Help your preschooler learn the ABCs with this festive St. Patrick’s Day alphabet sensory bin activity. Try your luck at finding and matching all 26 letters!
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Hooray for March! My five-year-old (who is a boy after my own heart) declared last night at bedtime that spring starts on March first, so it’s spring now. I hated to disappoint him by explaining that technically spring is still a few weeks away. March is certainly coming in like a lion, though. We’re due for a big snowstorm this weekend.
Regardless of the weather, March means that St. Patrick’s Day is coming. What a weird holiday (at least the way we celebrate it in America), but I kinda love having an excuse to dye everything green and make delicious soda bread. My boys get excited about ANY holiday, and I’m capitalizing on it by using Little Brother’s excitement to get him doing more learning activities with me.
I also created a fun little activity for Little Brother (3) yesterday. It all started with a bag of gold coins from the dollar store and a bin of rice.
Do you use rice bins with your kids? My little digger boy has been obsessed with rice bins for years, so we have one sitting on top of our fridge at all times. It gets pulled down for playtime almost daily. Give the boy a shovel, some measuring cups, funnel, or some mini construction trucks, and he’ll happily play for a LONG time (like, more than an hour).
Anyway, as I was brainstorming St. Patrick’s Day activities to do with him in the coming weeks, I created an alphabet sensory bin activity with a buried treasure twist. It was a huge hit. Plus, it only took me five minutes to prep. Win!
Wanna try your luck at this activity? Read on for the directions below!
Lucky Leprechaun Gold
St. Patrick’s Day Alphabet Sensory Bin
WHAT WE’RE LEARNING:
- Letter identification
- 26 toy gold coins (alternatives: paint some rocks gold or cut out cardboard circles)
- a marker
- dot stickers (optional)
- bin of rice (or other sensory bin materials)
- Piece of paper with the alphabet written on it
- Write each of the letters of the alphabet on a separate coin. I wrote my letters on green dot stickers and put them on the coins because I didn’t want the letters permanently on the coins…and I happened to have the stickers in my junk drawer.
- Write each of the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper (I used green construction paper to keep the St. Patty’s day theme going). Make sure you space your letters far enough apart that you can place each coin on top of its corresponding letter without crowding too much.
- Hide the gold coins in the bin of rice.
- Before doing this activity, it might be helpful (and fun!) to explain to your child the basic story of leprechauns. Consider reading one of these books to help set the stage for your activity.
- Invite your child to dig up the “leprechaun gold” that you’ve hidden.
- Challenge your child to match each coin found to the matching letter on the paper.
- It’s that simple!
- To make the activity more advanced, have your child match uppercase letters on the coins to lowercase letters on the paper.
- Encourage your child to say the sound(s) the letter makes when he finds it.
- Switch it up to practice other academic skills, too. Match written numbers to dots, sight words, etc.
- After St. Patty’s is over, you can reinvent this activity, telling your child to dig for “pirate gold” instead of leprechaun gold and play all year long!
Here are some more fun St. Patrick’s Day preschool ideas:
- The Rainbow Road: a life-sized learning game
- The Sneaky Leprechaun: A St. Patrick’s Day game
- Shamrock Balance Beam
- Green Glitter Slime
Pin this activity for later!