I saw these beans and instantly knew my preschooler would want to get his hands on them. Mixing literacy in a sensory bin allows him to learn through play. It is a simple (and winning combination) to make learning activities at home powerful. You’ll want to try this alphabet bean sensory bin.
RELATED: Sensory play (and the mess) can feel stressful. Here is how to set your family up for success with sensory bins.
The 411 of the alphabet sensory bin
I like to bury plastic alphabet letters (listed under supplies) to continue building exposure to what letters look like. I am not expecting my three-year-old to learn all 26 letters and their sounds.
My goal is to introduce the letters through play.
Recognizing the alphabet and phonemic awareness (letter sounds) takes time. And we have to remember progress over perfection. This simple alphabet activity has children connecting learning with their senses.
RELATED: Here is a fantastic article to help explain why sensory play is important for kids.
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Is this a sensory bin or under the bed storage bin? I will let you judge which way it gets used more often. (wink, wink)
Why sensory play?
Sensory play is a risk-free, hands-on way to introduce letters. When your child finds letters in the beans, shout it out! Alphabet activities for kids are meant to be interactive and fun.
You can also begin to discuss letter sounds as each letter is picked from the sensory bin.
Prompt thinking by saying something like, “This is a Hh. H, hat, huh (make the sound). Here are five ways to include reading readiness into your day with kids.
Sensory tips I have learned with experience.
- The beans may go everywhere, and the size and shape of the container matter. Read how we introduce sensory play here.
- I bought three huge bags from the grocery store. I recommend two. You can keep the beans in a seal-tight container to play another day again. We love these storage bins featured in our toy storage post.
- My toddler loved the feel of the beans more than finding letters. He ended up burying them. Either way, the letters are there to look at and discuss. They will let you know when your child can memorize the letter names and better understand letter sounds. This comes with time.s
- Trucks got involved, and we liked it. Stay flexible and allow activities to shift gears if need be.
Are you ready to set up your ABC Sensory Bean Bin?
There are so many fun ways to teach your kids the alphabet. Play-based and hands-on activities are the best way to interest your kids in letters. Try simple matching games, sensory letter-searching bins, and outdoor movement. Use these learning activities to play at home.
Sensory activities engage touch, smell, sight, and sometimes sound and taste. Touching new textures creates different paths in the brain to enhance learning. Sensory bins are an easy way to reach more learning potential through play.
The main thing I consider with sensory bins is texture. I use it as an opportunity to introduce new objects that taste safe and are not a choking hazard depending on my child’s age and stage. Our favorite sensory fillers are beans, water, rocks, and kinetic sand (not taste-safe). Use this list of 40 sensory bins for kids as a guide to finding a fun idea for your child.