Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Alphabet Sponge Sensory Play for Kids

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Catch my session on hyperlexia at Educate & Rejuvenate 2024

A super fun water and sponge sensory play activity for toddlers and preschoolers using alphabet sponges. Stamping the letter sponges makes for great fine motor skills practice too!

My boys love playing with water. It doesn't matter what season it is outdoors either. If water is involved, then my boys are all over it (see this math water sensory bin, this fine motor cup play, or this colorful magnet and water sensory bin, for example). 

So when I found some mini alphabet sponges at the dollar store, I was beyond excited! I knew that my boys would love them for bath time or for some water sensory play. But this activity here is a little bit of outdoor play.

I love how colorful and inviting this alphabet sponge sensory play is. I mean look at all those tiny hands crammed into the photo below. Should of used a bigger container, evidently.

Sponge sensory play with letter sponges

Alphabet Sponge Sensory Play: What You'll Need

Here's what you'll need to get ready for a little fun summer sponge play:

  • Letter sponges - I was super pumped when I found these colourful dollar store sponges that were letters. I mean how perfect are they for hyperlexic kids? You could also write letters on regular sponges instead.
  • A bucket filled with water - You'll need wet sponges for this activity after all.
Fill a container or sensory bin with water and add your alphabet sponges. This activity is best on a hot summer day. 

FYI, you could totally use these alphabet sponges in a pool or maybe even for some sensory bathtub play. Lots of other fun ways to play and keep cool.

Colorful alphabet sponges in a sensory bin for kids

Your Toddlers & Preschoolers Will Love this Simple Sponge Play!

Now you could simply leave the sponges in the water and just keep it as a simple sensory bin activity. Or you could also stamp the letter sponges onto wood decks, sidewalks, or even your driveway. Which is what we did. 

Child stamping with alphabet sponges and water

Remember how I said this activity is best for a hot summer day? Here's why. When you stamp the alphabet sponges on a hot surface, you leave letter prints behind. Basically, painting with water.

Stamping with letter sponges and water

You could encourage your kids to name the letters as they stamp them. You could also spell sight words and have them squish down on each letter as they spell the sight word out loud. Or you could just let them have at 'er and just do whatever.

My youngest K preferred to squish, smash, and squeeze the alphabet sponges, but not without naming the letters first. A, squish! B, squish! And so on.

Child squishing letter sponges as part of a sensory play activity

Child squeezing water out of alphabet sponges as part of a sensory play activity

J, my oldest, started off stamping. Eventually, though, he switched to drawing letters with the sponges instead. Drawing letters with alphabet sponges? Such a hyperlexic thing to do when you think about it.

Child writing with water on a wooden deck

Child writing with water on a wooden deck using alphabet sponges

Child writing with water on a wooden deck using letter sponges

My kids loved this alphabet sponge sensory play activity. It was such a perfect way to beat the heat on this ridiculously hot day.

Other Sensory Play Activities You'll Love

A fun sponge sensory play activity for toddlers and preschoolers using colorful letter sponges