Looking for a fun preschool learning activity to teach the alphabet? This alphabet soup game is an ABC sensory bin experience that mixes fun with learning!
My kids adore sensory bins. I do too. I mean, they keep my kids busy for really long stretches of time. They have fun and I can grab a moment of peace. It’s a win-win!
You might be wondering:
What is a sensory bin?
A Sensory Bin is a container that has items that inspire the imagination, and wake up the senses. You can find out more about the benefits of sensory bins here.
Items that are commonly used for sensory bins include: rice, uncooked pasta, sand, water, beans, and dry corn. Of course, the list goes on and on. See this post for more ideas on creating sensory bins.
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Supplies Needed For Alphabet Soup:
– A Sensory Bin (a container to hold the supplies that is both large and shallow)
– Sensory Bin filler – I used beans, but uncooked rice or pasta would work as well.
– Pom Poms – I used these to add an element of fun texture and a splash of color to the mix
– An Alphabet Puzzle (I used this one by Melissa and Doug)
– A Soup Ladle, Child safe Tongs, or Tweezers (We used the tongs from this toy salad set).
– Small Serving Bowls & Spoons (the bowls were also from this salad set).
– Alphabet Flash Cards (We use these ABC cards!)
How to Play the Alphabet Soup Game
Each player draws an alphabet card from the card stack. Each card has a letter on it. They then need to find the corresponding letter in the soup.
They may need to stir the soup up a little to find their letter.
Using their tool of choice (ladle, tongs or tweezers) they must grab the letter from the soup.
Then, using their hands they can place the letter in the correct spot in the puzzle.
If they succeed, they can add a spoonful of beans or rice to their serving bowl. The first kid to fill their bowl wins!
Alternative Ways to Play the Alphabet Soup Game
The alphabet soup game rules outlined above work for my 3, 4, and 5 year olds, (with the help of myself or my 10 year old) but if you want to simplify or change the activity, here’s a few ideas.
– Let the child choose the letter they want to place in the puzzle (play without the flash cards).
– Skip the beans/rice in the serving bowls. You can completely bypass the score keeping portion.
– Make it a sensory play activity without the competitive game portion.
– Use the ABC flash cards as a recipe. Give your child a few flash cards and ask them to make a bowl of soup with those letters. It’s a completely new and different game!
How to Use this Alphabet Soup Game as a Sensory Bin
My family also likes to use this Alphabet Soup Game as a Sensory Bin. I simply provide the materials and I let my kids play.
So if your kids just want to play in the Alphabet soup and serve it up, that’s a great way to learn too!
I love that they can play creatively while also spending time with the letters and placing them in the puzzle. As they play, they often make up their own games and I hear them talk about the letters.
I love play based learning!
Often times, I ask my little chefs for a bowl of soup with certain letters in it. This gives me a chance to check for understanding and shows me which letters we might need to practice more!
The key to making this a successful learning experience is to do what works for you and your family. Keep it light hearted and fun!
That’s it! If you are interested in more letter identification activities be sure to check out this article with some of my favorite Alphabet toys and books.
Also, if you are looking for more sensory activities be sure to check out How to Make Fake Snow, 4 Sensory Bin Ideas, and How to make Colored Rice. And if you are interested in buying a Sensory Bin, be sure to check out my favorite Premade Sensory Bins from Etsy!