An apple tree preschool theme is a great way to kick off the school year! Apples signify fall and all things school-related, which is why I love this Free Alphabet Sorting Apple Trees sensory bin idea for preschool and beyond. Children will love sifting through an apple sensory bin while learning the alphabet in preschool. Sensory activities for young children ensure they’ll be engaged with learning.

apple tree sensory alphabet activity

Recommended Grade Level:

Alphabet Sorting Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Velcro Dots
  • Sensory Bin (optional)

Learning Literacy Skills in Preschool



Learning to identify and write letters takes a lot of repetition over time. The best way to get young children interested, is to vary literacy activities and make them feel more like fun games than “learning.”

The apple theme preschool activity is a great way for children to explore letters in different fonts. They’ll be searching, discerning, comparing, contrasting and more!

The alphabet apple tree is easy to prep. All you need is a printer and a paper cutter. Laminating is optional. You also don’t need to have a sensory bin for toddlers or preschoolers. You can simply place the letters in a bowl or on a table.

Once you teach children how to use the preschool apple tree letter sort, they can easily play independently.

In addition to sorting the letters by shape as they sift through the sensory bin filler, children can learn:

  • What’s the name of the letter?
  • What sound does it make?
  • Can you think of a word(s) that begins with the same sound?
  • Do some letters look the same/similar/different?
apple tree sensory alphabet activity

What Do Apple Literacy Activities For Preschoolers Teach?



Using apples for alphabet learning is a great idea because the theme can stretch far beyond your apple themed sensory bin:

  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Make/eat apple pie, cider, caramel apples, etc.
  • Learn the life cycle of apples
  • Do science experiments with apples
Apple Tree Alphabet font sorting

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn Letters Of The Alphabet?

Children are naturally curious about everything around them. Learning letters in early childhood helps prepare kids to learn how to read when they enter kindergarten.

Background Knowledge: When children begin to learn about the shapes we call letters, it sets their brains up for success. Soon they will need to understand that each letter represents a different spoken sound.

Understand Reading: Children with letter knowledge can easily make the jump from naming different letters to understanding that letters are truly a code for how to read.

Improves Fluency: The goal before learning to read would be to be able to effortlessly name letters, both uppercase and lowercase. That ease makes the transition to learning sounds much less difficult.

Make Connections: Preschoolers often learn letter names, letter sounds, and how to write letters simultaneously. It helps them make connections as to how they all relate to each other and to the bigger picture of reading.

How to Make The Alphabet Sorting Apple Trees

Step One:

Print the apple trees and letter cards. I like to use cardstock, but it is optional. Laminating is also optional.

Step Two:

Cut the apple tree cards and the letter cards.

apple tree alphabet sorting activity with sensory bin

Step Three:

Attach velcro dots to each tree and each letter. This is also optional, but it adds to the sensory experience and helps further develop fine motor muscles.

Step Four:

Prepare the sensory bin with rice, apple-colored pom poms, leaves, twigs or other items that fit with apple themed activities.

apple tree sensory alphabet activity

Step Five:

Place the letter cards in the sensory bin. Allow children to explore, find a letter and match it to the appropriate tree.

Ways to Extend the Alphabet Activity

Apple Crafts

Apple or apple tree crafts are a great extension to the alphabet activity.

Spell Your Name

Challenge children to find the letters in their name while sifting through the apple bin. Instead of placing the letters on the tree, they can make their name on the table.

Magnetic Letters

Place magnetic or other plastic letters within the sensory bin with the letter cards for additional sorting opportunities.

apple font sorting set font identification for kindergarten
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More Alphabet Activities You’ll Love!

author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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  1. Great visual discrimination activity! Just what I needed for one of my little kiddos! Thank you!

  2. Regarding the alphabet tree game: I love the idea of adding the letters to a sensory bin. Makes it more interesting for the kiddos. Thanks for the freebies and great ideas.

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