Saturday, 19 July 2014

MONTESSORI PHONICS Do-It-Yourself Sandpaper Letter Cards *DIY Part 1*


If you find that the wooden sandpaper letter cards are a tad pricey, you can do up your own sandpaper letter cards for your home set. In this post, Budsy will share the how-to's to get you started.
Materials :

1. Vanguard Paper / Manila Card
> Pink for consonant cards
> Blue for vowel cards

2. Sandpaper (Bought mine from Daiso)
> 120 range for coarser feel to the touch
> 240 range for a less coars-y feel to the touch


If you aren't sure which range of coarse-ness you'd prefer to use for your cards, you can always get this small pack first to have a feel since most of the sandpaper packs in Daiso cannot be opened for touch test.

*Note* : I am not sure if this sandpaper pack is still available at Daiso however, you should be able to get sandpapers from any hardware stores near you. Coarse range between 80 to 120 should be okay.

When doing stuff for DIY, I prefer to do at the very least; two sets, because in case one gets torn, missing, spilled on by something, vandalized.. (the list goes on)..... then there is a spare for immediate use.

It contains rectangular strips of sandpaper of varying coarse range.
> 2 pcs of the 60 range
> 1 pc of the 100 range
> 2 pcs of the 150 range
> 1 pc of the 180 range
> 2 pcs of the 240 range

Once you've decided, then you can get the pack of the exact range in a bigger sized pack consisting of 5 pieces of sandpaper.

3. Sharp scissors / pen knife

4. White craft glue / UHU glue

5. Ruler

6. Alphabet Templates




*Note* : I am attaching the first two sets of the eight letter sounds that we first introduce to children in our Montessori classroom in this post. These are the closest alphabet impressions i could get. I used the hollow WordArt feature on my desktop using the Century Gothic font.

You may need to tailor it a bit to make the letter "f" tip slightly more curved down.... or the letter "p" a little longer.... (etc), you know what i mean… Just make the letter shape as how you would want your child to see it, trace it and write it, yuup! Don't have to die-die follow my templates, ya? 

7.Old newspapers or magazines as base for work space



(1) Cut square vanguard paper / manila cards measuring approximately (plus-minus) 6.4 inches or 15.4 centimetres.

(2) If you wanna prepare all 26 cards one shot, cut 21 pink squares (consonant cards) and cut 5 blue squares (vowel cards).



(3) Cut out alphabet templates and trace them out behind the sandpaper letters in reverse shape. It is easier to trace the letters on the smooth side of the sandpaper. 3. Cutting out the alphabet templates can help you save sandpaper material as you can trace them closely next to each other with the space you have.

(4) A sharp scissors is required to cut through the sandpaper to avoid those ugly torn marks at the corners. Sorry, I'm a bit perfectionist especially when it comes to cutting stuff.


(5) Cut out all the alphabet letters that have been traced on the back of the sandpaper and put them aside.

(6) Use good quality white / craft glue or UHU glue to paste at the back of the cut-out sandpaper alphabets and stick each of them in the centre of each coloured square card. Remember : pink for consonants and blue for vowels, okie?
(7) Leave all the finished sandpaper letter cards to dry completely.

(8) Voila! And soon, it's ready for use.

I have many different variations of letter cards that you can easily DIY to share with you. Will save those for another time. In the meantime, Budsy hopes this provides a clear start for parents who are keen to start their children off with Montessori Phonics in the comfort of home.

One fact you MUST know!

DIY projects aren't for the faint hearted. It can be a laborious job. If you are a stay-home mom, do set small targets to complete certain parts of the projects you wanna do. You don't hafta complete it all at once. When Budsy first did it, she took two weeks to complete the first set. Budsy knows that it is no excuse - but household chores are never-ending! There's also cooking and stopping to care and spend time with the children as well. So, take it at your own comfortable pace. This way, you'd be assured of the best quality results at the end of all your hard work. *hugs*

Before i end off this post, here are the objectives of having a child work on the Montessori Sandpaper Letters.

1. Provides tactile experience for both left and right handed children.

2. Provides awareness to the different letter shapes.

3. Guides children with the proper way letters are written.

4. Early introduction to sounds in letters.

5. Combines muscular impressions & visual memory to each letter shape.

6. Material is self-correctional. ie. Tracing should be done only on the sandpaper part of the material. The control of error is when the child's fingers moves away from the sandpaper shape... touching the smooth material of the vanguard paper / manila card.

7. Lightness of touch for the preparation of future writing.

8. Preparation for reading.




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