Sandpaper Letters

[QUICK NOTE: I’ve edited this post to actually reflect the Montessori objective]

Assalaamu ‘alaikum.

After reading an inspiring post at Educating the Muslim Child, I began a mini hunt on how I could easily (yes I’m feeling a little lazy) implement this with the English alphabet.

I looked at a few Montessori sites where you can buy equipment and the prices were hair-raising to say the least. However, Allaah is the Most-Merciful and I stumbled – yes stumbled – upon a site which gives you all the lowercase letters of the English alphabet in red and blue (blue for vowels and red for constanants). You can right-click each letter and save onto your computer and then print them out. Cut-out each letter, trace onto the back of a sheet of fine sandpaper (or a similar material), then mount onto equal sized squares – vowels on a blue background and constanants on a red background.

Here’s the link:

Montessori Sandpaper Cursive Letters

For those who wish to have ‘print’ letters, they can be found here.


To learn the sound and shape of the letters of the alphabet. To gain a muscular memory of the shape of the letters as a prelude to writing.


The point of this is to first introduce the phonetic sounds to your child(ren) before the names of the letters – it is best to focus on one thing at a time and it may be a little hard for children to remember both names and sounds. Therefore, the phonetic sound of each letter is taught first, and the names of the letters are taught later.

Why on Sandpaper?

Through this method, the teaching of the sounds and letters is through a multi-sensory approach whereby the child hears the sound, sees its representation in the form of a letter, and feels the way it is written as the child feels the letter with his fingers.

What about capital letters?

These are introduced later – one should try not to introduce too much at the same time.

Was-salaamu ‘alaikum
~ Umm Junayd.


5 thoughts on “Sandpaper Letters

  1. Wa ‘alaikumus-salaam.

    Yes, alhamdulillaah there seems to be an easier way – though the whole material making thing is not as easy as I originally thought. It can be quite tedious!

    Was-salaamu ‘alaikum
    ~ Umm Junayd.

  2. You can probably avoid cutting out the paper letters by inserting a sheet of carbon paper between the printed letters and the sandpaper. If you can’t see the paper letters from the back side to trace onto the sandpaper, turn the carbon paper to face the back side of the paper first, then trace the letters from the front, thereby transferring the tracing to the back side. Then turn the carbon to face the back side of the sandpaper and trace the letters in reverse.

    Hopefully that will save you some time.

    Good luck!

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