The rhyming game is another fun language activity that helps the child become aware of sounds and rhymes in words. It also helps prepare for reading and spelling. We place rhyming objects in two different baskets. The child lays one set of objects in a horizontal row on the mat. She then picks one object from the basket and matches it to rhyming one on the mat. She goes on until she finds all the matches. This is quite simple, and for Dani, quite easy, but she still enjoyed it. I tried to vary the objects every time she played the game, so she wouldn’t feel bored. Another way of doing this is using an object and a picture. Either way works fine.
The sandpaper letters are definitely one of my favorite Montessori materials. Dani has been working with them for quite a while and she really enjoys them. She has done many different activities with the letters. The pictures below were taken last year when she was learning initial sounds with sound objects and the sandpaper letters.
She also learned how to trace the letters and write them in the sandbox.
Her favorite activity, up to this day, is to play the distance game, where we place the letter on the other side of the room and she has to walk and pick it up, after I tell her the letter sound. We pretend she owns a letter shop and I’m a costumer calling on the phone, inquiring if she has certain letters in stock. We spend an hour doing that, and she has a lot of fun.
There are many resources online with lessons and activities on the sandpaper letters. Montessori Monday has a very nice post with lots of links on this subject.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on the sandpaper letters. In fact, you can make the letters yourself, if time is not an issue. No matter what, the sandpaper letters are worth either your time or your money.