Here, finally, is the second part of learning with letters.  I’m sure none of you were waiting with bated breath.  But it’s good to get rid of that nagging feeling of something unfinished (if only the rest of my to-do list would quit hassling me!).

Here are our sandpaper letters.  I waffled about these for so long, wondering if I should take the time to make them or spend the money to buy them.  Obviously, I decided to make some.  But I hadn’t got very far into the process before I was regretting my decision.   Hacking through that mat board and sandpaper and painstakingly cutting out each letter . . . not exactly worth my time (or my good scissors!), I was thinking.

Of course, I kept at it, since I’d already bought all the materials.  But if I could do it over again, I’d probably just buy a set (or maybe use felt instead of sandpaper).  It’s not that my DIY spirit is weak; there are just other things I’d rather be making.

I used the directions and template from How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way, but here is a great post with links to lots of resources for making your own.  After cutting out a few, I found this method to be the least frustrating: place your sandpaper gritty side down on your cutting surface.  Place your letter template face down on the back of the sandpaper (so it will look like the letter is backwards).  Use your exacto knife to cut around the letter and through the sandpaper.  If it doesn’t slice all the way through, you might have to use a scissors to cut the letter from the sandpaper.

After seeing this idea in Playful Learning, we made our own alphabet book.  There are endless possibilities with this activity, and I’m sure we’ll end up with dozens of homemade alphabet books before we’re through.  But for the first go, we went with a photo book.

Adeline took most of the pictures herself.  We edited them in Picnik (how I mourn for it!), and then pasted them into a homemade book.

Then Adeline wrote a capital and lowercase letter on each facing page (though sometimes the lowercase are simply small capitals).

Another favorite pastime: using the typewriter.  Adeline is making a word list “of all the words in the world.”  It’s an ongoing project!  This is great to do while Bea is napping, and I can help Adeline spell the words while I’m washing dishes.