Tuesday 29 May 2012


Montessori Activity: Spelling Own Name with Pasta Sensory Tub & Letter Magnets

Age: 3 years old

Objective(s): To provide a fun way to teach spelling.

1. 2 sets of letter magnets spelling the child's name, e.g. J, O, S, H, U, A for our child
2. Whiteboard
3. 4 packets of pasta
4. 1 transparent tub (I use transparent Smartbox 40 x 30 x 19cm)
5. Some cup, spoons, scope, etc.

1. Spell your child's name, e.g. Joshua, on the whiteboard.

2. Hide another set of each letter magnet of J, O, S,H, U, A in a big tub full of dried pasta.

3. Tell your child to his name is hidden in the tub and invite him to have fun dishing it out.

4. While he is digging and finding, you can sing or say, "Where is letter a, where is letter a? Please come out, please come out" for example.

5. After he has found all the letters, ask him to say its name and pronounce its sound.

6. Ask him to place the respective letter that spell his name underneath the Joshua magnetic word already placed on the white board.

Additional Information:
You don't have to use pasta. You can also use rice, beans, etc. as base for the sensory tub. If you are not a fan of sensory tub, you can also put the letter magnets in an envelope each and hide them around the house for your child to find. Then ask your child to hunt for them, each letter making up his name.

Here is a great video by Momtessori on the sounds of letters.

Joshua isn't so keen in learning letters. So, I tried this idea today. Joshua enjoyed playing with the sensory tub. He was more interested in scooping the pasta out, than saying the sound of the letter after finding it. But at least he did did one round of repeating the sound of all the letters after me, and sub-consciously, I hope that he has learned something, while having fun. I have to be patient and allow him to play the way he likes, rather than the plan I have in mind. He wanted to use some of the letters to make a face instead, although I had intended the letters to form his name. This is how it is with children. It hardly ever go perfectly according to plan. But the good thing is that some learning has taken place.

Joshua chose the letter o for the eyes, and we made a face instead

I love to use transparent storage boxes for sensory tubs. I am using a Scandinavian brand, but you can find very good ones and the rest of the materials from Amazon:

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