Ready for some literacy fun? Try the Alphabet Scoop and Transfer activity with preschool and kindergarten-aged children. This quick and easy activity is a combination of literacy, sensory, life skills, and sorting. It has it all.
A literacy activity that packs a punch
This activity certainly has a little bit of everything. The Alphabet Scoop and Transfer activity is a literacy activity. It’s also a sorting activity. It’s a sensory activity. And (not done yet) it’s a life skills activity.
You know what?
It’s also a motor skills activity and a hand-eye coordination activity. PEOPLE. This activity is unreal. Holy moly.
RELATED: Looking for more alphabet activities for kids? Check out this list!
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What is an alphabet scoop and transfer?
This activity. I’m telling you. If you had to pick one activity to try – this would be a BRILLIANT selection. It has more layers to it than an onion OR a donkey.
Someone please get that joke.
Let’s break apart all the features of this genius activity, right after I hit you with the supply list.
RELATED: Looking for more easy indoor activities? Check out this amazing list!
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- Large alphabet magnets (like these capital letters and lowercase letters)
- Storage container (this is the one I ALWAYS use)
- Slotted spoon
- Two dish pans or bowls (I actually got these white ones from the Dollar store)
RELATED: Are you worried about whether your child knows their alphabet letters yet? I’d love to have you read my article on it.
I grabbed my trusty 28 quart storage container and filled it with water. I set in the 2 sets of ABC magnets – depending on water intake, some sink and some float. It’s pretty awesome.
Next to the storage container, I placed two dish pans. These would be used for sorting.
Notes: If you have concerns about your flooring, definitely do this activity with a towel under the materials. My floors are fine and my four-year-old is an activities professional, but a beach towel does brings a sense of peace.
The Literacy Side of Alphabet Scoop and Transfer
I gave my son (4) his task: sort the magnets into two groups, capital vs lower case.
And the activity was on.
Of course, this activity is deep with literacy. Playing with the alphabet, interacting with letters, and learning to differentiate between upper and lower case letters is important.
But it’s not so important that you should be stressing and flashing carding and rushing your toddler into learning these symbols ASAP. Read my post: Stop Worrying about the ABCs.
Once your child has learned their letters, this is the perfect activity to practice recognizing the difference between capital and small letters.
Notice that I call them capital, upper case, big, etc. It doesn’t matter what you pick – whatever sounds right to you!
The Sorting Side of Alphabet Scoop and Transfer
Sorting is an important skill for kids – being able to notice attributes and define categories is a big deal.
Little activities like this help a WHOLE LOT.
The Sensory Side of Alphabet Scoop and Transfer
Water creates a sensory experience!
Sensory is SO IMPORTANT for kids, and water is a cheap and easy one. Put a bath towel under this activity if you are concerned about your floors.
RELATED: On a sensory activities hunt right now? I have so many ideas I’d love to share with you.
The Life Skills Side of Alphabet Scoop and Transfer
This is another big part of this activity.
Scooping and transferring objects is a “life skill.” That means its a skill a child learns that they will use throughout their lives.
We adults think of scooping and transferring as nothing big – but to a kid, this is a very major skill to learn. Scooping and transferring activities help develop this skill in low stress situations.
Other skills promoted in this activity
This activity also promotes:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Arm strength
- Grip strength
- Spatial awareness
- Crossing the mid-line
But remember, we never need to justify an activity because of the learning. Activities are first about play and play is the highest form of learning for a child.
Frequently Asked Questions
They learned. The same way they learned the same way kids learn to stop dumping food at dinner or water out of the bathtub. They learn with practice, modeling, boundaries, and guidance. If a child dumps food on the ground, we don’t vow to never feed them again… so try not to make the same jump when it comes to sensory bins filled with water. Give boundaries. Stay close. Read more in my post on introducing sensory bins to toddlers.
This stages not ages. Instead of putting hard ages onto an activity, consider it for your child (not another): does your child like scooping? Is your child interested in water play? Do they know the difference or are learning the difference between upper and lower case letters?
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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