Reading Sensory Bin

Post by contributing writer Kim of Life Over C’s


My daughter has been very reluctant to admit that she enjoys reading. Mostly due to being a perfectionist and not wanting to admit that she needs help. Because of this we work very hard to make reading fun. Really fun. Like glitter alphabet and sensory play fun. I created this reading sensory bin for her to enjoy a Valentine’s book, but you could change up the colors and use it with any book that your child would enjoy.


What we used for the Reading Sensory Bin: 

Rice dyed pink

Chipboard letters (two sets)

Small shoe storage box



I keep all colors of rice on hand, so that when creativity strikes, we don’t have to wait for a new batch of rice to dry before we can create a sensory bin. We dye our rice with hand sanitizer and I’ve never had a batch go bad. Some of the rice we’ve had for over a year.


I store it in gallon zip top bags inside of plastic storage containers, so I’ve never had any problems with bugs either.


So, when we were inspired with the idea to create a reading sensory bin to go along with one of my favorite Valentine’s books, The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond, it only took a couple minutes to put it together.


You can hide the letters in the rice to create a letter scavenger hunt while you read.




First we had some fun just making words. CVC words are a bit below my daughter’s reading level, but it helps her confidence to build them and it’s great review for sounding out larger words.




Then, we picked words from the book and found the letters to spell them. We used two sets of chipboard letters so that we would have duplicates of the common letters, so that we could make bigger words. If you don’t have room in the sensory bin, you can keep an “emergency word building” pile on the table with you.

With this activity there is no pressure. It’s self-correcting which is great for us because it’s hard to hear Mom say that something is wrong. All she has to do is look at the word in the book to check if she spelled it correctly.


This can be a great time to talk about new word patterns, homonyms, and vowel teams. Recognizing that in English sometimes different spellings can create the same sound is a hard concept for kids to grasp and takes a lot of practice and exposure.


Mostly important, as always, have fun learning!




kimKim is a work at home mom of four awesome daughters {12, 10, 7 year olds and a special needs 4 year old}. She is wrapping up her 7th year of homeschooling and, before recently returning to the States, lived overseas for 9 years. Kim shares free printables and educational activities over at Life Over C’s


One Comment

  1. thanks so much for this .. im just starting out as a senior kinder tutor.. im sure this will help make the reading tutorial fun :D thanks a lot

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