29 April 2013

Homemade Montessori - "Felt" Sandpaper Numbers

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My daughter has this new-found interest in writing letters and numbers.  Months ago, she would resist writing exercises and would only practice when she is in a good mood.

Lately, she has been writing during her spare time.  She would ask for a pencil and paper and keep at writing for a considerable amount of time.  More often than writing letters, she would choose to write numbers.

She writes with such concentration and enthusiasm, only pausing to ask "Mommy, what's next?" from time to time.  Otherwise, she tries to figure out what number comes next in the sequence by counting again from one.

I am so impressed by this development and I just watch her write and acknowledge her hard work and effort when she is done. 

I noticed though that she has been writing some numbers backwards so I thought it might be helpful to go back to the basics to practice her strokes.

She was so proud of this work!  She encircled each number and said, "Look, mommy!" with a huge smile on her face!
Sample work of exercises from summer class at her new school.

She worked with the Montessori sandpaper numbers in her previous school.  I love that it is a tactile learning tool to help children recognize and write numbers.  I have been wanting to  make a homemade version of the sandpaper numbers (and letters) but have been putting it off since I could not find the finer-grained sandpaper in hardware stores.  I figured maybe felt would be a good alternative so I tried it out.

To make the numbers, I cut them out of green felt and glue-gunned them unto old desk calendars.  I folded the desk calendars and glued the folded sides together to make the backing board of the numbers sturdy (a friend of mine used old DVD cases.  I love that she reused and re-purposed old DVD cases and that it makes for very durable backing board for sandpaper numbers).

This is what it looks like from the side.  They sort of open up near the folds but they are not bothersome to work with.

I recommend this Montessori material especially for children who are ready to learn their numbers.  The site Infomontessori or Montessori Primary Guide and this video will show you how to use this as an effective teaching tool.

These are all the numbers, top view!  May this project inspire you to make your own!


Unknown said...

nice sweety!

Beeeeaaaaa said...

How do u use the nums? :) do u trace them w ur fingers first, then write w pen?

Paperminties said...

Hi, Beeeeaaaaa! Thanks for stopping by my blog!:) I do not have formal Montessori training but this is what I know. Ideally, the sandpaper numbers are introduced when the child already knows how to count objects from 1-10. Introducing the numbers (symbols 0-9) follows after. Yes, the numbers are traced with the fingers (see video attached to post). This activity is usually done together with the child until he can confidently trace the numbers by himself (At first, the child may just swipe the board from top to bottom or he may not even want to try tracing on his own). When the child has mastered tracing the numbers on his own and when he is ready to write, he/she can then be invited to try writing them down on paper. = ) Hope this helps!

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