Monday, February 6, 2012

Montessori Musings: DIY Moveable Alphabet

The moveable alphabet is one of my favorite Montessori materials and one that I use the most both in my English classes and with my own children. I have a really nice wooden one purchased from a German company for 90 Euros that I use at school:

However, I have been wanting a second one for use at home with my children for after-school activities. Without a car, it quickly got old carrying the big one to and from school.  I've seen some really great ideas on the internet (see this post from Living Montessori Now and this one from What did we do all day?), and decided to give a DIY a try.  It turned out to be an adventure!

First, I purchased these wooden craft letters called "Woodsies" that cost around $10. I chose them because there was a label on the package that told how many of each letter were supposed to inside.  I say "supposed to be", because in reality the letters G, Q and X were completely missing!  I was a little mad about that and had to make the missing letters out of stiff cardboard. For that reason, I would not recommend this particular brand of wooden letters.

I then painted the consonants red and the vowels blue according to standard Montessori procedure. There were also some numbers included, so I painted them green, since the sandpaper Montessori numbers are always on green boards.

For the case, I purchased this box with 32 compartments for about 5 Euros on Amazon. The measurements of the compartments were not included in the description, so I just crossed my fingers that the letters would fit in. They did! Definitely worth the money!

This project took a lot of time and effort, but it did save me about 70 Euros, which made it worth it. The missing wooden letters were particularly frustrating! But my daughter really loves the smaller moveable alphabet, because she can find the letters easier. And I can easily stick it in my backpack as a second moveable alphabet for my classroom on the days that I need it.

linked to Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now


  1. what a great find (even if some of the letters were missing). Its very cool that they fit neatly into the little box too. I'll have to try that when Goblin is a bit older

    1. Thanks, Monko! Goblin has a lucky Mom who's looking ahead.: )

  2. I love this! I especially like using different fonts. Perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great idea! I'll have to look for some wooden letters next time I'm at a craft store.

  4. Movable alphabet Ready to download and print with Laser cutting service