Recently, we put together an Earth Day sensory bin filled with math activities. It was a hit around my house with kids from preschool through second grade. Since I am all about reusing sensory materials, we turned that bin into a making words activity bin! I think this bin is great for Earth Day, a space theme, or just because it’s fun! It’s very much a hands-on way to get children learning about letters and words.
Are you following Fun-A-Day’s SPACE THEME Pinterest board?
making words about the Earth
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Green and blue rice
White construction paper
Sensory bin or basket
Make the green and blue rice, as I did in my previous Earth Day bin. I already had mine on-hand, so I just dumped it into a basket.
Cut out cloud shapes from white construction paper. Decide which words to focus on making. I chose to go with Earth, air, land, and water. Other ideas might include reduce, reuse, and recycle!
Add the cloud-shaped words to the rice. Grab the appropriate magnetic letters and place them in the bin, too. I only included the magnetic letters that matched the words.
Invite the kiddos over to the sensory bin. If they’re anything like my son and my preschoolers, they’ve already come to investigate things! Explain that they’ll be making words about the Earth. Show the children the words, reading each aloud.
Ask the children to pick a word, then place that word into the sensory bin (or to the side of the sensory bin). Then encourage the children to find each of the letters in that word! As they add letters underneath the word, talk about the letter names, sounds, and formation.
Keep moving along until each of the words has been made!
Add all of the letters of the alphabet to the colorful rice. Spread the words out all at once. Have the children sift through the rice, find a letter, then see if it matches any of the words. This adds a bit more difficulty to the task of visual discrimination and letter id.
With older children, leave out the written prompts. Have them decide find letters in the sensory bin, and then they can make their own words! Perhaps practice rhyming words, word families, or spelling words this way. There really are many different ways to use this simple bin!
Oh so much learning! Here’s just a taste . . .
- Letter identification
- Letter sounds
- Letters “work together” to make words
- We read and write left to right
- Visual discrimination
Have you ever tried making words with your children or students?