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August 14, 2020

Learning to Like Texture - 5 Ideas to Help with Sandpaper Letters

Recently, I've been sharing more details about Gus' Montessori language journey and how we are supporting it at home. While some of these posts have been directly related to letter learning, there is still a lot of work that happens to support this learning unrelated directly to writing or reading. We call this indirect preparation. Today, I wanted to share some indirect preparation that we have in our home for sandpaper letters - lots of texture work! 

Montessori preschool activities for helping your child get more used to texture. This helps prepare their hand for sandpaper letters and other fun!

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The sandpaper letters are an important part of the reading and writing process in Montessori. But, their texture is very bothersome to some children. There are kids that are naturally more sensory seeking (might like a variety of textures and seek them out) and some that are more sensitive (avoid a lot of texture.) Gus falls into the sensitive category. He's not typically a fan of getting his fingers messy, wet, or touching anything rough. I introduced the sandpaper letters to him and quickly realized he would need more support to be able to use them correctly. 

So, I made a few DIYs to support some texture play and get him more comfortable with a variety of textures. In a Montessori classroom, this might be done with touch boards or tablets, along with a variety of practical life work. 

Sandpaper Work

I made this work specifically with the sandpaper texture in mind. I started with some of the lower grade sandpaper and will work up to more coarse texture. It's been a great practical way to get him playing with those textures. 

Finger Painting Tray

For this work, I simply put some dots of finger paint out on a simple tray. Sometimes, I just have him explore the paint, but this time we explored both color mixing and stamping (to encourage him to get is whole hand covered in paint.) But, again, it's helping Gus get comfortable touching other textures and nothing having his hand perfectly clean.

We've had to do this work many times to get to the point where he will explore with it much. But, he really is starting to accept, and enjoy, the process.  

Sponge Transfer

This work was another work that helps him get used to wet hands, but also the different textures of the sea sponges. At first he's been immediately attracted to the softest one, but by occasionally he is getting more accepting of those other textural experiences. 

Beach Kinetic Sand

Gus loves the smooth soft kinetic sand that I typically buy as a sensory experience for him. But, then I learned about this beach sand. It's the same as the regular stuff we buy but just has a lot more of a coarse "beach sand" feel. So I switched out what we have been using. The same effect could be done on a wet beach, but that's not something we have frequent access to here. 

Fabric Matching

Using two sample packs from Spoonflower, I made a matching work with different textures of fabric. I started with softer fabrics and have move to rougher ones. I love this pack because the pattern of the fabric stays the same while the texture changes. It's a great way just to isolate that experience. Gus's work is matching the fabrics together using his sense of touch. 

Does your child like texture? How have you prepared them for the sandpaper letters?

Montessori preschool activities for helping your child get more used to texture. This helps prepare their hand for sandpaper letters and other fun!


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