One of my favourite literacy activities is when we work with our home-made Montessori materials. There are so many things that I love about Montessori, including the focus on Practical Life education, the way you can weave it into other more play-based approaches to learning, and the responsibility and autonomy afforded to the youngest learner.
Something else that I really dig is the way that so many people have come together to create a plethora of materials that are accessible to everyone; Montessori is not limited to those who can afford an exclusive school or a set of textbooks that preach a certain doctrine. Most of Maria Montessori’s books are available at any public library and the making of Montessori materials are easily done with little resources or money. Printable materials are everywhere online, and dead easy to make yourself.
I made these ‘sandpaper’ letters for Aodhan when he was still a little guy, and they have slowly become more and more interesting to him. Aodhan has incredibly sensitive skin, and I knew true sandpaper, even of the finest grit, would imitate him, so I opted for a heavyduty felt. A neighbour cut the squares for me and I simply attached the letters to the wood with some hot glue. I made a second set out of heavy card that clearly shows the vowels and consonants, we currently use the two sets for matching games.
I also made Aodhan a set of quilted letters – not Montessori per se, but they fit together really nicely with our felt letters. One of Aodhan’s favourite games is to make letter families, which is what he is doing in the photos here. I make a line with the wood/felt letters that we have been focusing on and then spread out matches of the same letters in the other materials (card, quilt, magnetic) and Aodhan hunts for the families and places them together.
To make the quilted letters I printed a template out on the computer (remembering to reverse the image) and traced three layers (top fabric, quilt batting and back fabric). After the (endless!!!) cutting of fabric, I simply stitched around the letter with a zigzag stitch. So many uses for them!
Something else that I use the wood/felt letters for is when we explore the sound pouches I made (promise a post on Monday!).
Be sure to visit on Monday when I announce a Giveaway!!!
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