There are many methods of teaching children how to recognize and write the alphabet, and sensory alphabet cards have been used in many classrooms, especially Montessori based. These cards are usually made out of sandpaper, like these Montessori sandpaper letters where children trace the letter with their finger to get the feel of the letter. The problem for some parents is the expense of these cards, and some parents don’t like the rough sandpaper feel either. But if you do, there’s a tutorial for creating sand paper letters on How Wee Learn. I have come up with another way to make these cards that use recycled materials that are easily found.
An inexpensive and fun way to make your own Sensory Alphabet Cards would be to use wallpaper scraps! Some people have some around their homes, if not you can easily find wallpaper scraps in hardware stores as free samples. Take these scraps, a little glue and white cardboard and you will be on your way to making your own unique Alphabet Cards for your little one.
The white cardboard pieces can be collected from a shirt and other clothes packaging (you know those white cardboard pieces they use as support) or check with your local store and see what they might be throwing out. All the materials for this project, except the glue, can be found and recycled.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
You’ll need a few basic things:
- wallpaper scraps – try to choose textured (rough) wallpapers
- white cardboard (or heavy construction paper)
- glue (any kind of paper or multipurpose glue)
Step 2. Alphabet shapes
Printing and cutting out:
– first set on ordinary paper – these letters should be used to cut out letters and use those cut outs to make letters from wallpaper scraps.
– second set on cardboard (or heavy construction paper) – you’ll use this one to glue wallpaper letters on. This set is different from the letters set from above. It has numbered arrows to guide children’s finger in a same order they will soon learn to write letters.
An alternative would be to print out first set twice, especially if you don’t want to have guiding arrows on your cards.
Step 3. Creating Wallpaper Sensory Cards
It’s time to put those cards together!
As mentioned in step 2., first printed set of flash cards should be used to cut out letters.
Once you have cut them out, make an outline on the wallpaper.
And, don’t forget to mirror the letters!
In other words, flip the wallpaper scrap and outline letter on the back. The letter should also be fliped out on the back when you trace them on the wallpaper.
Last part of this step would be to glue wallpaper letter shapes on second set of alphabet flashcards you have printed out in step 2, the one you printed on cardboard or heavy construction paper. These flashcards have numbered guiding arrows that help children trace the letters in the right order. This is the same order they will soon use to write their own letters.
Finished SET OF Touch and Trace Textured Wallpaper Alphabet Cards
As you can notice, I didn’t print out the 2nd set with the directional arrows for tracing. Well, I thought of that AFTER making these cards! Guess what, I’ll have to write them down by hand now! :
And, you can download instructions, and both files with letter templates HERE.
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Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.