Tactile (or Sensory) Letters and Numbers

With Bella starting “school” , I needed a way to teach her the letters and numbers. However, her fine motor skills are not quite up to writing letters yet. We’re soooo close, but still not there. So as an alternative to writing, we are using “tactile” letters. The idea is that you teach the child to trace the letters with their fingers; the texture of the letters grabs their attention more than a simple printout letter would. The ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum suggests using yarn, glitter, or sandpaper for the letters. Yarn is difficult. Glitter is messy. (Thank you, Danny for reminding me of that fact!) Sandpaper is a little too expensive.

We used pipe cleaners.

Simple, easy, and CHEAP! I bought one pack of 100 “Fuzzy Sticks” at Wal-Mart and bent them into letter and numbers. I then glued them to cardstock that was cut into 4 ¼” x 5 ½” rectangles. (One piece of 8 ½ ” x 11″ cardstock cut into fourths.)

They turned out WAY better than I thought they would. The letters and numbers aren’t perfect (as you can see), but they are just right for small fingers.

I don’t think these are something that I would just let Bella run around the house with unless I laminated the cardstock before gluing on the letters. The cards live in a basket where she can’t reach with each week’s number/letter being placed on her “learning” board. With it there, she can touch it all she wants with me worrying about the cards getting torn, lost, or eaten.

I still like the idea of sandpaper; someday I may try it. For now, though, these were a much cheaper alternative!


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