Toddler Montessori Alphabet Activities

by Laurie Dickinson

    Montesorri is an educational approach developed in the early 20th century by the Italian physician Dr. Maria Montesorri. The method revolves around specially designed, manipulative activities that engage children and allow them to work at their own pace. The Montessori learning environments are for multi-age groups: 0 to 3 years, 3 to 6 years, 9 to 12 years and 12 to 14 years. The first two groups are the age groups that participate in alphabet activities.

    Alphabet Match

    In the Montessori alphabet match game, teachers cut out large colorful upper and lower case letters and laminate them. Each upper- and lower-case letter has a corresponding color. For example, the upper and lower case A are both red. Students are then encouraged to match the lower case letter with the corresponding upper-case letter. Because the colors correspond with the letters, the child can easily perceive any errors so there is no need for adult correction. This Montessori method allows the child to learn problem-solving skills and build confidence as well.

    Alphabet Bingo

    The Montessori alphabet bingo game is played like traditional bingo. Cards contain grids with a letter in each grid. Large alphabet blocks are put into a box. The caller chooses a letter block out of the box and calls it out. Students then place a marker on the corresponding letter on their cards. When someone fills up a row, she calls "Bingo" and wins the game.

    Sandpaper Letters

    The Montessori alphabet sandpaper letter activity teaches students cursive letters. In Montessori classrooms, children learn to write cursive and print letters at the same time. For this activity, teachers cut out the cursive letters of the alphabet from fine sandpaper, then mount them on something stronger like cardboard. The vowels are mounted on a light blue cardboard and the consonants on a light pink cardboard. Before children practice writing the letters, they trace them with their fingers on the sandpaper letters.

    Movable Alphabet

    The Montessori movable alphabet activity teaches children the difference between vowels and consonants and allows them to learn to read and spell. Large letters are cut out -- the vowels are red and the consonants are blue. The letters are then placed in a shallow box with compartments for each letter. Toddlers can use this game in tandem with the sandpaper letters. Eventually, though, this game can be used to form simple words.

    About the Author

    Based in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Laurie Dickinson began writing in 1977. Her articles have appeared in the fine-arts magazine "The Phoenix" and various online publications. Dickinson is a certified personal trainer with American Fitness Professionals and Associates. She also holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, where she serves as a professor of rhetoric.

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