What materials can you make to practice the alphabet, letters, and sight words?
A little while ago I spent the day making a flat marble alphabet. What is a flat marble alphabet you ask? Have you ever seen those awesome magnets made from those clear flat marbles that you can buy from the dollar store? It’s like that, but without the magnet. Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Let me show you….
First, go to the dollar store and buy one or two packages of the clear flat marble thingies. They probably have a different name, but I don’t know what it is and you know what I’m talking about, right? I bought two packages because I wanted an uppercase alphabet and a lowercase alphabet. There was enough in each package to make the entire alphabet and to make some extra letters for words like apple and dinner (a, e, i, o, p, t, l, n, r are the extra letters I made).
Next, make some mod podge. I know, I know, I just wrote make some mod podge. No, this is not a joke. You can make mod podge and it is super easy and super cheap. If you missed our post on homemade mod podge earlier this week take a look!
Next, print some letters that will fit on the marble thingies. You can just do this using trial and error, but I printed mine from the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. These letters go along with her Letter of the Week curriculum. You can find them on the Bottle Cap Letter Matching activity. She has cute printables with a picture and letters under the picture. I am going to have Little Bear match the flat marble letters to the letters on her printables.
Note: I did have to resize the page before printing because the letters were too big for the marbles I got. In adobe after hitting print, I just clicked “properties.” Then I clicked “effects.” Then I clicked the “% of normal size” option and moved the button down to 80%. This was the perfect size for the dollar store marbles. If you have bigger marbles, you might be able to skip this step.
Once your letters are all printed, cut out the circles.
Next, paint a little bit of homemade mod podge onto the flat side of the marble. Put a letter on the flat surface with the letter side touching the marble. Be sure you can see the letter through the marble. Now, paint the back of the paper and the sides of the paper with homemade mod podge. Repeat this step with all of the letters.
Let the letters dry for several hours or overnight.
Now the fun begins! I made these letters with the intention of using them with the Letter of the Week activities. She calls them “Bottle Cap letter matching” because someone (I don’t know who, sorry) originally made letters like this to put on milk bottle caps. Erica got the idea from them, but put hers on wooden disks. I put mine on marbles because I wanted something a little heavier. Little Bear gets pretty frustrated when things move around after he has put them in the right place. I may have passed some of my OCD tendencies on to him. ;) Using the marble letters with the Letter of the Week activities was a great way to use these letters. They are smaller than the letters on the activities, but that didn’t matter much. They still worked great.
We also had a fun time making our names.
We also practiced putting the letters in alphabetical order. I took out the extra letters before we did this. :)
Little Bear even had the idea to make the sight words we have been working on.
I had the idea to leave a note for Mr. Remarkable because he’s just awesome.
I really liked how heavy these letters are. They were easy to pick up and the letters were easy to see, but they also stayed in place once they were set down. So far we haven’t had any problem with the marbles breaking or cracking. Some were already slightly cracked on the inside, but no new cracks, yet. Cross your fingers. I’m thinking of making a few more sets of these later on when Little Bear is working on sentences.
These could be even cooler if you have the letters printed on colored paper. I know that writing words with consonants blue and vowels red (or maybe that’s backward) is really helpful with spelling. Get creative. If you don’t have a child who needs an alphabet, you can even just use scrapbook paper and add a magnet to the back. The best part, you can say “I made something with those clear flat marble thingies that are always by the fake flowers. Woo, I am crafty.”
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