the new morning walk, and a baby barefoot manifesto
a clean slate :: studio tour take two

sandpaper letters

The Montessori teacher in me just had a mini freak-out. Check these out:


Photo by Polliwog77

They're stylish. They're handmade. They're affordable. You can buy them through etsy here.

I know there are strong opinions about what makes a good sandpaper letter in the Montessori community. Having trained in the ultra-purist AMI camp, there was a time when I believed that cursive letters were the only way to go, because cursive letters are more easily differentiated, whereas children can get hung up on the graphic similarities of the circle-and-line-ness of the print p, d, q, a, etc. I cut out my own set of cursive letters from sandpaper, which I'll make into a set one of these days. (I even made a complete moveable alphabet in cursive for my classroom in Mexico.) But that said, I totally see the argument for introducing children to print letters first. We live in a world of print (and, as Patrick argues, he never reads or writes in cursive, so why should that be the first thing that Finn learns, if the whole point of Montessori education is to help the child adapt to his specific cultural environment?) How do I argue with that? Plus, these letters are so darn cool looking. Patrick wins.

Oh, and did you see that the beautiful set of Waldorf alphabet cards is now available in English? Swoon. I think I just fainted from letter loveliness.

Here's a link to a tutorial on how to make your own sandpaper letters, along with a bit about what they are and how to use them.