Inspired by the alphabet boxes often used in Montessori classrooms, this easy-to-assemble play station will familiarize your child with letters and letter sounds. Simply raid your pantry for boxes, line them with colorful printouts on card stock, and start playing!
ABC Hunt: Have kids look for small toys or household objects that begin with a certain letter. This is the first game to play, as it outfits the museum. You can play it every so often to refresh the display.
Fetch Me a D: Remove an assortment of objects from the museum and hide them around the room. Call out "Fetch me ..." and name a letter. Players have to find and retrieve the item that starts with that letter. Repeat for the other letters' missing objects.
Museum-a-grams: If your child is ready to try simple spelling, line up a series of objects—a car, an apple, and a tree, for example. Have your child write each initial letter, then see if he can sound out the resulting word (in this case, cat).
Cut a front or side panel from each of 24 to 26 small boxes. Starting at the bottom, arrange them in rows as desired, fastening them together with mini binder clips. Print letters on card stock, then trim each to fit in a box. Secure them with a glue stick.
The Skills It Builds: letter recognition, reading readiness