Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sandpaper letters

Just thought I'd quickly share another little project I've been working on...

As some of you may know we have made the, rather HUGE, decision to home educate our younglings. As I've been perusing the blogosphere I have discovered numerous teaching methods and philosophies...  One method that I particularly like at the moment is the Montessori approach. As with many of the methods outside of mainstream schooling, it is a child centred approach... ie following the child rather than the curriculum.

Anyway... I'm not here to lecture anyone! 

One of the common tools used by montessori educators are the sandpaper letters... I was going to post a link, but if your interested search for them in YouTube. Basically the letters are formed out of sandpaper, then the kid can use them to trace the shape of the letter before drawing in sand, on a blackboard or practicing with a pencil...

Well I've been meaning to make them for AAAAAGGGGGEEEEESSSSS! But it always seemed like such a big job and I wasn't sure they would even turn out that well. But after seriously contemplating buying them... had them in my virtual shopping basket! And seeing the cost at almost £100.... I decided I could afford to have a go at making them! Incidentally the £100 was also including the movable alphabet, which I am also going to attempt to make! :/

The sandpaper letters I wanted to get were made using the Sassoon font, so my first task was to find a similar-ish font to use. Lucky for me, OpenOffice on the iMac had a fairly similar one that I could use.

Letters all printed out, one set for the sandpaper letters and one set
for the moveable alphabet.

Some of the letters weren't quite what I wanted, luckily I was able to
Cutting the letters out with my trusty craft knife... actually it's Danny's
but I'm sure he wont mind!


Traditionally the vowels and consonants (feels like a countdown post...) are different colours, blue and pink respectively; and there are also digraphs (eg sh, ch, th, ay, ar, etc), which are on a green background.

They are usually made with wood, but since I didn't do woodwork at
school, I decided to recycle some cereal boxes!
I cut the card into 6x5 inch pieces, I got 4 cards out of each cereal box. So if anyone want's to do this, bear in mind you'll need to eat a fair bit of brekkie beforehand! Also, when I do the digraphs I will need to make the cards bigger so I can fit on two letters... >:(

For anyone (like me!) that would want all the cards the same size, its worth bearing that in mind also. As for me... I really can't be bothered to make 26 letters again, just so that the digraphs will match!

The letters stuck to the back of the sandpaper... you have to stick them on
backwards so that when you cut them out they are facing the right way! 

Again cut out with Danny's craft knife... wonder if it sharpens the blade
while you're cutting?

My first few completed letters!
I've actually completed the alphabet now, but I haven't taken pictures of them all yet. 

Still got to do the digraphs though... 

I'm considering making the letters smaller for the digraphs so they will fit on the same size card. Not sure what will bother me more though, too small letters or too big cards... :/

So much for a short post! lol!

1 comment:

  1. They look really good, thanks for sharing the post. I love Montessori materials, and making your own is a great way to keep the costs down.