12 Alphabet Tot Trays & Activities

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Time for another “obvious” theme – the Alphabet! It’s another theme where it is so easy to find toys and tools to help with making trays and bins, to the point you actually have to not use some things. (To further prove this point, I even put a bunch of remaining items in their own bin!)

One thing I did this week (and you can sort of see in activities #4 and #6 below), I put up single hooks on either side of his school shelf. This way we can hang worksheets and such; saving space from the trays in his school.

Real quick — I have to note the Alphaberry here! I recommend it below but it is such a great toy. Not too loud (it actually can be turned down) and does a nice job teaching the alphabet. It was unavailable for a while so it is nice to see that it’s back!

Enjoy a dozen alphabet tot trays for tots and preschoolers to discover the ABC’s!
(Have a preschooler? Check out our 19 Alphabet Preschool Trays!)

  1. Read, Build, Write
  2. Stringing ABC Beads
  3. Letter Dough Mat
  4. Water Wow! Book
  5. Highlighter Letter Tracing
  6. Mickey Alphabet
  7. Letter Sensory Bin Search
  8. Word Puzzles
  9. ABC Bean Matching
  10. Sight Word Flip Books
  11. Paper and Alphabet Stickers
  12. ABC Activity Bin

Read, Build, Write

  • Using Publisher I made a worksheet with Read It, Build It, Write It on it — as seen everywhere!
  • Laminated this sheet
  • Like Word World, we decided to work on building the words Word and World.
  • We wrote the word for him, and gave him the letters to build it

Stringing ABC Beads

  • Started with a pile of about 1″ tall plastic alphabet beads from Michaels
  • Added a piece of lacing string
  • Told him to make an ABC necklace!

Letter Dough Mat

  • Started with a laminated letter E printed from 123 Homeschool 4 Me — thank you!
  • Included some homemade play dough
  • Encouraged him to go to the play dough drawer and find the tools he wanted to help him make the letter E

Water Wow! Book

Highlighter Letter Tracing

  • This idea is from Designing Life — thank you!
  • I wrote the letters A through E in yellow highlighter on large index cards
  • Traced the edge of the A in colored pencil as an example
  • Gave him the colored pencil to finish tracing the rest of the letters

Mickey Alphabet Worksheets

Letter Sensory Bin Search

  • First, I used the alphabet pasta I finally found! They ended up being the very inexpensive store brand!
  • I dyed some of the pasta green, yellow and blue using regular food coloring and a little hydrogen peroxide
  • As I needed more bulk, I added a bunch of random beans that had spilled in my bean container. Specifically, it is red beans, black beans, and green peas
  • Next I put in all of the uppercase letters from the Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet
  • Finally, I gave him a printout of all the uppercase letters to match the found letters to.

Word Puzzles

ABC Bean Matching

  • Started with the printable bean matching sheets available from PediaStaff — thank you!
  • Printed that and trimmed it so it would fit in a smaller tray
  • Then, drew one of each letter with a Sharpie on some Great Northern beans
  • Can you put all the beans in the right spot?

Sight Word Flip Books

  • Based this off of this pin — thank you!
  • First, in Word I made text boxes with the last two letters of three-letter words — #OP, #AT and #IN
  • I left a space (not big enough, but a space nonetheless) to add the first letter
    Consonants are in blue and vowels are in red
  • On the same document (this all fit on one page!) I made single letters, four for each word. For example, “#AT” got a C, P, M, and B
  • Trimmed the words, plus all the letters. Stapled this in the proper spot on each word
  • Mounted the word combinations on cardstock
  • That’s it — our goal is for him to know all the words on these books!

Paper and Alphabet Stickers

  • Just an open ended sticker activity
  • Gave him a set of alphabet stickers (with the background peeled off, of course)
  • Included a scrap of paper with words on it (specifically, scrapbook paper for ‘boy’ layout) to stick on to

ABC Activity Bin

This week he started to recite most of the ABC’s on his own. We don’t sing much in our house and I would think he’d say it the way Pig does on Super Why! But instead he said it “traditionally” which makes me think he learned it from his Alphaberry. Now I’m blowing his mind with the fact that the ABC song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star are the same tune!

Anyway, a goal I had with this theme was further illustrating upper and lower case numbers. While he knows all of the uppercase and most of the lowercase numbers separately, other than the really obvious ones (O, W, Z, etc) I don’t think he associates them with each other. This also inspires me to start putting some charts and such up on the walls! We did pick up a great set of alphabet signs at the dollar store, but actually they seem a little too big for our purposes.

I can look at the picture of all these activities on our alphabet tot trays and know he really learned a lot over this week and a half! I think the ABC’s were a great transition into school being just a tad more formal.

Linked up over at Mom’s Library, Inspire Me Mondays, 1+1+1=1’s Tot School Gathering Place, The Homeschool Nook, Turn it Up Tuesdays, Tuesday Talk, Family Joy Blog Link Up Party, and the Learn and Play Link-Up!

We have our Cars Tot School theme up next!

Great Books for Alphabet Tot Trays

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