could be used as a “grass” sensory base, blue could be used as a “water” sensory base, and more. Some fun add-ins for salt sensory bins include gems, resin letters/numbers, pipe cleaners, plastic animals or bugs, cups/scoops, spoons, and more.
  • Use colored salt to practice letter writing. Pour colored salt into a hard plastic pencil container with a lid. On the lid side of the pencil container, put out letter or number flashcards. Have children use their fingers to write the letters in the sand. Give the bin a little shake and the letter erases itself and makes way for a new letter.
  • Create fun colored salt jars. Layer salt one color after another in a small jar or clear bottle. Salt will make beautiful designs and children will love the practice of scooping and pouring.
  • Sprinkle it on top of lines of liquid glue to make fun salt pictures (just like you would with glitter). It is almost like salt painting but you color the sand first. The colors stay bright and the pictures look beautiful.

Rainbow Dyed Sensory Salt

Directions to Make Salt for Sensory Play


  • Table Salt
  • Food Coloring in different colors
  • Plastic Bag


  1. Pour the desired amount of salt into a plastic bag.
  2. Squeeze a few drops of food coloring into the bag. Use more food coloring for brighter colors.
  3. Squeeze out any air and zip the bag closed.
  4. Shake the bag up, down, and all around. Massage the salt between your fingers to spread the colors faster.
  5. Once colors are all spread through the salt in the bag you can pour it into your bin or material of choice and create a fun sensory play experience for kids.

Colored Salt for Sensory Play

More Fun Sensory Play Base Ideas:

Sensory salt makes for a great sensory play base. It is great for scooping and pouring, and kids love running it through their hands and fingers. For more fun sensory bin base ideas that kids love be sure to also check out some of our favorites:

  • Chia Seed Sensory Slime – Uses chia seeds, water, and food coloring to create fun and gooey slime for kids to play in over and over.
  • Bubble Foam – Combine dish soap and water with a mixer to create loads of bubbly fun. Perfect for use in a water table or large sensory bin.
  • Sensory Play Dirt – 5 different ways to create sensory play dirt or mud. Goes great in construction bins, dinosaur digs, and more.

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