Friday, October 24, 2014

Flannel Friday: Practice Writing with Toddlers

For Flannel Friday this week, I have a simple, adaptable way to practice writing with toddlers--sandpaper letters! This is a classic Montessori learning material, but I saw them on Pinterest and thought it might be interesting to try in storytime. You can purchase sandpaper letters from a variety of online sources, OR you can make them yourself. If you have a die-cut machine, this is super-simple. If you don't have a die-cut machine (or don't feel like driving to the Central library to use the one machine that your system owns) then you can do what I did and make a template for the letter, trace it on sandpaper, and cut it out. I personally used a rougher grain of sandpaper because that's what I had at home, but you could use whatever you can access easily. Once I cut out the letters, I glued them on foam rectangles. You could also use cardstock or poster paper as a base for the letters. Also, you could sub felt for the sandpaper. The main idea is to make the letters out of something with an interesting texture. As you can see, this is a really flexible project. :) To start off, I made 5 cards all of the letter D. But, I plan to make more cards of more letters when I have a chance to use a die-cut machine.

In storytime, I passed around the cards and invited all the kiddos and their caregivers to feel the letters as I sung a song to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush". I think it went something like this:

Let's all touch the letter D, letter D, letter D,
The letter D says, "duh"

I know, I know, you want to nominate me for a Grammy for my amazing songwriting skills. Basically, you can make up whatever song you want to sing. I would just suggest trying to incorporate the sound that the letter makes, but other than that, sing whatever you want.

The purpose of the sandpaper letters is to teach the shape of letters through tactile learning. Sometimes it seems too complicated to try to practice writing with toddlers in storytime, but I hope I've given you a simple way to do so. Has anyone else used sandpaper letters or other Montessori strategies in storytime? I'd love to hear about it!

I'm hosting the Flannel Friday Roundup today! Check it out here!

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