Montessori education often features activities focused on developed the stereognostic sense. The stereognostic sense is the ability to identify objects based on touch alone, without the benefit of seeing them.
In this week’s installment of my 101 Ways to Teach the Alphabet Series, I am sharing an activity that uses the stereognostic sense to learn letters.
My kids loved the challenge of identifying letters just by touch. Try it with your children to see if they will enjoy it as well!
A note about introducing this activity. . .
This activity is one you should introduce only after your child has a pretty good grasp of the letters of the alphabet, since this activity does not teach the letter forms but relies on children recognizing letter forms they already know.
If this task is too difficult for your child, don’t push it. Consider re-introducing the activity in a few months when your child may be more developmentally ready.
How to do this activity with your child. . .
In order to have your child identify letters by touch, you will need the following materials:
- A blindfold (we used a ski hat pulled over the face)
- A bag
- 3D letters (we used letters from our Montessori moveable alphabet, but letters from this crepe rubber puzzle would work as well, as would plenty of other options)
To begin, start by placing several letters into a bag. Then blindfold your child so they cannot see what is in the bag.
Have your child reach into the bag and pull out one letter.
Let your child use both hands to explore the letter and determine what it is. Note that letters like ‘p’ and ‘d’ will be indistinguishable, since flipping a ‘p’ upside down turns it into a ‘d.’
As your child determines what letter he is holding, he is using and developing his stereognostic sense.
Once your child thinks he knows what the letter is, let him take off the blindfold and see if he got it right.
Play for as long as your child is having fun.
More ways to teach to the alphabet
More alphabet posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Crystallized letters
- Letter hunt sensory bin
- Erasing letters with a Q-tip
- Making letters with straws and play dough
- I spy letter hunt
- Spaghetti letters
- Letter puzzles
- Montessori sandpaper letters
- Letter creatures
- Smash the puffy letters
- Mini letter hunt with a magnifying glass