You can use items you already have around the house to teach your toddler the ABCs.

Toddler Montessori Alphabet Activities

by Tricia Goss

Montessori education can give your toddler a head start with improved concentration and coordination while encouraging an early love of learning. Using the Montessori method can help teach your little one the alphabet, phonetics and some basic reading and writing skills. You can have fun together in the process, too.

1. Sandpaper Letters

Each letter of the alphabet is cut from a piece of fine sandpaper and mounted onto a sheet of card stock or a thin board. Consonants are mounted onto pink backgrounds and vowels are placed on blue ones to help toddlers learn the difference between them. The child will trace the letter while making its phonetic sound, which combines visual, tactile and audio learning. Teaching your toddler the correct way to trace the letter teaches writing skills, too.

2. Moveable Alphabet

This Montessori activity helps young children learn to read, write and spell words phonetically. The moveable alphabet consists of a divided box with one compartment for each letter of the alphabet. Each compartment contains several letters, which are wooden cutouts. Consonants are pink and vowels are blue. Preschoolers can use the alphabet to learn how to spell words by sounding them out one letter at a time and placing the appropriate letter onto a large piece of lined paper or a special mat.

3. Rice Writing

Spread one or two cups of uncooked rice onto a jelly roll pan or other tray with raised sides. Draw horizontal lines in the rice with your finger, a pencil or another object to mimic lined paper. Display a letter on a flash card or from a moveable alphabet set and show your child how to write the letter with one finger in the rice. Spread the rice back out and allow your toddler to try writing the letter several times.

4. Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are containers filled with multiple objects that engage two or more of a child's senses. To create an alphabet sensory bin, you can start with dry alphabet pasta you have dyed in a few different colors. You can choose to focus on one letter by adding different cutouts, magnets and other items displaying it along with items that begin with the letter, or you might want to combine many letters. Use different textures, such as plastic magnets, rubber erasers and glass beads.

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