Learning the alphabet through play idea - alphabet sensory bins! | IntentionalByGrace.com

Learning the Alphabet Through Play

Learning the alphabet through play idea - alphabet sensory bins! | IntentionalByGrace.com
Learning the alphabet through play has been very effective for my toddler. Recently I have been sharing in my Intentional Toddler Time posts our ABC Sensory Bins. As a result, I’ve had several emails from readers asking me to tell them more about these bins and where I get all the items.

Why We Use ABC Sensory Bins

My toddler is very interested in letters, or as he says, “The B, B, C’s…” Toddlers learn best through play; therefore I wanted to intentionally expose him to letters in a fun and engaging way. I also wanted to start exposing him to the sounds letter makes.

As I was thinking about what I wanted to do, I found Carisa’s post from 1+1+1=1, Hands on Alphabet. Her post was super helpful in getting us started with our own ABC Sensory Bins.

letter s sensory bin

Our alphabet sensory bins have two parts:

  1. Alphabet
  2. Phonics

Below I am sharing the specific learning toys I use for letter identification practice and learning the alphabet through play, as well as the ones on my wish list for future use. Be sure to check out Carisa’s post for even more ideas!

ABC Items We Own and Love

You can click on the images to see them on Amazon. I’m linking to Amazon so you can see the full descriptions and get a better idea of the product. Our learning toys have been collected over time, even handed down from parents. Several of our learning toys have come from Zulilly! They often have amazing deals on learning toys. While others have come from yard sales and consignment shops. So shop around for the best deal! But I will say Amazon is usually very reasonably priced.


ABC Items on My Wish List

Phonics Ideas for Sensory Bin

letter t sensory bin play time


I collect items from around my home to add to the ABC sensory bin each week. Nothing is off limits! I’ve used puzzle pieces, bath toys, books, stuffed animals, and more. Some of the same items I use in my toddler trays end up in my letter bins.

Just think about items that start with each letter and look around your home for items that will fit in your bin. If you can’t think of something, then you can print some images from your computer and place in the bin.

How I Display My Alphabet Sensory Bin

letter T sensory bin


I use a leftover bin from Ikea for corralling my weekly letter items. But you can use a shoe box, basket, tray, or whatever else you have on hand.

Then I place the bin on the coffee table in our living room. We spend most of our time downstairs. We have a play room, but that’s usually where my toddler retreats for independent play. You can see our complete schoolroom set up here. I wanted to put the bin in an area I could easily interact with my toddler. Therefore I put the ABC sensory bin in an area where we do life together! We play off and on throughout the day with our sensory bin, and even Daddy gets in on the action after dinner most nights.

I have been so impressed with my toddlers interest in the bins each week. He plays frequently through the bin, and I have seen an increase in his ability to truly recognize letters along with their sounds. Plus learning the alphabet through play means we are having fun together!

Want More Ideas for Learning the Alphabet through Play?

ABC Pinterest board
If you want more letter ideas, check out my ABC’s Pinterest board. I’m constantly collecting new ideas from around the web to help engage my toddler in learning his alphabet through active play.

Did I miss anything? Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

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