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A Heart For Home: Guest Post: Alphabet Box 101

Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest Post: Alphabet Box 101

Guest post by Julie from The Adventures of Bear

Alphabet boxes are a fun way to teach your child letter sounds.  To make our alphabet boxes I used a fishing tackle style box that I already had in the house.   I printed out the lower case alphabet, cut it apart and let my daughter help me tape the letters to the drawers.  You could print out both upper and lower case, but I only wanted the lower case to keep the front looking tidier.  We put her Melissa and Doug upper and lower case alphabet magnets into the drawers and sorted out picture cards from a game her aunt had given her.

Then we took the parts of this great game her aunt gave her and I took out all the ones that started with /b/, /c/, and /d/. We named them and Bear sorted them in the three drawers that I had pulled out. We sorted out all the picture cards into all the 26 drawers and eliminated cards that didn’t fit short vowel sounds or started with phonograms (like shell).

However, this game is hard to find.  The same thing can be accomplished with alphabet printables like this terrific alphabet cut and paste at Homeschool Creations.  Or you could use miniatures.  I do have a set of alphabet miniatures to put in the drawers now, but at the time I made Bear’s alphabet box, I didn’t.  I also liked the idea of reusing something and the fact that the thick card game pieces were baby and toddler friendly. We have also used our miniatures to learn phonograms like “oo” and “sh”.

Miniatures are easy to find in dollhouse sections of Hobby Lobby and Michaels, but are just as easily found in your own toy box at home. I scoured our Playmobil collection for a lot of our miniatures.  Also, little erasers and decorative buttons can be used.

How to use the alphabet box: 
First:  Teach the letter sounds by isolating one drawer and showing all the pictures or items in the one drawer. I feature one drawer on my 19 month old's shelf with a sound book and picture book featuring something that starts with that letter (for example a picture book of a duck to go with the "d" drawer.)  

Second:  Use two or three drawers and do sound sorts in which the items are mixed up and the child must sort them into the correct drawers again. 

Third:  Play games by laying out on a tray a few objects starting with various sounds (like a cow, a duck, a train, and an apple).  Then say, "I spy something that starts with /t/," and have your child find the object.  

Fourth:  Use them in conjunction with a moveable alphabet and sound out the name of the object to work on spelling and reading.

The alphabet box is such a great tool in teaching the letter sounds.  I highly recommend it.

Julie is mom to 2 children, aged 19 months and 3.5 years.  A former elementary school teacher, she now focuses on Montessori based education in her home.  She blogs these learning activities at The Adventures of Bear.

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Blogger Mozer said...

Great post Julie! Right now all my alphabet stuff are in envelopes. I need to go get a box!

March 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Jessie, The Education Of Ours said...

Great post Julie! It's great to see you sharing your gift with this site :)

March 28, 2011 at 8:43 PM  

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