Our Farm Themed Literacy Sensory tray was the perfect compliment to a farm themed unit study. It gave us a chance to not only talk about farm life (hay as feed, the duties of the farmer, what crops grow, etc…) but using letter tiles throughout opened up a fun literacy activity for the kids. It can be modified for use from toddlers to early grade schoolers.
This sensory tray went great with Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type, reinforcing literacy as the tiles kind of mimic the typewriter keys. Really, those silly cows writing letters to the confused farmer crack us up every time!
Here is what you will need:
- Shallow tub for a sensory bin
- Corn,cereal or other small grain
- Letter tiles
- Small plastic farm animals
Start by lining your tub with a thick layer of hay, I purchased a couple blocks from Walmart in the seasonal section but you can also find it at any craft store in the fall or feed stores year round. 2” is a good thickness for hiding letters in.
Then I added a small cup of “feed” for the animals which adds another texture to the bin, as well as another place to hide ! This was a cup of cheerios but you can use uncooked corn kernels, beans, or something similar.
Next, add small plastic farm animals, little buckets, cups, measuring spoons, mini tractors, etc… These are great for fine motor skills as they scoop, pour, grab, and dump out filler.
Finally, add your letter tiles. Hide them in the hay, feed, under animals, and inside any containers you added. The tiles can be used in variety of ways to help your child learn whatever it is they are working on -spelling their name, letter and sound identification, to learn Sight words, and practicing alphabetical order.
Depending on your child’s level and what they are working on you can add- the letters of their name, the whole alphabet. 5 or 6 letters you are practicing, or enough to create a couple sight words. The sky is really the limit with this open ended activity and by simply adding sight word flashcards or having them write the words they make with the tiles you open up another level of use.
What other ways can you come up with to use the literacy tray to help your child learn?