Slowly, we’re converting a corner of our very conventional play room to a Montessori Materials Corner. I wrote about our plan back in November when we created three activities: The Popsicle Stick Shapes Tray, Bean Counting Cupcake Tins and Rice Writing Bowl.
I also just ran a piece on how we are starting to implement The Peace Table to help with conflict resolution a few days ago. The Peace Table is part of The Peace Curriculum in Montessori programs.
A blogger friend, Valerie, who runs the incredible Frugal Family Fun Blog wrote about how she and her kids made Sandpaper Letter Discs. I saw her talk about them in a national interview and have been looking to make these ever since.
Our Local Hobby Lobby had the discs but they were more than I wanted to spend, averaging $.75 per disc.
But, one day, I happened upon a cheap packet of much smaller wooden discs that were about 2 inches wide that came in packets of 22 for $2.99!
Another Montessori Mom gave us the idea to use dimensional fabric paint to create the sensory aspect so that kids could trace the letters with their fingers! This same friend also used cut up foam board to make letters for her own daughter.
Really, you could do this with so many materials with some imagination.
I made sets of upper case and lower case letters. The vowels were a different color. I also made the “Y” and “y” in a vowel color and a consonant color to demonstrate that it sometimes behaves like a vowel. I also made a couple of extras for the commonly used vowels and consonants.
I looked for a larger jewelry organizer that could hold all letters and numbers (0-9) in one place with one character in each pocket, but had to settle for two smaller jewelry organizers that each cost about 3 dollars.
My kids LOVE this set! You could play a game of match the letters (for upper and lower case letters) as well.
The part I love the best- is the cool hands-on learning they get out of tracing the letters. This will feed into the next Montessori activity we built that I plan to write about next week: Montessori Colored-Sand Writing Trays.
Good luck to you if you’re making similar materials for your kids!
I would love to hear about what you are doing and how you’re doing it!
If you’re interested in more awesome Montessori-Inspired Activities and Ideas, please check out the Collaborative Pinterest Board that Critters and Crayons contributes to! It is run by Deb Chitwood, blogger and Montssori Education Expert at Living Montessori Now!