Use an ocean sensory bin for this hands-on name recognition activity preschoolers are sure to love.
Ever wonder where to begin when teaching the alphabet?
This is one of the main reasons I became an educator and continued on for a Masters Degree in Teaching Reading. I wanted to fully understand how children learn and what truly makes them remember what they were taught.
You know what I found?
And you know what also is important to a preschooler? It is their name!
This hands-on sensory learning activity will allow your preschooler to see the letters of their name, touch different texture which helps stimulate learning and experience something they will remember.
“Remember that time we touched the seashells and matched them to our name?” is a lot more memorable than, “Remember that time I printed out that worksheet that had your letters on it?”
Sensory Learning Name Recognition Activity
In this ocean learning activity, your children will learn the letters of their names. They will also scoop, pour and discover the different textures of the seashells and sand in their ocean sensory bin.
Simple Supply List
- Large under the bed plastic storage bin
- Cardboard to write the name
- Additional items to explore such as driftwood, ocean rocks, etc.
- Kitchen utensils – ladle, measuring cup, items that scoop
Quick and Easy Set-up
Begin by writing your child’s name on a piece of cardboard or paper. I like to use something I already have and was going to throw away. Add the letters of your child’s name to each shell. To increase the level of difficulty, add additional shells with other letters of the alphabet.
Add the shells, sand, driftwood to your ocean sensory bin.
Place items such as ladles, measuring cups, funnels, and items that scoop to the left of your ocean sensory bin.
Sensory Learning Activity for the Alphabet
Once your ocean sensory bin is prepared, invite your children to come to explore.
Stay close to your preschooler, but do not feel the need to “tell them” what to do.
What to look for:
- Your child recognizing that letters are on the back of each shell.
- Your child recognizing that their name is placed in front of the ocean sensory bin. You can prompt with, “Oh look! I see your name here. That is so funny you noticed the shells have letters. I wonder if there are any matches?”
- Your child exploring the texture of the sand and shells. Watch as your child explores how the sand moves and fits into different kitchen items that you laid out.
Allow your child to work at their own pace. Keep in mind, the name placement may come after exploring in the sand. Exploration and inquiry are valuable ways to learn. Encourage this by making some observations of your own.
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