Alphabet Discovery BottleSometimes learning letters can be tricky for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Remembering all of those letters (26 is a lot!) is frustrating and difficult and kids just aren't into identifying the letters of the alphabet. Many times you have a child who picks up on letters right away. You can see posts on Facebook where proud parents are touting their two year old who knows all of the letters and the sounds they make. They are proud mamas and papas and deserve to share their excitement with all of their friends on social media! But sometimes, you have kids who just aren't into learning letters. As much as you try to introduce the ABC's, some kids just have more trouble recognizing the way a letter looks, recalling the letter name, and identifying the letter's sound. Creative and multi-sensory teaching techniques can help with kids who are resistant in trying yet another letter learning activity. We made this ABC letter identification discovery bottle to practice letter recognition. Have you made a sensory bottle yet? These are very cool calming sensory tools in learning and play!
Alphabet Letter Recognition Discovery Bottle
My three year old is always up for an interesting activity. She is my little helper when it comes to our cooking with kids recipes. Whenever I have an activity set up, she is always game to play! This sensory bottle was just for her as we practiced naming the letters of the alphabet. She helped me make our letter discovery bottle and that was part of the fun! (I'm including affiliate links in this post.)
To make a sensory discovery bottle based on letters, you'll need just two items:Foam Alphabet Puzzle (This is not the type of puzzle we used in our bottle. We found ours at a garage sale long ago. However, these foam letters would work in your discovery bottle. And if you find a puzzle like ours at a yard sale, grab it up!)
So making this scented scenory letter activity is beyond easy. First, dump out half of the salts into a large bowl. Add in your foam letters. Kids will LOVE doing this part of the activity. Ask them to help you name the letters as you drop them in one by one. Then, when you've got all the letters (or as many as your bottle can handle), start scooping in the remaining bath salts. This is such a great sensory activity for kids. The sense of scent (or olfactory sense) is one linked to recall. How many times do you recognize a scent form your past and recall memories associated with that smell? Invite your child to sniff the air as you scoop the salts back into the container.
**NOTE** Be sure to stay with your child as you do this part, and any parts of this activity. Children should not taste the bath salts and if your child may put items into their mouth, refrain from allowing them to scoop the bath salts. As with any activity on this blog, be sure to use your best judgement with your child's needs and abilities and provide direct supervision.
You may want to glue the lid shut at this point, before allowing your child to play with the discovery bottle.
Next, start playing! Allow your child to shake, roll, shake some more with the discovery bottle. Invite them to shake until they find and can identify the letters in the bottle. Shaking the bottle has weight and provides proprioceptive input to kids. Depending on the size of your bath salts bottle, it can be on the heavy side. Use this activity as a warm up to fine motor tasks such as handwriting or drawing.
Alternate ways to play with this letter sensory bottle:
- Look and search for letters. As you find one, name it with your child. Ask them to shake the bottle and search until they find that letter again.
- Shake and roll the bottle and ask your child to name the first letter they see. Have them shake and roll until they find letters in alphabetical order.
- Ask your child to find a letter that starts the word "apple, ant...". Name words for each letter and ask your child to find those letters in the sensory bottle.
- When your child finds a letter, ask them to name words that start with that letter's sound.
- Use the empty puzzle. Point to a letter spot and ask your child to name that letter and then find it in the discovery bottle.
- Ask your child to shake the discovery bottle and find a letter. Ask them to point to that letter's spot in the empty puzzle.
- Ask your child to find a letter in the discovery bottle. When they do, ask them to use the discovery bottle like a pointer and draw that letter in the air, using both hands on the bottle. Provide hand-over-hand assistance, if needed.
- Look around the room and play "I Spy". Say to your child, "I Spy something that starts with the letter B." Have them guess the item in the room, then shake the sensory bottle and find the letter "B" in the discovery bottle.
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Looking for more discovery bottle ideas using dry materials? The bloggers in the Discovery Bottles Blog Hop Team have created discovery bottles using dry materials this month. You know: rice, corn, paper, seeds...how many dry materials can you think of to use in a discovery bottle? See what the bloggers have made:
Candy Corn Discovery Bottle | Preschool Inspirations
Alphabet Discovery Bottle | Sugar Aunts
5 Little Pumpkins Discovery Bottle | Modern Preschool
Easy Halloween I Spy Bottle | One Time Through
Pumpkin Seed Discovery Bottles for Fall | Fun-A-Day
More creative letter learning ideas that your child will love:
Name Soup Writing Your Name | Building Letters Cotton Swabs | Fizzy Dough Letters | Handwriting Cookie Cutters