I am creating an Autumn unit in my head, and doing activities with my girls focussing on the Fall season. (I say, in my head, because I am so disorganised and can’t seem to follow a routine).
My two youngest were sick at home with daddy while Lady P and I went for a stroll. We picked up leaves and brought them home. I drew an outline of a hedgehog on their paper and Lady P cut hers out while I helped Cheeky Girl. Then they glued down leaves for the hedgehog prickles. The result was lovely! The fall leaves are bright and beautiful.
Lady P wrote the word hedgehog on her paper and Cheeky Girl made marks, trying to write hedgehog. This activity took about 10 minutes. Tomorrow they will colour the face.
I ordered a free Toucan Box promotional petite craft box for Lady P and I was a bit judgmental at first. I thought it wasn’t very inspiring but was pleasantly surprised at how much my girls enjoyed the project. They had to create an old pirate map and a parrot. The small pack included everything I needed (including a teabag to make the map look old) and we did our project!
Afterwards, Lady P wanted to continue with the fun so we made hooks for our hands (an extension activity it recommends) and I hid treasure in the house for them to find! It was a nice little project! I’d continue to get them but I’m still deciding if I want to spend the money each month!
Today we started our day cleaning the house (the girls helped) then we went to a singing group for S (it was for Lady P too but she was the oldest there).
S loves singing and dancing. She is obsessed with Music Man (which she calls Pia Pia piano) and Wind the Bobbin. The singing group was perfect for her and on Fridays while Lady P is in nursery, I’m taking her to a 45 minute session, called Jo Jingles, which S will love! Read the rest of this entry
Today I had to work so hubby homeschooled Lady P. I have 1 more day until I finish for maternity leave and I’m so tired I can see through time! Needless to say, it’s all about survival these days (and trying not to lose my rag). Being pregnant and having a toddler and preschool age child is extremely tiring but I’m not complaining (or trying not to 😉 and WHY are girls so loud? Can anyone tell me? Maybe it’s just my kids because they got my loud gene (I seem to remember my mum telling me to be quiet a lot ha). Read the rest of this entry
I’m finally feeling super motivated to get all my Montessori projects finished for Lady P. It is probably because I am pregnant and rather than clean my house, my nesting is causing me to finish tasks. Works for me! Read the rest of this entry
I finally finished my moveable alphabet and I am super happy with the results!
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I love Montessori manipulatives. They are so beautiful but so expensive! I especially wanted a moveable alphabet because I think it really helps children to understand how words are made: patterns, letter combinations etc. A small moveable alphabet costs about £27 (not including shipping or the storage box) from Absorbant Minds but I really don’t want to spend that kind of money!
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Alphabet sound boxes can be made from any containers you choose (I ordered 50 x Plastic 650ml Microwave Food Takeaway Containers from Amazon). As long as there is one box for each letter of the alphabet. I decided to put in my sandpaper letters, a magnetic letter and any items from the girls’ toy boxes I could find that started with each letter. One important thing to remember is to put in items that start with the phonetic sound (like cat [hard c], not cinnamon [soft c which sounds like ‘s’]) to avoid confusion. The letter ‘x’ can be tricky as words that make the phonetic sound usually end in x not start with it. So I put in a picture of a fox and a box.
Activities to try:
1. Play ‘I spy’ with one box of items until your child understands that you want items that start with the sound you are making. eg. “I spy with my little eye, something that starts with ah ah ah” Your child may pick up the apple. Emphasise the starting sound. “ah ah apple.” Once your child generally understands this concept you can move onto 2 or 3 letters and play ‘I spy’.
2. Another activity you could try is a sorting activity. Choose two boxes with sounds that are not alike (eg letter a and letter s). Put the letters at the top of your mat; mix up the items; choose an item and say what it is, emphasising the beginning sound (eg. ah ah apple); trace the sandpaper ‘a’ and say the sound then place the item under the ‘a’; do the same for each item.
3. A third task would be to use one letter box, trace the sandpaper letter, then draw the letter in a tray of sand or cornmeal. Say the letter’s sound. Say what each item is, emphasising the beginning sound and put the item underneath the sandpaper letter.
You can find some similar ideas for Alphabet Sound Boxes from:
The Free Child
Making Montessori Ours
Living Montessori Now
So I have come to the realisation that Montessori supplies are amazing but so expensive! I love the Language material and decided to create my own sandpaper letters for a quarter of the price! I’m sure many of you are happy about this!
26 squares of wood, mounting board or something equivalent (if you use mounting board, prime it with gesso to prevent the board from warping when you paint it)
Tester pots of paint (pink for consonants and blue for vowels)
Alphabet template (d’nealian template)
Matte mod podge to seal and protect the letters
1. Print the template off and glue onto the back of your sandpaper. The link I have given you is great because the template is already backwards so you can just stick it on as is.
2. Cut out each letter individually so you can glue them onto your wood pieces. Use a craft knife for the centres of letters.
4. Cut your wood to the desired size (I just made all of mine the same size; though the suggestion is to make certain letter boards bigger to accommodate letters such as t, f, h etc. Paint 5 boards blue and the rest pink. I used tester pots (one of each colour: £1 each)
5. Stick the sandpaper letters onto the boards using pva glue or wood glue. Then coat with matte mod podge which is a sealer and will prevent the sandpaper from wearing off. Voila! The finished product!
If I can make them, anyone can!
So what can you do with sandpaper letters? Well it’s a great way to teach letters to your toddler using the sense of touch. Use three period lessons to teach her the sounds of the letters. You could make a matching game using a moveable alphabet. You could match objects to the beginning sound they make. You could use them to spell short phonetic words! The list is endless! There are loads of pre-reading lesson ideas online to choose from!
I hope you enjoy!