Icy Letters: A Literacy Sensory Bin

An Icy Literacy Sensory Bin Activity

Looking to add a bit of letter learning to your summer play? Here is a fun and easy literacy sensory bin idea for you.

In Icy Letters your little one will combine STEM learning with letter learning. There are so many ways to set this up and most of the time it will lead into self directed solo play, which the goal of every sensory bin I set up!

More Activity Ideas

For other ways to play with ice check out Frozen Pom Poms, Ice Rocks and Frozen Lego and Frozen Water Beads.

And in winter check out Cookie Cutters & Snow and Snow Art!

For more sensory bin ideas check out 21 Amazing Sensory Bins for Toddlers & Preschoolers and 21 Amazing Sensory Bins for Summer

 For more summer activity ideas check out 21 Amazing Spray Bottle Activities!

Free Play

I prepared the Icy Letters weeks in advance of setting up the sensory bin. So I knew I had it in my tool belt on a hot day to pull out to entertain my 3 year old preschooler.

With twin infants at home, sensory bins set up and clean up for me has to be quick and painless but most of all it has to promote free play!

So for that to happen a lot of the times I don’t have an exact plan of how she should play with the sensory bin materials. I give her the tools and let her go at it.

Can You Melt the Ice?

I gave her a jar of warm water and several different fine motor tools (see below) to help with the melting process I also added some salt for an added STEM element.

Here’s how to make your own Icy Letters:


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How to Make Icy Letters

Choose the letters you want your child to work on.

You can freeze letters so that your little one has to match upper case with lower case. Or you can freeze letters and small toys or animals that begin with that same sound and they have to melt the letter and the matching animal.

I put the letters in a larger ice cube tray as well as in a muffin tray so that there was a variety of icy shapes for her to play with and melt.

I filled the ice trays and muffin tin with water and placed them in the freezer for at least over night (mine were in there for several weeks).

Once frozen I placed the ice letters into a sensory bin.

Creating a Literacy Sensory Bin

Since we have done a few ice activities over the last few weeks she was an old hat at figuring out ways to melt the letters. But I wanted to give her something new to use to melt the ice. Hence the watering can.

Since it’s summer we have been watering the plants on our porch together so it was the perfect tool to use to help melt the letters. I also added a spray bottle, turkey baster and eye dropper.

Letter Learning

This was such a great literacy sensory bin activity and a fun way to practice letters and letter sounds during the summer. As she was melting the letters she was identifying them and calling out their sounds. I would also ask her what animal or colour or snack started with that sound.

On her own she would talk about which ones she has done and which letters were still frozen in ice.

Great Activity to Beat the Summer Heat!

She loved this activity. I left her outside solo for what seemed like a long time. The spray bottle and watering can were a definite hit!


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