Sensory Play Alphabet Soup Activity

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We’re having so much fun thinking of fun ways to reinforce our knowledge of the alphabet! Sensory play is a wonderful way to provide children with integrative learning opportunities because sensory play stimulates our brains in a very different way than regular learning does. This “Alphabet Soup” Activity will provide tons of hands-on, sensory fun while strengthening important letter recognition skills at the same time!

*Pair with our Play and Learn with Manipulatives Bundle for Pre-K & Kindergarten!

Practice letter recognition with this engaging "Alphabet Soup" Activity! Perfect for water tables and sensory play in Pre-K & Kindergarten!

Sensory Play Alphabet Soup Activity

We love when we can incorporate sensory play into our learning! Water play in particular is a great, calming sensory activity that can allow anxious learners to remain calm during stimulating learning activities. Some people have even started calling it “sensory soup.”

Prep for this sensory “alphabet soup” activity is easy and uses supplies you likely already have on hand. Let’s get started!

First, gather your materials:

Because my background is in Montessori, I used my moveable alphabet letters, but a package of letter magnets or foam letters would work just as well – just make sure they fit in the ladles provided and don’t stick together (the water should help prevent that).

Also, while I presented this activity to my daughter in a large stock pot, a water table would still work great for this “alphabet soup!”

I started by adding all of the letter manipulatives to a large stock pot with water.

How to Play

The first activity we did with our “alphabet soup” was sorting the letters into uppercase and lowercase categories – I’ll share other ways to play below.

The first challenge was scooping just one letter out of the water at a time. This is great dexterity practice as children learn to maneuver the ladle differently and respond quickly to what they are seeing (hand-eye coordination).

Kids first had to use a ladle to scoop out the letters one at a time.

RELATED RESOURCE: Alphabet Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten

Next, ask the child to name the letter and determine if it is an uppercase or a lowercase letter.

Have them place the letter in the appropriate bowl (one bowl for uppercase and one for lowercase).

Then they sort the letters into small bowls by uppercase and lowercase.

Continue until you have two brimming bowls of “alphabet soup!”

I love how visually rewarding this is, and the pretend play aspect can work wonders for reluctant learners.

They kept scooping and sorting until their small bowls of "alphabet soup" were full.

More Ways to Play

You can use this “alphabet soup” activity to reinforce other alphabet concepts, such as:

  • vowels
  • “like letters”
  • numbers vs. letters
  • gathering words (like an “Alphabet Soup” Scrabble)
All you need for this "alphabet soup" activity is a ladle, water, stock pot, and letter manipulatives.

With so many options for play, this “alphabet soup” is perfect for any time of the year!

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Sensory Play Alphabet Soup Activity

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