Montessori Sandpaper Letters – a bit differently

Sandpaper letters are usually the first didactic material introduced to children in a Montessori environment. The etters teach children to associate a phonetic sound with its written symbol.

In the traditional set of sandpaper letters, all 26 letters of the alphabet are cut out of sandpaper and mounted on wood; the consonants on pink wood and the vowels on blue wood.

The child is asked to trace the letters of the alphabet with two fingers (index and middle fingers) and also make the corresponding phonetic sound.

Children love to use these boards, especially during the sensitive period starting at 3.5 years of age.

Now, to the great news! You can actually make these sandpaper letters easily at home and I’ll show you how.

On the picture above are the letters Max and Naoli have been using the most and they were made very quickly and cheaply. I did not use different colored boards, as I only had white heavy stock paper at home, but I used different colors for the letters. Red for the consonants and blue for the vowels.

However, you can also go the more traditional way and use pink and blue boards (heavy stock paper) and light brown letters.

What’s needed?

  • Hard paper in colour of your choice (we used white for the background)
  • Normal paper to print out the letters to
  • Felt in red & blue or pink & blue colours
  • Glue
  • Printer to print out the template

Step by step instructions

For homemade Montessori Sandpaper (Felt) Letters

  1. Print out this document – DIY Montessori Felt Letters
  2. To minimaze the usage of your felt material, cut around the letters
  3. Glue the letters “a e i o u y” on the blue felt material
  4. Glue the rest of the letters on the red felt material
  5. Once dried – cut the letters out neatly
  6. From heavy stock white paper (I used white cardboard paper) cut out 27 squares of 15 cm x 15 cm (Why 27? Because letter “y” can be a consonant and vowel too.)
  7. Last glue the letters on the white squares
  8. Prepare a nice basket to place the letters in

Hopefully, this will inspire you to make your own, unique Montessori inspired sandpaper (felt) letters. You do not need to spend a lot of money making it either.

Have fun creating and send us some pictures of yours!

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