Alphabet boxes are a fun way to teach your child letter sounds. To make our alphabet boxes I used a fishing tackle style box that I already had in the house. I printed out the lower case alphabet, cut it apart and let my daughter help me tape the letters to the drawers. You could print out both upper and lower case, but I only wanted the lower case to keep the front looking tidier. We put her Melissa and Doug upper and lower case alphabet magnets into the drawers and sorted out picture cards from a game her aunt had given her.
Then we took the parts of this great game her aunt gave her and I took out all the ones that started with /b/, /c/, and /d/. We named them and Bear sorted them in the three drawers that I had pulled out. We sorted out all the picture cards into all the 26 drawers and eliminated cards that didn’t fit or started with phonograms (like shell).
However, this game is hard to find. The same thing can be accomplished with alphabet printables like this terrific alphabet cut and paste at Homeschool Creations. Or you could use miniatures. I do have a set of alphabet miniatures to put in the drawers now, but at the time I made Bear’s alphabet box, I didn’t. I also liked the idea of reusing something and the fact that the thick card game pieces were baby and toddler friendly. We have also used our miniatures to learn phonograms like “oo” and “sh”.
How to use the alphabet box:
Third: Play games by laying out on a tray a few objects starting with various sounds (like a cow, a duck, a train, and an apple). Then say, “I spy something that starts with /t/,” and have your child find the object.
Fourth: Use them in conjunction with a moveable alphabet and sound out the name of the object to work on spelling and reading.
Julie is mom to 2 children, aged 19 months and 3.5 years. A former elementary school teacher, she now focuses on Montessori based education in her home. She blogs these learning activities at The Adventures of Bear.