Smiling like Sunshine: DIY Alphabet Boxes

Thursday, 14 June 2012

DIY Alphabet Boxes

As I mentioned before Derin shows a great interest in letters at the moment. I didn't want to miss his sensitive period so I decided to make alphabet boxes for him.
In Montessori education letters are not introduced in their order within the alphabet. They are introduced in an order that allows the child to make many words with the letters that s/he has learned. You can read more about it at Deb's blog Living Montessori Now.
There are variations among Montessorians on which order to teach the letters. I decided to use Tim Seldin's order. He is the writer of How to Raise an Amazing Child and this book is a great introduction to Montessori education.

 First set: c m a t
 Second set: s r i p
 Third set: b f o g
 Fourth set: h j u l
 Fifth set: d w e n
 Sixth set: k q v x y z

 I enjoyed preparing the first set. I simply sourced some small toys/objects from around the house and put them in a box.

C is for 

 M is for  

 A is for

T is for 

I put the boxes on the shelf and when Derin shows interest, we take a box,sound the letter.Then trace  the sandpaper letters which he LOVES and say the name of each object.

I am planning to find more objects but if I can't find them I am planning to use  pictures. If you'd like to prepare alphabet boxes but don't have sandpaper letters,you can use foam or magnetic letters,stickers,whatever is easy for you. 


  1. These do look like fun to set up. What a great way to start introducing sounds and letters. Thanks for sharing and adding a book recommendation, too!

  2. This is great! I'm pinning this one for when the little guy is a bit older :) Love the idea of making a box out of it.

  3. What lovely boxes! Thanks for sharing this with learning laboratory at mama smiles =)

  4. What's a good age to start doing the boxes?

  5. Thanks for your comments. Glad you like it.
    Ali,it is best to follow the child observing when they show an interest in letters. This usually happens around the age of three.My son is 2.5yo. We have an alphabet puzzle he loves it and started completing it all by himself before 2yo.I think that triggered his interest in the letters.

  6. What a really good idea. It makes sense too what you said about what order to learn the letters.

  7. I loved this idea!!!Thanks for sharing! I will try it!

  8. Great idea, need to try this with the letters were having difficulty with, thanks!

  9. I love that you keep them on the shelf for your child so its accessible. They are like an already made invitation to play! I know the basics of Montessori, but nothing in depth, why start with these particular letters? I'm used to starting with easier letters that make one sound, like B or R, as opposed to those with more than one, like C, and A.

  10. You did a great job with your alphabet boxes, Isil ... they look very inviting! Thanks so much for linking to my post on the order of introducing letters! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and added your post link to my DIY Alphabet Box post at

    That's a good question, Heather. Since it's nighttime in England right now, I'll try to answer your question. Different Montessorians do use different orders, although we only introduce one sound for each letter. The main principle we use is that we choose letters that can be used to spell as many words as possible early on.

  11. What a fun way to learn, stopping over from the KBN share thread! frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

  12. A lovely sensory way of exploring the alphabet and I love the sandpaper letters.

    Thanks for sharing on Family Frolics. :)

  13. These are so great. We've been doing a lot with letters lately. I really love this idea.

  14. What a gret idea. I wasn't aware that in Montessori, letters were introduced in those groups. Thanks for the information.

  15. Visiting from the Sunday Showcase. These are great! I love how inviting and fun they look. I'm going to pin and set some up for my three year old.

  16. This is a lovely activity - I do not know that much about this Montessori theory, so love reading about it on other people's blogs. Thanks for sharing at the Kids Co-op :-)

  17. Love it! Would you mind sharing where you got those great trays? I've never seen them in a hexagon before...thanks!

  18. Jessica,thanks for your comment.Those trays are actually the base of the Montessori hexoganol bozes :)

  19. I just wanted to let you know that I included your fabulous blog in my Homeschooling 101 post as a great resource for Alphabet Crafts & Activities! Thanks for sharing all your ideas with all of us!

    Beth =-)

  20. I LOVE this and would like to include it in my ABC series of Thrifty Teaching Tools - would that be all right? I'll put a link under your photo to this post. Thanks and Happy New Year!

    1. Yes,sure no problems Susan.I am so glad you liked it.x

  21. Curious to know why you didn't use cursive letters?

    1. Thanks for your comment.Here in the UK, they don't start with cursive letters so I prefered these ones.

  22. Welcome to a new Linky Party for Kid-Focused Bloggers. Monday Kid Corner is a place to share your kid-friendly activities and crafts. Please join us at See you there!

  23. Fab post

    Would love for you to link it up at my new Empty Your Archive link party which is a chance to dust off great posts from your archive - there is a focus this week on reading - would really love to see you there, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

  24. Thanks for sharing! I pinned it, but also wanted to come comment that I like that you only have a few objects in each box. We are going through the alphabet with my toddler-- more for exposure, however she hasn't really taken to the letter bins I put out for her. Probably for a couple reasons 1. She's just not ready for letters and 2. I think I overload the bin, so there is too much that it is overwhelming. Thanks for sharing!


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