Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Phonetic ABC Box

Ace is getting really good at recognizing his alphabet thanks to the moveable alphabet box.    However, that is only one part on the road to reading; he needs to learn what sounds those letters make.   I came across another great idea via Pinterest on Pink and Green Mama to create an ABC Box.  I knew that Ace would love it. 

What is essential to make an ABC Box is choking hazards  small items easily identified and we had quite a few around the house.  To kick start the box (which I got from Amazon for $15) and I ordered a bag of doodads from HighPie on Etsy.  She also has a listing for 26 doodads that are every letter of the alphabet, but I chose a 50 piece set for more - that and I'm a sucker for grab bags.  :)   Between the grab bag and  previously owned item  I was still coming up short on some letters the standard Q, X, and Y and to my surprise A, I and J.  This is when I got to searching on Bing for images of things, printed out a sheet of various items.   I then laminated and cut them and they were ready to go in each of the boxes.  
A, a: alligator, avocado, ant, anchor, axe, acorn, arrow, apple

P, p: penguin, puzzle piece, polar bear, pom pom, purple peanut, paperclip, pencil

S, s: stamp, scissors, sun, snowflake, star, shell, stingray, soda, shark, stroller, sandal, snake
Things that I used for other hard letters included a lot of Bing images but I did have some items:  I,i: igloo, ice skates, ice, and ice cream; J, j: jar, jacks, and jam, Q,q: queen, quail, quarter and qtip; V, v: velcro, vase, vacuum, violin, and volcano;  X,x:   xylophone, and xray; Y, y: yak, yarn, and yo yo; and Z,z: zebra, zigzag, and zipper.

I bought a sheet of scrapbook alphabet stickers and put them on each of the drawers and with my son we began to sort in various sittings through the different items.  Helping him from the get go to see what items sounded like.   A few items I let him decide what they were: the cup with the straw could have been a coke, a soda, a drink in his eyes and so I wanted him to tell me so that I wasn't fighting the title of the object in the middle of a phonetic lesson.   With everything sorted I then grabbed one lower and upper case of each letter from his moveable alphabet box and put them each of the drawers.   Finally his alphabet box was ready to begin working with.

He LOVED it from the start - in fact he was loving it so much that he would sneak down in the morning before we were awake and 'do school' with it.   Which would be ok except for the choking hazard items and while I had a good idea on what was in each box I wasn't totally positive of each item.   So that created the need to create a cover for it - which has proven to be just what I hoped it would be 'out of sight, out of mind'  and so he only does it when I am around and working with him. 

One of the ways Ace enjoys working with his ABC Box is that we take out two drawers and he sorts through them on his felt and he place them under the correct letter.   He enjoys this - and even does well when certain letters switch sounds like  C for cat and C for chalk.  

Overall it's been a good tool that he's enjoying using and as I find new items (those miniature erasers are GREAT for these boxes) we'll continue to add, replace, and change up the various items in his box.   Start up costs for our box: $15 for the box, $3 for the letter stickers, $5 for the doodads, and another $2 for a set of erasers that I picked up. A grand total of $25.   Well worth it - we've certainly gotten our money's worth already.

Linked up at:  Living Montessori Now, Mom to 2 Posh Lil DivasImagination Tree, and Classified: Mom


Anonymous said...

Haven't been able to find the box yet. Went to two craft stores and Target. Any ideas?

AP Mommy said...

I have linked directly to it in my blog - click on the 'Amazon' link and it will take you straight to the box that I purchased.

Monica said...

you can also find these at lowe's or home depot, they are used to hold nails, screws, bolts, etc.

Jen said...

it's so funny that Living MOntessori now just featured your post, I JUST bought one of these containers yesterday at Walmart, it was just under $15. Thanks so much for the etsy link! I have been collecting things here and there, but what a great idea and a great way to get a variety of stuff! :D TFS! Following you on GFC, hope you'll stop by my blog sometime :D

Deb Chitwood said...

This is wonderful ... your ABC box turned out great! Thank you so much for the link to the HighPie Etsy shop! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

Anonymous said...

When we introduce vowels, we begin with the short sound, such as the sound "a" makes in ant, apple, alligator.

The other sounds are introduced later, such as the sound "a" makes in arrow, avocado, ape. These are called the phonograms. This could be a few more drawered cabinets with objects: objects where the sound made by spelling ai are in one drawer, while the words spelled with ay are in another drawer.
As adults, we know the letter is used in the spelling of these words, but the sound is different, and we isolate the difficulties and teach them seperately.

Muriel Dwyer, a Montessorian in London has the teaching of sounds broken down well.

Marnie @ Carrots are Orange said...

I love this idea!

Aimee from Classified: Mom said...

I love this box and am going to feature it this Sunday on The Sunday Showcase- go grab your button you deserve it!

Mandi said...

This is so awesome! I'm putting this in my next-year file for my littlest guy! He'll love this. We're not quite ready for letter sounds yet, but when we are this is going to be perfect. :)

Mandi at BBM

Anonymous said...

Great idea! We have the doo dads but need a way to offer and store them. Great post!

(BTW, I couldn't figure out why you had a drink with straw in your S category - for straw? I'm from the South and we don't use 'soda'! I'm laughing at myself!)

Anonymous said...

I love this post and am in the process of creating one for our family as well. I found the compartment box at Walmart for $11, and then the same day found a very similar one at Orchard Hardware for $11. I had never noticed them before. I ordered the bulk 200 trinket and doodad bag from HighPie, and will print out the letters in a nice font and tape them on the front of the drawer. I am sure I can find a fun use for the rest of the doodads- maybe some will match the "pink" CVC words, or have good examples of some of the blends. Maybe an "I Spy" bottle is in our future for a long car ride... I am so excited! Thanks for the great ideas!