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Matching letters with Montessori alphabet materials

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We have enjoyed matching and learning sounds with our Montessori sandpaper cards and moveable alphabet.  Montessori materials can be used in many different ways, and this fun learning activity was thought of by my two year old daughter!  It is the perfect activity to help introduce the shapes of the letters and their corresponding sounds.


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May, my exciteable, loveable, sprightly two year old, absolutely loves learning and “school.”  I use quotes because all day we are doing “school”!  School is outside running around in the yard, or it is reading a favorite story while snuggled on the couch, or it working on our letter sounds!  It has been more challenging to engage my four year old, John, to continue activities for more than a few minutes, but May absolutely loves them and wants to do the work!


I was working with my four year old son on creating rhyming words with our Montessori moveable alphabet, and while May has worked on her sounds with the three period Montessori lesson, she has not been exposed to the moveable alphabet yet.  Our set is fairly new, and I wasn’t going to let her “play” with it, since it is a learning tool. But while I was working with John, she began matching the Montessori sandpaper cards with the Montessori moveable alphabet pieces!  I had set a few out for John to work with, to reinforce sounds, but she began matching them on the cards!  What a delight to see her learning her letter shapes!

This activity is an example of spontaneous learning — my daughter thought of a new way to learn, and I went with her interest!  After John and I were done creating rhyming words, I focused on building a tray for her, and sitting down with her to work.  She loved it!  We will be matching letters much more often — focusing mostly on her sounds with her lowercase letters, and the names with our uppercase letters.  Both are important — I feel that you have to know your learner to decide which one is best to learn first.  (I wrote more about our choice to teach uppercase letters to my son first at my Early Literacy Stages series here.)

I created a video so you can see her working!  She was so excited and diligent.  I kept her working until she lost some interest, and then we put the tray away.  I focused on providing two consonants  and a vowel, all with different shaped letters so she wouldn’t get confused.  I also deliberately gave her three letter c-v-c word (consonant – vowel – consonant), though I didn’t sound it out for her because she is not ready yet!  I hope you enjoy her sweet voice :)

You can see more of our YouTube videos here.


I need to challenger her a bit more the next time — maybe we’ll do five letters and see how she does!  She loves matching with the Montessori materials — and I love how much she is learning in all her fun!


What materials do you use with your child for letter-sound work?

Three period Montessori lesson: Teaching letter sounds

Tot trays for early learning

FREE: Early literacy stages eBook

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  1. Shirley Gilchrist says:

    My grandson is two so seeing the activities that May is enjoying helps me have a better understanding of what he may also find interesting.

    Which moveable alphabet and sandpaper letters did you use so that the sizes matched so well?

    Thanks for all of your helpful posts.

    1. The sandpaper cards and the moveable alphabet are linked in the post to amazon — I hope your grandson enjoys it!!

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