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How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box

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Introducing letters to your child with corresponding beginning-sound objects helps your child correlate beginning sounds when they see and feel an object. Literacy learning is a whole-body, sensory experience!

While I taught kindergarten, I would often make letter baskets with my children, which included several objects that began with the first letter of our Letter of the Week. When I first saw a Montessori Alphabet Box at Counting Coconuts, I knew that I had to make one for my own children.

My son is not at the stage of learning his phonetic sounds yet, but we will use his Alphabet Box in about a year, when I think he will understand the concept, and respect the contents of the drawers!

I am not specifying what age he will start, I am gauging when he is developmentally ready as a learner — it may be sooner or later with your child!

How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box from Wildflower Ramblings

Here are the supplies I used:

  • A drawer storage cabinet — looks like they don’t sell the 30 drawer one anymore, but here is a 27 drawer one, or you could always check your local hardware store to see if you can find one!
  • I downloaded this alphabet chart from K-3 Teacher Resources in the font: US Zaner Bloser.  I wanted to have upper and lower case on the boxes themselves.  I cut out the letters and carefully taped them onto the boxes.
  • Grab Bag of trinkets from the HighPie Etsy shop
  • Various language and alphabet objects from Montessori Services
  • I printed out the ABC Chart from Homeschool Creations and cut out the individual letters to put into each drawer
  • For letter X: I included the x-ray picture from Homeschool Creations’ Alphabet Cut & Paste Sheets — you can cut a lot of these out if you don’t want to purchase objects!
  • You may find some items at your house, so be on the look-out! (with Barbie sets, etc.) — I am still looking for little trinkets at Michael’s and little local gift shops to continue adding to my collection — I want to buy some awesome Toobs — if you have any more suggestions for where you can purchase, please let me know!

I should note that many of these items are huge choking hazards, so only use these learning materials when your child is ready to use them properly — and keep them away from any younger children!

Here are some learning suggestions:

  • As you introduce letters, give your child the contents of a letter drawer and let him/her explore.
  • Put a letter mat down and have your child place each object down while verbally speaking the name of the object. (I love the simple mats from Homeschool Creations, as well as any pages from 1+1+1=1’s Tot School ABCs.)
  • Empty the contents of two letter drawers into a center tray. Have your child sort the objects under the letter card (or into its letter drawer). You can then give your child 3 trays and work from there.
  • Place 2 to 5+ objects down and ask, “What object begins with a “mmm” sound?
  • Counting Coconuts has a great picture to explain combining sandpaper cards and letter objects.

And here are all of our drawers:

How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box from Wildflower Ramblings

Aa: apple, alligator, (airplane)

Bb: basket, bean, bear, bone, butterfly, bus

Cc: cat, cow, clothespin, cup, car, crown, Coke

Dd: dragonfly, dollar, dog, dice, deer, diamond

Ee: elephant, egg

How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box from Wildflower Ramblings

Ff: flip flop, flamingo, french horn, fish, frog, flower

Gg: glasses, golf club, gorilla, (giraffe)

Hh: heart, hat, hanger, hummingbird, hammer

Ii: infant, ice

Jj: jug, jet, jack-o-lantern

How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box from Wildflower Ramblings

Kk: kangaroo, koala, key

Ll: lion, lobster, lamp

Mm: mop, marble, mushroom, monkey, mermaid

Nn: nut, note

Oo: octopus, (owl)

How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box from Wildflower Ramblings

Pp: panda, pig, pear, pencil, peacock

Qq: quarter, question mark

Rr: rhino, rabbit, ring

Ss: seal, saw, seashell, seahorse, star, scooter

Tt: tree, turtle, tennis ball

How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box from Wildflower Ramblings

Uu: umbrella, unicorn

Vv: vacuum (!), violin, volleyball

Ww: whale

Xx: x-ray, xylophone

Yy: yarn ball, yarn

Zz: zebra, zipper

How to make a Montessori Alphabet Box from Wildflower Ramblings

For more alphabet box inspiration, you can check out these posts:

Or you could make it really simple for yourself and buy this amazing set: Alphabet Sounds Tub!  (It is $149, but it may be worth it to those who don’t want to spend the time to put it together!)

Looking for more Learning Activities at home?  Check out my ABC Learning Pinterest Board!

Follow Wildflower Ramblings’s board ABC Learning on Pinterest.

And my Montessori Learning Pinterest Board!

Follow Wildflower Ramblings’s board Montessori on Pinterest.

Happy teaching!

My ABC Lego Cards {uppercase and lowercase!} are available for FREE to email subscribers.

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  1. Rachel Haggard says:

    No pics of the kids…???

      1. Rachel Haggard says:

        Oh, I see… I didn’t actually read the post before, just looked at the pics. hehe! But I can’t believe you made this a YEAR before he is going to use it. You are nuts! …but in a good way ;) love ya!

        1. Elin Ridenour says:

          Nice boxes!! :)

      2. Crystal Flores says:

        Where did you find the mini letter with the upper and lower case letter and drawing do you mind sharing that

  2. Thanks so much for sharing what you put in the boxes and a bit about how to use the objects. I haven’t started doing letter learning in earnest with my kids but plan to start soon, and this gave me some really great ideas to get started!

    1. Thanks, Katie! I can’t wait to use it with my son — I have seen so many children learn sounds from simply remembering the objects that match the letters!

    1. Haha, you’re hilarious — I need to remember to do the activities and not just make them — I have a lot of fun “being creative” though :)

  3. I love your ideas for where to get all the little trinkets. I love the idea of alphabet boxes, but I have always been so overwhelmed by having to buy all of the small objects. You make it look so easy, maybe I’ll finally give it a try!

    1. I’m so glad that I encouraged you that it’s “do-able”!! Can’t wait to see what you come up with ;)

  4. That is a really good idea, but my boy would put those little things in his mouth so I think I need to think about it on a bigger scale.

    Thank you for sharing at #MotivationalMonday

    1. This is why I won’t be using it with my son until he is around 3 1/2 or 4 years — there are some choking hazards here!! Thanks for visiting :)

  5. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for sharing this…I really want to make one of these! Yours is so cute:)

  7. What a great resource, and such a nice way to organize the materials. I use one of those boxes to organize my magnetic letters, and I may need to create this kind of box as well. Thanks for linking up with Stress-Free Sunday! Hope you’re able to stop by again this week! :)

  8. Hi there! I am co-hosting this week on the Raising Imperfetion Sunday Link Party. Thanks for sharing your creations with us! I hope you found inspiration in all of the terrific posts.

    I host a (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop and a TGIF Link Party at my place — A Peek Into My Paradise… http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/ I would love for you to link up and follow if you like what you see. =) I follow back – I love making new friends!

    I can’t wait to see what you link up next week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  9. What a great box Amy! Thank you for sharing :)

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  10. This is a beautiful learning toy. I love all of the little details you put in the boxes. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library! Pinned!

  11. What a great learning tool. I really love the concept of this. I’d love to make one for Violet.

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  12. This is amazing! I’d love it if you’d share this at the After School Linky Party on my blog right now (and every Monday): deceptivelyeducational.blogspot.com. Thanks!

    1. I’m SO glad you linked up at the After School Linky. I’m featuring this tomorrow; stop by to check it out and share more of your extraordinary ideas and activities!

  13. Nice breakdown of what you include in your alphabet boxes. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Oh that’s cleaver. When my kids were learning their letters we gathered up household items that began with a particular letter and played with them for a while each morning before putting them back. I bet it’s fun for the kids to add items to the drawers.

  15. I love this!! I pinned it to my preschool board :D Thank you for this amazing post. I’m following your blog. I found you through Violet Imperfection, today.

  16. Found you through another linky! This is such a comprehensive post. I’ve been meaning to make something similar. If/when I do, I will link back to you! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Quick question, I am making these boxes and was wondering how you got the tiny little coloured ABC cards in each box? How did you get them so small?

  18. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing at our Pinteresting Party! I’ll be sharing with my readers on FB & G+. They’re going to love this idea too!

  19. I love this idea! I was a sucker and bought some canned soup looking set from Learning Resources. It’s okay but we’ve had it for some time and haven’t used it much. I LOVE this!

  20. Hi! The etsy shop you mentioned to by small objects from is not active since a long period now. You can also find a great choice of miniatures at MIMIAbyMIA. There are various options at a great price. https://www.etsy.com/es/shop/MIMIAbyMIA

  21. Pingback: ABC Sensory Bins

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