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Alphabet Sensory Bin

Toddlers love sensory play, and when we add letters to the sensory bin, it introduces them to literacy in a fun way! Add magnetic play to it, and you’ve made it even more fun!

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Finding letters in this sensory bin will be so fun for toddlers!

Introducing toddlers to letters can be difficult sometimes since they don’t enjoy sitting for very long and there aren’t many activities out there geared toward toddlers for literacy. This activity is so fun for little ones because it combines sensory play with literacy by going on a letter hunt. Toddlers as young as 15 months can recognize letters through repetition and exposure, so this activity will be a fun way to do that. Adding in opportunities for fine motor growth is also a positive for this since they have to grip the letters once they find them. Not only will your student use the cognitive domain to recognize letters, but the physical domain will be strengthened as well.


For each bin you will need:

Large, deep bin or sensory table

Medium for sensory play (sand, water, rice, dried beans, cornstarch, etc.)

Magnetic letters (uppercase)

Container or magnetic surface (cookie sheet) to collect letters

Magnetic wand

Learning Outcomes




Pincer grasp


Pick up letters from sensory bin with fingers or tweezers, Repeating letters or words


Step 1:

Fill bin or table with medium of your choice. (be aware of choking hazards and supervision requirements)

Step 2:

Add 5-10 letters in sensory bin and mix around so that you cannot see all of them.

Step 3:

Model for toddlers how to find letters by using the magnetic wand. (see photo below)

Step 4:

Once a letter sticks to the magnetic wand, celebrate and say, “I see a …(letter name)!” Then place letter on a magnetic surface like a cookie sheet or in a container.

Step 5:

The game is over when all letters are found.

Step 6:

Add more letters to make it more challenging.


Use alphabet puzzle pieces to hide, and when pieces are found, have child place puzzle piece in the puzzle board where the piece is missing

Playful Questions

How many letters can I find?

What letters do I know?

What does rice feel like? (or sand, beans, etc.)

What letters are in my name?

How can we pick up the letters?

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