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Every spring, my kids at home are so excited about planting a garden of vegetables, and every spring, we buy a bunch of seed packets to grow all of our favorites. We have yet to have much success (I think our climate is really too hot sometimes!), but my kids wouldn’t pass up the experience of at least trying to grow a garden. Getting messy in dirt isn’t for everyone, so I have put together a simple way to bring the gardening fun inside while practicing letter recognition with a free Peas and Carrots Alphabet Sensory Bin. Children have the best time with hands-on learning when using sensory bins!
*Pair with our Alphabet Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten!
Peas and Carrots Alphabet Sensory Bin
This alphabet printable includes 26 easy to cut apart carrots. Each carrot has a letter of the alphabet on it.
To prep, start by printing the alphabet carrots (download below) on white cardstock so they are sturdy. Laminate the set of carrots for added durability, especially if you have multiple children playing at once. Cut them apart.
To set up the carrot garden sensory bin, find a plastic bin to use. In my preschool classroom, I use 2 sizes of bins and trays depending on how many of my preschoolers I would like to play at one time. For this activity, I set it up to be played individually, so the plastic bin I used was small enough for one child to play in.
Add dried split peas to the plastic container. You need enough to cover the bottom and to be deep enough to “plant” the carrots.
Add the carrot cards to the garden of split peas and it’s time to play!
Ways to Play
There is nothing better than playing in a sensory bin! My preschoolers in my classroom love dry sensory bins filled with rice, beans, or split peas. There is something so soothing about running your hands through the filler.
The object of adding the carrots to the sensory bin is to encourage alphabet knowledge through exposure to the uppercase letters during play.
Adding a fine motor aspect to this carrot alphabet garden sensory bin is easy to do! Just add tongs, tweezers, chopsticks, or clothespins to pull the carrots out of the garden.
Practice spelling names!
A fun way to introduce the letters that make up your little one’s name is to fill the sensory bin with only the letters in his/her name. To do this, you may need to print multiple sets of alphabet carrots.
Adding more than one set of letters that make up your child’s name helps them practice naming the letters and builds confidence each time another letter that they have seen before is pulled!
RELATED RESOURCE: Name Games and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten
My preschooler has started to read and is ready to spell simple words with the sounds she hears. To add a little challenge to the sensory bin, I used simple CVC words to make a game for her.
I would put the first and last letter of a CVC word on the table. In the photo below, the word C-A-T is shown. I had put the C and the T on the table and she had to fill in the correct vowel to make a real word. She searched through the carrots in the garden with her clothespin until she came across the A.
We played this over and over! She was a huge fan of searching and coming up with the vowel in the word on her own.
There are so many ways to play with this springtime alphabet sensory bin, and the great thing is that there is no wrong way!
Grab Your FREE Copy
Ready to make an alphabet sensory bin of your own? Get your free copy of the carrot alphabet cards by clicking the large, yellow download button at the end of the post!
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