Provide a fun hands-on way for your child or student to learn letter sounds with this Alphabet Sensory Bin. Learning the letters of the alphabet is an important early childhood skill. It is a precursor for both reading and writing. By giving children the opportunity to feel the shape of the letters and explore through their senses, you can help cement this skill for them in a fun and engaging way.
Setting up a sensory bin for this purpose is a great hands-on addition to your home or preschool or Kindergarten classroom. It’s easy to set up sensory bins that kids will love. They provide visual, tactile, and proprioceptive sensory input. In addition, they increase a child’s interest and curiosity in learning.
Alphabet Sensory Bin:
- plastic bin
- coloured rice
- letters (we used alphabet cookie cutters, wooden ABCs, small alphabet beads, and foil die cut letters)
- optional: scoops or funnels
- Dye rice in an assortment of colours. Read our full instructions on how to easily dye rice. You can also used coloured rice left over from other sensory play.
- Toss the rice in a plastic bin.
- Add letters. You can use anything shaped as letters. Suggestions include magnetic letters, cookie cutters, wooden letters, foam stickers with the backing left on, Scrabble tiles, foam bath letters, or alphabet beads.
- Invite your child to play.
A note about adding multiple types of letters: if your child struggles with the alphabet, it can be best to only include one set of letters to reduce sensory overload and simplify things.
Ways to expand this alphabet learning activity:
- Play a version of seek and find. Call out the names of letters and have your child find that letter in the rice. A more advanced variation on this is to display or write the lower case version of a letter and have the child find and identify the upper case match to it in the sensory bin.
- When the child pulls out a letter, have them name something that starts with that letter to help them learn about beginning sounds.
- Put a paper and crayons nearby so that kids can trace the letters or copy their shape on the paper.
- Use alphabet playdough mats to provide another rich tactile sensory activity opportunity.
- Set out alphabet books such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for kids to explore and compare the letters in the bin to.
Books to correspond with your ABC Sensory Bin:
Chicka Chicka Boom BoomDr. Seuss’s ABCAnimalia (MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE!)Touch and Trace ABC Board BookA is for Apple (Kids Trace-and-Flip)The Handmade AlphabetEating the AlphabetM Is For Maple: A Canadian Alphabet
Looking for more easy sensory play ideas for hands-on learning? Join us for a free five day email series on Sensory Activities and Solutions and get a free sample of our Sensory Play Recipes eBook.
Sensory Play Resources: