DIY Montessori sandpaper letters  

A turned 3 this week and as one of her presents I decided to make her a set of sandpaper letters. She is showing interest in letters and words; especially when she sees S writing and beginning to read. A is, like me, a more tactile learner. She like to examine and investigate to work things out. 

I had been looking at buying sandpaper letters, but decided they seemed a fairly easy and interesting craft project for me to attempt myself.

I bought blank wooden postcards from CraftMill, but there are other suppliers online. This saved having to cut up a large sheet of wood, but if you have the tools (and the space) that might be cheaper!

I used Crown matchpots to paint the wood as I had these to hand from when we decorated pots for the garden. I used peek-a-boo blue for the vowels and happy days for the consonants. The traditional letters differentiate by colour to introduce the concept and to allow self-correction in the material. I painted fairly lightly, allowing the grain of the wood to show through as I thought it looked nice.

After painting the wood and allowing to dry I traced the letters. I used the templates from the Teaching Montessori at Home book as a guide for my letters. 

I painted on the letters with a mixture of roughly 50:50 paint and play sand to make a thick paint. I layered it on thick so the letters were in relief from the wood. 

I allowed these to dry for 12 hours before sealing with PVA glue as a varnish. 

A liked her letters and picked out an A straight away. We will be using them over the coming months to begin learning the letter sounds and shapes.

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