Do you have a box of ‘alphabet stuff’ but aren’t sure what to do with it? Here is a list of 30+ Alphabet Tub Activities that you can use to help your students learn their letters and sounds!
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Maybe you have an organized set of objects in your classroom. Or maybe you have some old clear shoe tubs filled with things you have collected over the years. Or maybe you bring a bag in every day filled with things for the letter you are teaching each day. Either way, having objects to show, manipulate, and hold is important for kids to learn with.
Through all my schools and districts I have worked in, most have provided the Lakeshore Alphabet Tubs in their kindergarten classrooms. You can get those on Lakeshore’s website here, or you can keep an eye out for them on Amazon too. (We have seen them on Amazon many times, but not all the time. Click here to see if they are available now.)
We like to supplement this set with objects from the cake store. This is a great place to go to get small size objects to sort and use in centers! The objects we find there are random, small, and cheap so we love it! You can also shop cake toppers on Amazon, but at the cake store you can get one small tree instead of a set of them.
Looking for ideas to use with your alphabet tubs? We have you covered here:
Use them during instruction with these ideas:
- Use them as realia you introduce the letters. Show the object and have the kids repeat back the words isolating the initial sound. Talk about each object.
- Play a group game. Put objects in a bag and pull each out one at a time. Talk about beginning sound, ending sound etc.
- Play one of these things is not like the other. Put one object in the bin that does not belong.
- Scatter some items around the room and the kids will have to go on a scavenger hunt and put them in the right tubs. Make sure you have one or two objects for each student to get and tell them they only get one or two.
- Put the times on a tray. Show them and ask them to remember the items on the tray. Then put the tray away and ask them to write or draw pictures of everything on the tray.
- Sit in a circle and pass the items around the circle. Have kids say the name of the objects when they get them to help build vocabulary.
Use them during centers with these ideas:
- Give kids two or three tubs and have them sort them by initial sound.
- Mix everything in a big pile (or container) and have the kids put them back.
- Line up the bins in ABC order and go through the bins one letter at a time to make sure everything is in the right spot.
- Put a post-it note next to the objects, scatter them around the room and use them for a write the room activity.
- Put some items in a bag. Have kids feel inside the bag without peeking and guess what letter sound is represented in the bag. Have kids write down the answer on a sticky note and keep it a secret until you say.
- Put random items in a small mystery box. The student pulls an item and identifies the sound and the matching letter and can use letter cards like flashcards to match them with.
Use them in partner games with these ideas:
- Help other to find all the same sound objects for a letter sound. Objects would be mixed up with other sounds to start.
- Pick one letter or sound and together create a sound poster with a drawing of the objects in the bin.
- Take turns picking an object to describe from the bin. Have the partner give suggestions for more details or say another sentence.
Write about them with these ideas:
- Draw all the objects in the bucket and label the pictures.
- Pick one item from the bin and write a sentence about it.
- Pick one or two objects and write a story about it.
- Put the items in a bag or can and have them pick blindly.
Challenge them with these ideas:
- Sort by ending sound.
- Sort by how many syllables each item has.
- What word rhymes with the item.
Teach across the curriculum with these ideas:
- Categorize by items – animals, things you wear, food etc.
- Sort items by color.
There you have it. Over 20 Alphabet Tub Activitied you can do with your preschool and kindergarten students! What do you do with your alpahbet tubs? Comment and let us know!