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How to Make Sandpaper Letters & Numbers {Montessori Homeschool Preschool}

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Are you thinking about homeschooling your preschooler?  A great way to teach letters and numbers and early writing skills is with sandpaper letters and numbers.  But Montessori sandpaper letters and numbers can be pricey, about $40.00!  Here is a DIY project that will take you a few hours and less than $10.  If you are planning on homeschooling your preschooler or feel they need extra practice at home, these can be a wonderful way to teach early handwriting to 2, 3, and 4-year olds.

What are sandpaper letters and numbers and how would you use them?  Sandpaper letters and numbers can be used for recognition of number and letter names and sounds.  They are also used to teach the child how to form the letter correctly.  It allows small hands to learn the correct way to shape letters without having to hold a writing instrument, she just uses her finger.  It is a wonderful way to teach fine motor skills without frustrating your toddler or yourself!

DIY Montessori sandpaper letters and numbers

How to Make Sandpaper Letters & Numbers:


    •  2 foam boards (I got these from the $1 store but you can get them from Target, Walmart, etc.)
    • Pack of extra fine sandpaper (220 gritt) so it’s gentle on little hands.
    • Letter and Number stencils, 3 inches.  Amazon has them for $2.67 right now ArtSkills 3-Inch Boxed Stencil
    • Razor Blade
    • Rubber Cement Glue
    • Pencil
    • Permanent Marker


1.  Draw a grid on the foam board with a pencil, creating 4 inch by 4 inch squares.

2.  Cut out each square with the razor blade.  I put a few towels down when using the razor blade to make sure I didn’t accidently cut the table under me.

3.  Flip the sandpaper over so you can trace the stencil letters and numbers on the back with the pencil.  I place the numbers and letters as close together as to waste the least amount of sandpaper.

4.  ** This is important**  Because you are doing it on the back of the sandpaper make sure to flip the letters and numbers so they are not backwards once you cut them.

5.  Cut out each letter and number from the sandpaper with the razor blade.  It is much easier to use these than scissors.

6.  I put rubber cement on the sandpaper letters and numbers and a few dots on the foam board.

7.  Make sure to center the letters and numbers as best you can so you have room to draw the arrows.

8.  Once they are dry, use the permanent marker to draw each small arrow to signify which way to shape the letter.

{You would need another 1-2 foam boards and more sandpaper to do lowercase letters as well.}

I  already had letter and number stencils but you can download an Alphabet Templates from DLTK- Growing Together for free.  It will add the step of printing and cutting those letter out to create the stencil and they are 4 inch letters so you would need 5 inch squares.

There you go!  Sandpaper letters and numbers!  They are great multi-sensory tools for your toddler that can be used as flashcards once your child is ready for paper and pencil.

Do you have a favorite activity you use with sandpaper letters and numbers?  I would love to read them in the comments!

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