Fall is almost here which means it’s time to get out some of my favorite fall-themed learning activities! This Apple Alphabet Sensory Bin is great for bringing a fresh autumn approach to identifying uppercase and lowercase letters. Your kids will love how engaging and hands-on this activity is!
*Pair with our Apple Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten!
Apple Alphabet Sensory Bin
I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make “apple picking” work within a sensory bin because I definitely was not about to build a bunch of little trees to pick apples from. Luckily, this apple and basket confetti was perfect for mixing into one of my usual sensory bin fillers. I was able to create a fun “letter search” which doesn’t take away from the fact that you probably shouldn’t be picking apples off the “ground.”
If you had apple scatter beads or even apple print outs, those would make a great substitute for the confetti. Use this sensory bin as a base idea and make it work with what you have available to you. You can even swap out the apples for your own favorite fall harvest!
How to Make an Apple Matching Literacy Sensory Bin
First, gather your materials:
- Apple and basket confetti
- Permanent marker
- Small baskets or cups for collecting matching sets
- Clean, dry beans
- Large sensory bin
For this bin, we used a rolling bin from Ikea but any large rolling storage bin or water table would be great for making this an easy setup and helping kids keep things tidy.
My confetti needed the basket handles popped out, so I basically popped out all basket handles and matched them to the apples. Try to make a couple sets of the alphabet if you are going to have more than one child using the sensory bin at a time, so that kids can work their way through the alphabet.
Use your permanent marker to write out uppercase and lowercase letters on the confetti. I made two sets which is great for preventing conflict and can also facilitate a game of trying to take turns finding each letter – or alternating finding letters, etc.
RELATED RESOURCE: Alphabet Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten
How to Play
I don’t force the matching when the kids are playing with this bin – because all of the confetti has letters, it naturally comes about when they notice that the apples are lowercase and the baskets are uppercase.
This also allows the children to express what they are interested in at the time – spelling out words, identifying letters, etc. I think it’s absolutely fine if a child is not yet ready for alphabet matching and they find a different use for the letters in this bin.
The little apple baskets I use in our apple pie sensory bin served as a perfect receptacle for the matched pairs of letters. Small cups or jars would also work well.
This is a great bin to provide a low-key way for students to practice their uppercase and lowercase letter identification and it also provides opportunities for cooperative play!
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