I'm always on the lookout for Montessori materials, or similar products that families can use at home for a really good price or that can be DIYed. I recently ordered these wooden letters for some crafting activities, but when they arrived I thought they would be an affordable option for a Moveable Alphabet. They are all lowercase in a simple print font. They are a light natural colour, so they are easy to paint. They are approximately the same size (height and width) as the Movable Alphabet we usually use.
The letters shown here are all lowercase - affordable crafting wooden uppercase (capital letters) are easier to find. It can also be difficult to find craft letters that use a single story 'a', not the double story 'a', which is a consideration for children learning to read and write.
I've used an affordable acrylic paint from Kmart (AU), so this kept the cost down. The downside is that the dots of the i and j are joined to the main letter; they come in packs of 30, so to use as a Moveable Alphabet, you need a couple of packets, and they don't come in a storage box. But how affordable? These are only $3 AUD a packet, the paint was only $2 a bottle.
Even if you don't use them for a Moveable Alphabet, these are good for all kinds of language activities and even open-ended play/art/craft. These letters come in a pack of 30, the full alphabet and a couple of extra letters. I've painted consonants red and vowels blue.
The letters we are using are the Krafters Korner Craft Alphabets available in Australia at:
Similar affordable craft letters (remember you may need more than one packet) include:
- Park Lane Bagged Lowercase Sans Serif Letters at Joann (US).
- Park Lane Bagged Lowercase Classic Serif Letters at Joann (US).
- Park Lane Bagged Lowercase Rounded Sans Serif Letters at Joann (US).
- Uppercase, Lowercase & Numbers on Amazon (US)
- Lowercase Print Script Letters on Etsy (Latvia, affordable international shipping)
- Lowercase Cursive Letters on Etsy (Latvia, affordable international shipping)
- Sassoon Font Alphabet Set Lower Case Letters on Etsy (UK) - this company has various fonts and various sizes.
Back to our $3 packet. I'm impressed with the quality. We could also use these letters to put the child's name on their door or above a cubby.
I only used two coats of paint, I'm sure it with more coats or even a coat of varnish, the letters would look even better.
To check out the size, I've used the letters on our language mat. Looks good! With these craft letters, you could leave them a natural colour or paint them any colours you want.
If you want to spend a bit extra, of course, I would recommend using a purpose-made Moveable Alphabet, most Montessori stores sell them. We use one similar to this one with a language mat on Etsy (AU)(similar here US). In the UK, we used this cursive version from Absorbent Minds.
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