Skip to main content

Montessori Sandpaper Letters - To Buy or DIY?

To buy or to DIY - it's an age old Montessori parenting question! And, I think it's one that a lot of parents ask themselves especially when considering traditional Montessori materials for their homes. These materials are often limited in purpose and just plain expensive. For a Montessori classroom, it makes sense to buy a lot of the real versions of Montessori materials, but as a parent should you? This is a complicated question because everyone's situation is so different. And, for me, I make a material by material analysis before deciding for my own family. In this post, I wanted to share that analysis with the sandpaper letters, in particular. 

The sandpaper letters are a Montessori preschool activity that can help support reading and writing. Heres a look at DIY and traditional options.

First, what are the Montessori sandpaper letters? Traditionally, they are wooden cards with letters printed on them. These letters are rough like sandpaper to give a tactile impression to a child. The child traces the letter and repeats the letter's sound. The tactile feel of the letter helps the child to internalize its shape and will help with writing the letter later on. Typically the vowels are blue and the consonants are pink. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

There are a ton of options on the market for buying both traditional sandpaper letters, and Montessori inspired tactile letters. They come in both cursive and print options.
But, there are also TONS of amazing options to DIY sandpaper letters. Basically, this can be done a virtually unlimited way! As long as the letters are clear, and have a tactile component, it works! Here are some DIY versions:
When I think about DIY vs. buy, I ask myself a few questions: How many children are going to use these materials? How many different ways can we use these materials? How much time will it take and effort will it take to DIY? Do I have the skills to DIY? How cheaply can I find these materials? Can I sell these materials when I am finished with them? Can I find these used or preowned? Do I have something that I can use instead of these materials to fill the same purpose? Is this something my kids really need if they are going to Montessori school?

The sandpaper letters are a Montessori preschool activity that can help support reading and writing. Heres a look at DIY and traditional options.

It basically comes down to, can I get the materials for an affordable price, will a DIY hold up to use by the children, and do I have the skills to make it? The answers to these questions really will depend on each family and each material. 

I happened to have found a set of traditional cursive sandpaper letters many years ago used for a decent price. Knowing that I was going to have multiple kids use them, and the fact that we were homeschooling at the time, I decided it was worth the cost. 

Now, I don't know that I would make the same choice since we don't typically homeschool. The sandpaper letters are used for a relatively short time (compared to the moveable alphabet, for example) and they are a super easy DIY. I would probably just DIY them to support our learning at home if sending my children to school. If I was a homeschooler, I probably would buy a traditional set again. 


The sandpaper letters are a Montessori preschool activity that can help support reading and writing. Heres a look at DIY and traditional options.



Have you made or bought a set of sandpaper letters?
---

Comments

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2020

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 2020 UPDATE: This list is updated for another year! Enjoy a variety of Montessori friendly finds from both major retailers and smaller shops!  So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, but only works for classroom settings. While there are many works that I recommend for home school use, you won't find these

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return.  That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains,  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. "A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me.  This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable.  As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help , we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps