Hide-and-Seek Alphabet Puzzle

Hide-and-Seek Alphabet Puzzle in a Bean Tub


I’ve had this bean tub in our closet for over 2 years now. Big Brother used to love playing with it, and still does on occasion. Little Brother had not had a chance to play with it yet…until now (mainly because I forgot about it by the time he was old enough to not put the beans in his mouth anymore). I bought the beans in a large bag from Dollar General and stored it in a plastic tub with a tight-fitting lid.

Little Brother is sort of cantankerous about activities (although he is coming around) and he isn’t a huge fan of puzzles. Whenever I ask him if he wants to do a puzzle, he adamantly says “no”. But this time I enticed him to complete this Melissa & Doug Alphabet Puzzle by first hiding the pieces in the bean tub. He was automatically interested! :)


Here’s what you’ll need:  An alphabet puzzle, beans, and a plastic tub with a tight-fitting lid. You also may want some cups for scooping.


(Our letter “Z” puzzle piece is nowhere to be found)




 1. Dump the alphabet puzzle pieces into the bean tub. Be sure to bury some of them to make it a bit more challenging.




Ready to go!




 2. Let your child get started. Be sure to be close by to emphasize the letter name and sound.








 Making progress!





 Little Brother found all of the letters and recognized most of them!






Little Brother earned some free play in the bean tub after he finished the puzzle! :)

Be sure to check out our other sensory tub ideas.



*Please note:  This activity is not appropriate for children younger than 3 or those who still put small pieces into their mouths.


  1. My 2 year old is psychotically into puzzles (he’s 2 years and 4 months and working 24-piece ones). This might switch it up for something new! We have that same puzzle and I think the last time we saw the X was 2 homes ago. But we still have the other letters!

  2. Awesome! My girls love the whole “hide-and-seek” thing… *and* puzzles.. This is definitely a great way to put them together (maybe even mix in the pieces to another puzzle or two for older kids, and watch them try to figure out which is which…. ok, maybe that’s just plain mean.. lol). It’s also something that’ll keep the kiddos busy when the weather or whatnot won’t let them play outside. :D

  3. I’m a speech therapist and I do this with my young clients (toddlers and preschoolers!) all the time. Sometimes I even add dried pasta to the mix. It’s a big hit. P.S. Deb A. I don’t think your idea is mean – I think it’s great :) Thanks for sharing, Jenae!

  4. I did this with colored rice and a foam puzzle from the dollar store. The kids in my classroom LOVED it. I kept it out all year long because they couldn’t get enough of it!

  5. Hi! This is a great idea! I got a Melissa & Doug puzzle from a garage sale I think that none of the kids have been interested in. Love that I have something I can do with it now! =D

    Tina ‘the book lady’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *