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October 26, 2020

Mixing Sandpaper Letters and Language Objects

I've explained before the beauty and awesomeness of the Montessori sandpaper letters! They are such a wonderful way to introduce both letter shape and sounds to our children. I think they are the perfect combination of movement, tactile feedback and visual cues to really help children solidify their knowledge of sounds. 

But, while there is simplicity in their design, I also find that sometimes kids need a little motivation to return to them over and over again - especially without me. This repetition is so important because that's what helps them learn those shapes and sounds and be ready to move forward to the moveable alphabet and other awesome Montessori language work. 

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So, I have made sure there are a few fun ways available for my children to use the sandpaper letters. One, is the knock-knock game! But, the other is by incorporating language objects. Up until this point, language objects are typically only used for sound games. But once I have introduced the sandpaper letters, I open them up for more exploration. This makes them super intriguing for my kids. 

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I do this by adding a small container of the objects that match a featured sandpaper letter. At first I just start with one letter and one set of objects. The objects can be explored and placed on the card.  I use this holder to display the sandpaper letter and the objects are just in a bowl. This helps Gus independently connect the sound from the objects to the sound from the letter. I started doing this last year after the initial interest in the sandpaper letter wore off. 

Once he was familiar with the process of one letter, I added more. Right now, he is up to three letters at a time. Mixing and sorting the objects to the letter that they belong to. It's a fun way to keep engaging with the sandpaper letters time and time again. For more popular letters, I can even change some of the objects to switch up the activity. This could also be done with small printed pictures (although there is something super intriguing about the objects that call to the child.) 

Remember that this is supposed to be fun. Sometimes the objects have a silly parade on the letters. Sometimes they make "homes" in the letters. Sometimes it's just straight up matching. There is a lot of flexibility here and that is one of the reasons I think it is so engaging. 

This Montessori activity is a fun way to mix language objects and sandpaper letters to help 3-year-olds learn letter sounds and early reading skills.

Have you ever combined language objects and sandpaper letters? 


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