Two Simple Sensory Bins Using Invisible Letters & Numbers

By on May 01, 2013
I came across the idea of making invisible letters and numbers on I Can Teach My Child and thought it was absolutely awesome.  And if you know my boys, letters and numbers are their passion/obsession.  So of course, I had to try this idea with the boys.

To make the invisible letters and numbers (or really anything you want!), simply hot glue the designs onto some parchment paper.  Once they are cool, just peel them off.  Then you are left with these beautiful invisible designs.

Hot glue invisible numbers and letters from And Next Comes L

We did two different sensory bins before J decided to play with the individual letters and numbers on the floor.  Both sensory bins only used two items and cost nearly nothing to make.  So if you have been wondering how to set up an inexpensive sensory bin, then these are for you.

Sensory Bin #1: Colored Rice With Invisible Letters & Numbers

It has been awhile since the boys have done some play with colored rice.  However, I had some rice to use up after dropping my cell phone in the toilet (I used the rice to help dry out my phone).  So I colored the rice with some food coloring and added it to our big tub of colored rice that has been in circulation for over two years.

Materials
  • Colored rice
  • Invisible letters and numbers
    Colored rice sensory bin with invisible letters and numbers from And Next Comes L
Colored rice sensory bin with invisible letters and numbers from And Next Comes L

After a short glimpse of spring, some snow, rain, and colder temperatures greeted us, and dampened our spirits, early this week.  So we started off the day with this sensory bin.  As you can see, this sensory bin is so bright and cheery.

Close up of hot glue invisible number in the colored rice sensory bin from And Next Comes L

J & K exploring the colored rice and invisible letters sensory bin from And Next Comes L

Of course, J gravitated towards the numbers...

Colored rice sensory bin with invisible letters and numbers from And Next Comes L

J exploring the colored rice sensory bin from And Next Comes L

K, on the other hand, loves his ABCs, so he preferred the letters, but he took a moment to climb into the sensory bin as well.

K showing off an invisible letter A from And Next Comes L

Then both boys started throwing the rice all over the floor as if it were confetti.  J kept saying, "Happy birthday" before tossing it in the air, which was cute.  Now if only the weather would stay nice, then they could happily toss rice around outside instead of on my floor because let's face it...I hate cleaning up colored rice.

Sensory Bin #2: Water With Invisible Letters & Numbers

After the rice had been mostly picked up and K had gone for his nap, I set up this sensory bin for J using water.  The water really does make the letters and numbers appear invisible.

Invisible letters and numbers in water from And Next Comes L

Materials
  • Water
  • Invisible letters and numbers
  • OPTIONAL: a sieve or slotted spoon
I noticed that when wet, the invisible letters and numbers could stick to the sides of the bin.  I decided to set up the bin with a word stuck to the side to see if J would pursue the idea of spelling some words for me.  Well, he showed zero interest.  He just wanted the numbers, which was fine with me.

Sight word practice using invisible letters in a water sensory bin from And Next Comes L

I noticed how he was scooping the numbers up and waited for them to drain.  I asked if he would like a sieve or something similar, which he enthusiastically said, "Yes!"  He loved filling the sieve, lifting it to see the water fall out, and shake the sieve.  He repeated it over and over.

Sifting in a simple water sensory bin from And Next Comes L

So there you have it.  Two simple and inexpensive ways to play!

Two simple sensory bins for kids using invisible letters and numbers from And Next Comes L

Looking for more sensory bin ideas?  You can see all of my other sensory bins here or follow my sensory bins board on Pinterest.

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