Alphabet Activities: Glowing Nighttime Sensory Bin

I wanted to create an alphabet activity sensory bin this week. This glowing nighttime sensory bin is everything I hoped for and more. We are having so much fun!

Alphabet Activities Nighttime Sensory Bin

Over the last few weeks we’ve enjoyed learning about families, farms and fall. This week the PLAYful Preschool theme is nighttime. My fellow blogging friends have so many great learning activities based on this theme, so don’t forget to check them all out below and follow #PlayfulPreschool across social media.

Evan loves sensory bins, but I don’t do them often enough. I am on a mission to do them more this year. If you haven’t researched the benefits of sensory play, you should. Children can learn and retain so much more when they engage their senses. Sensory bins often help develop fine motor skills and even practical life skills as well.

This activity includes a literacy component that works on letter recognition and letter sounds. While scooping and pouring, Evan practiced some practical life skills. We even worked on counting with the beans.

Materials Needed:
Glow in the dark stars (ours also included a moon) – I found them in the $1 Spot at Target and have seen them in many craft stores for a couple of dollars.

Black beans – I used 2 lbs and that worked out well

A plastic bin to put it all in

Spoons, bowls, measuring cups, etc. for playing with beans and working on fine motor skills and practical life skills.

Activity Prep:
1. Write letters of the alphabet on the glow in the dark stars. I used a group of letters we have covered already and a bunch of stars with the letter “N” for nighttime.
2. Pour the black beans in the bin and then add the stars.
3. Place the remaining tools nearby.

Activity Instructions:
There really are no formal steps to take when doing this activity. It is very open-ended. We talked about the letters as we played with the bin. I would ask him which letter it was, what sound the letter makes and sometimes I asked him to try to give me a word that starts with that letter. He also spent lots of time scooping and pouring beans, making bean piles and even counting beans.

Alphabet Activities Nighttime Sensory Bin

The best part of the whole activity was the glow-in-the-dark aspect. We often brought the bin into a dark room and played with it. We pretended it was nighttime and played with the moon and the stars. I would hide the stars in the beans and he would have to search for them in the dark. We even discussed the letter names and sounds while doing this. He LOVED this activity!

Alphabet Activities Nighttime Sensory Bin

We love to include theme related books with all our activities, so I wrote a post that lists our 10 Favorite NIGHTtime Books for Preschoolers.

Preschool Literacy 10 Nighttime Books for Preschoolers

For MORE Playful Preschool Nighttime Activities:

Nighttime Alphabet Treasure Hunt at Growing Book by Book

Glow in the Dark Letters Sensory Bin at Mom Inspired Life

Shoe Box Constellations at Rainy Day Mum

Night Sky Sensory Bin at Life Over C’s

Find the Big Dipper at Tiny Tots Adventures

Nocturnal Animals KWL Chart at Still Playing School

Night Time Musical and Dance at Learning 2 Walk

Create a Cricket Habitat and Do a Fun Science Experiment at Capri + 3

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh for #PlayfulPreschool at The Preschool Toolbox Blog

Studying Bats with a Hide and Sonar-Seek Activity at Raising Lifelong Learners

Night Time Sky with Playful Preschool at Powerful Mothering

Book-Inspired Preschool Owl Craft at Fun-A-Day!

Night Owl Painting and Books at The Educators’ Spin On It

For more fun preschool learning activities check out my Pinterest board below.
Follow Fun Learning for Kids’s board Toddler-Pre-K Learning Activities on Pinterest.