Inside: Put together a playful flower sensory bin and expose toddlers and preschoolers to the alphabet. A fun way to build literacy skills!
Reading to toddlers and preschoolers often and providing a print-rich environment are both important for raising readers.
While we don’t formally teach our 2 and 3 year olds how to read, we do provide activities that include the alphabet. These activities are all over the classroom, not just in the reading and writing area.
Adding letters to our sensory bin is one of my favorites, and I’ve done it often. (Scroll down to find my other literacy sensory bins.) It’s exposing our young children to the letters of the alphabet in a playful way, along with other materials.
And even with our 2 year olds, there will be at least 1 child who will recognize a letter or many letters.
Build Literacy Skills With This Flower Sensory Bin
What we used for this flower sensory bin:
- Small baskets (these baskets are my absolute favorite)
- Rice that was dyed brown
- Pom poms
- Flower baking cups
- Pretend flowers
- Letter stones
One of the teachers in my preschool made these letter stones. She took a gold Sharpie permanent marker and wrote the letters write on them, making sure she had 1 of each uppercase and lowercase letter.
I love how they blend in with the colors used in this bin!
As with most of our sensory bins, I like to pay attention to texture, adding quite a few variations.
Our 2 year olds were mostly interested in using the scoops to fill the flowers and baskets with the rice and the letter stones.
However, they were still being exposed to the same letters they see on our alphabet chart, in the names on their placemats and cubbies, and in the books that we read.
Our 3 year olds paid more attention to the letter stones, seeking out familiar letters.
Most worked on spelling their own names, or at least recognizing a few letters in their names.
For all of the children, this was simply a fun way to explore different colors, textures, sizes, and shapes, while also strengthening fine motor skills.
Here are some other fun sensory bins that include the alphabet:
More playful ways to expose young children to the alphabet: