The next installment in my 101 Ways to Teach the Alphabet Series is a long overdue post about one of the most basic, but also effective, tools I like to use for teaching my kids how to form their letters: Montessori sandpaper letters!
When I was first starting to educate my kids at home, I was very inspired by the Montessori way of doing education. I learned early on about the use of sandpaper letters in the language area of the Montessori classroom, and I decided to invest in a set of uppercase and lowercase sandpaper letter cards.
Sandpaper letters have been a staple tool in Montessori education for a very long time, in part because of the wonderful sensory experience they provide to kids who are learning to form their letters.
So what are sandpaper letters? Quite simply, they are cards generally made from thick cardstock or thin wood with a letter embossed on them using sandpaper. They allow a child to quite literally feel the letter as they run their fingers over the card.
In a previous post I shared about some of my favorite tools for teaching letters and numbers. When I introduce a new letter, I generally do so by first reading that letter’s story in The Amazing Action Alphabet. (I cannot tell you enough how much my daughter and I have loved this book!)
While that book does an excellent job of introducing the letter name and letter sound, I find that my daughter needs more practice before she can correctly write the letter. That is where sandpaper letters come in.
When she is learning a new letter, I pull out the appropriate sandpaper letter and I work with her to trace the letter with her finger. I make sure she traces the letter the same way she would write it.
I generally have her trace the letter several times. And after tracing the sandpaper letter, I often have her practice writing the letter in another way (see all my posts from the 101 Ways to Teach the Alphabet series for more ideas.)
And that is how we use Montessori sandpaper letters to teach letter formation!
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More ways to teach to the alphabet
More alphabet posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Letter hunt sensory bin
- Making letters with straws and play dough
- I spy letter hunt
- Spaghetti letters
- Letter puzzles
- Making “alphabet soup”
- Smash the puffy letters
- Mini letter hunt with a magnifying glass
- Kinetic sand letters
- Letter hopscotch
- Letter hop
- Yarn wrapped letters
- Letter tic-tac-toe
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