To this point I haven’t bought the sandpaper phonograms. The sandpaper letters didn’t get much use here so I haven’t wanted to spend the money. I recently saw someone make their own sandpaper letters out of sticky backed felt and thought that was a great idea so I decided to make my own phonograms.
I purchased sticky backed felt from Amazon. Then I created a template of the letters. My template is available here: phonogram cards
I printed the template off and cut it out. Then I traced it backwards onto the back of the felt and cut it out (don’t forget to do it backwards, I forgot the first time and had a backwards th). I took card stock and laminated it to use as the base. You could also use poster board. Then I peeled the back off and stuck it on and voilà! So simple. You could make all your sandpaper letters this way though it is time consuming. Right now I’m making my phonograms a few at a time.
Sandpaper letters and numbers are a key Montessori material. By the child tracing the letters with his or her finger it helps solidify the shape in the brain by using kinesthetic , tactile and visual senses. These are time consuming to make yourself and are rather expensive if you purchase the Montessori version. I have this set and I love it (though we’ve decided to teach cursive first I’ll still be using the number tiles). It includes both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. They are grooved in the wood and are amazing quality, very sturdy. I actually really like the grooved ones as they help the child trace a little better. (click photo for link)
Here’s some photos of ours so you get a sense of the size. They’re a really nice size. Not too big and not too small.