Hands on the Alphabet

Hands on the Alphabet

Recently I have been sharing in our Tot School posts about our ABC Baskets, and bins.

Animal ABC Letter V Letter T Bin

We use baskets and bins, and in the past with Krash I have used an even simpler method, as you can see below with the items just on a tray {photo from this post}…

Tot School Letter P

I have had a few readers ask me to share specifically a list of toys/items that would be good for these baskets.  During this phase of our homeschool life, I am sorting a few of our toys out by letter, rather than keeping the set together.  First I will share the exact items we own, which I have separated out by letter into gallon size Ziplock baggies, for easy prep when setting up for the new school week.

Letter Collection

I will be continuing with the alphabet baskets/bins through Animal ABCs with Ladybug, and then through Raising Rock Stars Preschool {we will begin shortly after completing Animal ABCs}.

We own the following, click to see where to purchase…

Alpha Tales Set  Abc  Alphabet Soup CansMatch It ABC  Shure Fishing ABC  abc pegsLadybug Alphabet Puzzle  Alphabet Counstruction Set  How to Build an ALeapfrog abc  abc flashcards  Little Zoo  Alphabet Mats


We do not own the following, but if you are looking to purchase a few things, these look great!

ABC Bean Bags  alex abc  ABC Puzzles  ABC Puzzle Cards  abc memory  Lace abcs  Alphabet Puzzles  Puzzle Boards ABCAbc wooden set  alex abc puzzles  abc pegboards lowercase  ABC Pegboards  Wooden ABC puzzles  Alpha Pops

Before you purchase things, be sure to think about what you already have!  ABC flashcard sets, magnetic letters, foam alphabet puzzles, and small items that begin with certain letters. Another note-not all kids will be into this. Krash could have cared less about my alphabet collections, Ladybug absolutely LOVES them. 

A few FAQ…

Why are letter collections a good idea?

It is a fun way to expose not only letter identification, but also the sounds a letter makes. It keep the phonics learning fun and playful, but at the same time creates a hands on connection to many items that begin with that letter. Young children learn well by touching, hearing, seeing, and engaging as fully as possible with something. These collections give your child the chance to do all of those, especially when you interact with the items alongside of your child {emphasizing the sounds and letter}.


What in the world do I DO once I have it all set up?

Sit on the floor and PLAY with the contents, with your child.  Child not interested?  Play quietly {put puzzles together, say names of objects, etc.} and see if your child may become interested.  Try an active game of hide the objects!  Even the most reluctant child usually enjoys a good game of hide and seek!  Hide the objects around the room and as your child finds them, have him/her yell out the letter/name!  There are no rules, even if your child just sits and “plays” with the stuff, s/he is learning!


What if I only have a few items for a collection?

That’s fine!  We just have a lot due to me being a former teacher, homeschooling for 6 years, and grandparents who are generous in purchasing school related toys for us.  Even if you don’t have a lot, and can’t afford to buy more {or don’t want to}, that’s fine!  You can print images, draw images, and maybe even make index cards with fancy letters drawn on them in fun colors.  Think creatively and you’ll find that purchasing more stuff isn’t even necessary!

More Letter Collection Ideas…

I have more ABC ideas here on my Pinterest board

ABC Pinterest Board

You will find letter bins from Spell Outloud, Nuturing Naters, and Playing House. Get even more ideas for small objects beginning with each letter on this series of posts from Counting Coconuts. I was inspired by those posts to create our own ABC box, you can see ours in action here.

Alphabet Box

No matter how large or small, how uniquely creative or simple ~ learning letters and sounds can be playful and fun!  Do you have a fun way you play with letters featured on your blog?  Feel free to leave a link to a post of yours in the comments!  Do you make letter bins, letter baskets, letter boxes, or anything similar?  I’d love to see your versions!