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Letter Dig

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Explore sensory play while enhancing letter recognition!

Sensory play is, quite simply, any activity that stimulates the senses. When children play with a sensory bin, they are playing with a variety of materials + textures which stimulate the mind and body through the tactile experience. They explore so many concepts such as science, math, senses, language and more.

This activity enhances the sensory play experience and further develops letter recognition by placing letters for the children to dig and discover followed by sorting/classifying them in the muffin tin. 

Activities such as this provide no pressure, explore their senses and deepen the child’s connection to have a love for learning as they discover and obtain new skills and information.


For this developmental activity you will need:

Paper or Wooden Letters 

Plastic Tub 

Sand, Rice, Beans, or Pasta 

Muffin Tin 

Cupcake Liners

Learning Outcomes


Language, Cognitive, Physical


Receptive Language, Expressive Language (Speaking), Foundational Reading Patterns, Sorting/Classifying, Reasoning, Observation and Inquiry Physical Science


Using descriptive language, sorting, fine motor skills.


Step 1:

Cut out letters from paper, use pre cut/punched out letters, or wooden ones from a puzzle you might have. Place them in a tub and cover them with sensory material (sand, rice, beans, pasta). 

Step 2:

Place cupcake liners in muffin tins and write each matching letter on the bottom of the liner with a marker.

Step 3:

Invite the children to dig up the letters in the sand.

Step 4:

When children find a letter, they can match it to a letter in the muffin tins and place it there.

Step 5:

Play again once all of the letters have been found.

Step 6:

If you do not want to use the entire alphabet, using the first letter of each child's name would be easiest and represent those young children are probably most familiar with.

Playful Questions

How many letters did you find? 

What letter did you find? 

How does the sensory material feel? 

How many muffin tins can you fill? 

Are there a lot or little bit of letters? 

What sound does the letter you found make?

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