We’ve begun incorporating some Montessori learning activities into our day and we are LOVING it but acquiring the necessary materials without breaking the bank can seem daunting at times. Thankfully, there are alternatives! There are many methods for crafting your own tactile alphabet (felt, sprinkling sand over wet glue, etc) but after trying a few of those, I found this one to be the easiest, by far.
red and blue cardstock
150 grit sandpaper (found mine at the Dollar Store)
I cut out 5 blue rectangles and 21 red ones (for vowels and consonants). My rectangles are 4-1/4″ by 5-3/4″ and that seems to be a good size for her little hands. Since she will be tracing the letters with her right hand, I left some extra space on the left side for her to hold the card. I recommend finding a good handwriting chart (there are plenty on Montessori websites around the web) to make sure that you sketch the letters correctly for teaching handwriting. I didn’t use any sort of stencils for my letters. I just free-handed them with a sharp pencil on the rough side of the sandpaper, and then cut them out with scrapbooking scissors. You’ll find that once you do a few letters, you can use them as templates for creating the others. For example, your lowercase “a” will serve as a template for letters “o”, “b”, “d, “p”, “q” etc. Once you begin, you’ll see how easy it is. Once your letters are cut, simply glue them onto the cards (paying attention to vowel and consonant colors), on the side corresponding to your child’s dominant hand.