Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Name Recognition Sensory Bin

I've read so many books, blog posts, and magazine articles about preparing my child for kindergarten.

It's a huge deal. And since I'm the one in charge of preschool, it's all up to me to prepare my girls. That's a big responsibility.

So I read every thing I could find.

There were so many things to learn, but one thing really stood out to me. It was something so simple, so simple that I took it for granted. The one thing that stood out to me was the importance of name recognition for preschoolers.

Of course!

Help your child learn to recognize and spell their name with this Name Recognition Sensory Bin. It's a fun preschool activity to help them get ready for kindergarten.

My preschooler needs to learn to recognize her name. It's going to be everywhere. 

Where will she hang her coat? Underneath her name. I don't want her to have to wait around for help. I want her to confidently recognize her name and know which coat hook to use.

So, I created a simple Name Recognition Sensory Bin. It is a great hands-on way for her to get familiar with the letters in her name and help her learn to spell it. She's learning and she's having fun. You can't beat that.

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I started with a shoebox-sized plastic bin with a lid. That way when we're not playing with it, we can close it up securely. 

I then filled it with a variety of dried beans. I had several already-opened bags of beans in my cupboard, so I filled it with black beans, red beans, lentils, and split peas. I liked the variety of colors and plan on using this for several other sensory bins I have planned.

Next, I added the letters.

I used our magnetic letters and added only the ones that made up my preschooler's name.

I typed up my daughter's name in a variety of fun fonts and colors, laminated them, and cut them out individually.

I also wrote the individual letters on milk caps. You could also use small wooden disks, wooden letters, alphabet blocks, foam letters, or anything else you can find to write letters on.

To complete the bin, I added a few bowls and spoons for scooping.

To control the mess factor, we lay out an old pillowcase and put the bin on top of it. There is only one rule: everything stays on the pillowcase.

It really was simple to put together. I don't know why I ever hesitated in making sensory bins!

My daughter spent a long time playing with her bin. She ran her fingers through it, hid all the letters under the beans, and spent a very long time scooping and pouring. We also worked together to spell her name with all the different letters in the bin.

Some playful learning ideas:

Sort the letters into piles of like letters

Try to spell your name using different types of letters.

Close your eyes and pull out a letter. What letter did you pull?

I'm a lot lesson worried about my daughter finding the correct coat hook. She'll be able to hand up her coat with confidence. And that's important. 

For more fun ideas for your preschooler, please see:

Ready for Kindergarten Book Study: Name Recognition

Go Outside: Shape Hopscotch

Rhythm and Number Rhymes

Easy Homemade Name Puzzle at Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

For even more preschool ideas, please follow my Preschool Ideas Pinterest board:

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  1. That looks like so much fun. We'll have to try our letters in the bins.

  2. I love sensory bins. We use an under-the-bed tote as ours, so my 3 and 5 year olds can play together, as well as their friends when they are over. We have done beans, pasta, rice, and now cloud dough. They love it! Usually I just keep some spoons and cups in the bin, and the kids bring in some cars when they want to.
    We are going to try water beads soon, and I am going to find some small fish and/or water animals like frogs to put in with them. Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  3. HI I have a home day soooooo going to do this...they will love it.....thank you....

  4. What a fab idea!

    Would love for you to link it up at my new Empty Your Archive link party which is a chance to dust off great posts from your archive - there is a focus this week on reading - would really love to see you there, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x


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