Monday, November 5, 2012

Montessori-inspired sandpaper alphabet cards

Ellie has started paying a lot of attention to letters. She wants us to write down various words all the time, and gets really excited when she sees letters on signs or in her environment.

She also really enjoys sensory-based play. I wanted to combine these things and get her a set of the Montessori sandpaper letters. But geez they're expensive.

I actually, ON MY OWN (that means NO Pinterest!) came up with two different ways to do these letters.

Total cost: $1
Total effort: 5/10

I bought a pack of cheap sandpaper at the Dollar Tree ($1). I used my Cricut to cut out upper and lowercase letters (this is why it was so easy). I will say -- this did not work super well. The first page went really well, but then the sand started sticking to the mat and it didn't cut as well. So in hindsight, I would use an old mat so I could throw it away, and I would cut the hardest-to-cut by hand letters first. I ended up having to do G/g, J/j, O/o, T/t and V/v by hand.

Then I picked up 52 paint swatches (I'm so sorry, Lowe's) -- 21 dark blue (for lowercase consonants), 21 light blue (for uppercase consonants), 5 dark red (for lowercase vowels) and 5 light red (for uppercase vowels).

I used a layer of mod podge to glue the sandpaper on. I decided not to do another layer over the top so that the sandpaper would be bumpier. Trim off the paint name and they're done!

Total cost: $9 (using Hobby Lobby sales and 40% coupon)
Total effort: 1/10

I bought a pack of raised glittery stickers, so they'd have some texture, 26 wooden tiles (for uppercase), and 26 round tiles (for lowercase).

Then I stuck them together (do I really need a tutorial for this one?)

However, I did run into a snag. Did you notice the stickers are missing a few letters? Yeah, weirdly, this set didn't include capitals of about 6 letters and a lowercase "q". See how I faked it?