Montessori Inspired Dollar Store Hack

Inspiration is all around us.

My husband picked up this house-shaped container of wooden alphabet letters from our local Dollar Store.  He thought I could find a good use for it.

It has been sitting on my shelf and although I used a set of letters for a project, there were still several sets of letters remaining.  I can never quite forget about an object that I think I will repurpose.  It has been in the back of my mind since Christmas.

It finally came together for me.  I saw the whole thing as an alphabet puzzle with a self-correcting element to it.  Here is how I did it.  

-Wooden house container
-Wooden letters
-Beauty Tone Enamal Satin Spray Paint (white and light blue)
-Tombow Liquid Glue

I wanted to paint the whole house white.  I really avoid primary colors in the center as it can get visually loud.  My two main colors are a pale version of blue and green.  I use natural wood as much as possible and stick to paler hues of color whenever color is introduced.  With this in mind, the background of white will help the game pieces (painted in River Mist) stand out without screaming color.

Since the rooms (boxes) in the house shape held a group of letters per box, I used them for my alphabet board.  I glued a letter in each box, from A to Z.  Once this dried, I sprayed the whole thing with my white Beauty Tone spray paint.  

With the blue paint, I sprayed another set of letters (back and front) and let it dry thoroughly.  

This completes the assembly of this simple matching game.  To play, children will match the loose letters to the box holding the stationary letters.  

This game can also extend to beginning letter sound matching.  For this game, I provide a container of theme buttons, (I spy trinkets) beginning with each letter of the alphabet.  Children will say the name of the object and place it with the letter that makes that sound.  They can either match it to the game board letters or the loose letters.  

There is something about playing games with natural materials that appeal to teachers and children alike.   This is inexpensive, easy and rewarding. 

I hope this inspires you to use some of the materials on your shelf in a creative way. 


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