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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Letter sounds tubs

As a severe-needs teacher, it's often hard to find fun and hands-on phonics activities that are appropriate for my kiddos. My students have multiple disabilities, and many of them have vision impairments, so I knew that I wanted to come up with a phonics activity that had real objects, not just pictures. Through my search, I found these alphabet sound tubs from Lakeshoring learning, but there was NO way I was going to pay $150 for them! I really wanted to try them during my phonics time, so I decided to head to the Dollar Tree and our classroom cabinets to try to make our own.

I found little containers at the Dollar Tree (they were 2 for $1), I had a lot of the little objects scattered throughout my classroom and a bought a few at the Dollar Tree. Some of the tubs are still pretty bare (or empty) but I'm going to continue to search for objects for every letter! Each container has a foam letter, a card with the letter in Braille and 2-5 objects that start with that letter.

Here is a glimpse at some of the letter sound tubs and ideas for each letter.

A- apple, alligator, airplane
B- bell, ball, bear, bee, bandaid, banana, button
C- caterpillar, cat, car, camel, cactus, crab
D- dog, duck, dolphin, dinosaur
E- egg, eraser, elephant
F- feather, flower, fox, frog, fish, firefly
G- grapes, gorilla, gecko, grasshopper
H- horse, hat, heart, hen
I- heeeelp me!
J- jewel, jelly fish
K- key, koala, kitten
L- lion, leaf, ladybug, lobster
M- money, monkey
N- nut, net, nail, necklace
O- orange, octopus, octagon, ostrich
P- pig, pineapple, penguin, pear, pipecleaner, paperclip, panda
Q- queen, help I need more ideas!!
R- rabbit, rat, rhinosorus
S- snake, snail, spider, star, seal, sheep
T- train, truck, turtle, turkey
U- help!!!
V- violin, velcro
W- whale, walrus, wood
X- ??? I still need help with this one, guys! :-0
Y- yarn, yak
Z- zebra, zipper, help me!

Please, please, please comment with any ideas of little objects I could easily find and use!!


  1. I am fortunate that my school purchased the Lakeshore set years ago and I have supplemented the tubs since. In the "I" tub are a plastic icicle, easily found at Christmas time, an iron that looks like it came from a Monopoly game, and play ice cream. The "X" bucket has a plastic fox and a small box along with an x-ray.

  2. For U- small drink umbrella? Magnetic letter U? Maybe some Barbie underwear?

  3. Thank you guys SO much for the suggestions!!! I was so excited to see your ideas, I found play ice cream, a fox and an umbrella for our boxes! I'm still on the hunt for the other items ;) Thanks again!

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  9. I asked my family for their old McDonald's happy meal toys or toys that didn't go with anything anymore like a single Barbie shoe and got a lot. Also ask other teachers if you can look in their treasure boxes. I found a lot of mine in my own treasure box (plastic watches, yoyos, tops, etc.). I call these things junk toys but that's what kids love so it ends up in treasure boxes. This might also help- it's a PDF of what's inside the lakeshore ones by letter.

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