Smiling like Sunshine: Name Recognition Game in a Sensory Tray

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Name Recognition Game in a Sensory Tray

Derin is showing a great interest in letters and numbers these days. Often he will take a jar of magnetic letters from the shelf . He loves looking at them and pretending to sound them. I am not teaching him the sounds of the letters just yet but I do encourage him to trace with the  sandpaper letters / numbers and play with the letters/numbers by sticking them on a magnetic board.

 When Derin goes to his nursery, he has to find his name tag and stick on a peg to hang his coat. Therefore he now can recognize his name and if  he comes across one of the letters in his name, he gets excited and says "Benim, benim!" (Turkish for "mine")
The inspiration for this sensory tray came from Deborah at Teach Preschool. Deborah uses name tags hidden in a coloured rice tray for her students.
I have yet to colour a bag of rice so I used oatmeal and our magnetic letters. Derin (28 months old)  likes scooping and handling the oatmeal and finding his letters.

It is important to expose children to lower case letters as most of the reading is done with these. Capital letters are only used at the beginning of a name or a sentence in English (or Turkish in our case). So if you intend to buy letters for this kind play, I would encourage you to go for lower case letters even though they can be a bit more expensive.
Charlotte at Make Do And Friend  also has a similar sensory tray for an Alphabet Soup activity which is  great for playful learning.

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  1. Derin is adorable! It's so great you provide him with many rich learning experiences. He's sure to be well-rounded:)
    I'm always glad when Teach Preschool is able to offer a little inpsiration. Thanks for the mention:) Happy Teacher Appreciation Week - you're a great teacher!

  2. Deborah,thank you so much for your sweet comment.You are such an inspiration.x

  3. What a cute idea! My preschooler is just getting to the "what does that say?" stage. I think I may have to borrow this!

  4. Oh my goodness what a great idea! We LOVE to play in oats!!! We'll have to try this! Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Love this idea. We have some rainbow rice begging for some new activity. Now to find some lower case letters. We used to have some.

  6. I LOVE this! Such a great sensorial experience along with being a fun name-recognition game! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Any-Season Sensory Tubs/Sensory Experiences board at

  7. Oats are such a great idea.I had no idea lower case was used first in Turkish. That's interesting. What a great way for kids to learn lower case.

  8. I wish lower case letters weren't so hard to find. And usually the lower case "a" isn't the style that they would learn either. Talk about confusing! Great sensory play, Mama. Thanks for sharing with the Kids Co-Op!

  9. oooh this is perfect for my 3 year old. Thanks for the idea.

    Thanks for linking up too. x

  10. I LOVE this! What a fun way for a child to learn their name. I am featuring this for my Kids Co-Op post this week! :)

  11. Thanks for all your sweet comments.
    @alittlejournal Sorry for confusion,but we use capital letters first.But we only have lower case magnetic letters,that is why it is all in lower case.


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