Making your own alphabet toys is really rather easy, and a lot of fun. Here are two toys that you can make for your child who is learning the alphabet. The first set of instructions is to make alphabet blocks from a template. The second is an alphabet flannel board that you make from scratch. Each toy can teach letters while providing your child with hours of fun.
Print out five copies of the block template provided here. Print them on card stock paper for durability. You can use white card stock or coloured card stock.
Write a letter of the alphabet in each square. You will be able to fit six letters of the alphabet per template. You can also choose to print out fancy alphabet letters, cut them out, and glue them to the squares with a glue stick. If you like this idea, there is a resource below where you can find hundreds of alphabet letter styles to print.
Laminate each template. Only do this on the top side, laying the laminating paper over top of the letters. This will provide the blocks with extra durability and prevent them from tearing.
Cut out the blocks along the solid lines shown on the template. Discard the scraps of paper.
Fold the blocks along the dotted lines and glue in place. Your finished block should look similar to the one shown here.
Have your child use the blocks to build with, or you can use them to play alphabet games. One idea for a game is to have your child roll a block, and whatever letter turns face up, she can name an object that begins with that letter. You could also have your child use the blocks to spell short words.
Cut out a sturdy piece of cardboard to measure at least 12 x 12 inches. You may wish to use a box knife for this step.
Cut out a piece of felt that measures 13 x 13 inches. The felt can be any colour that you wish, and will be the background for the flannel board.
Place a large drop of glue on each corner of the cardboard. Do not place glue anywhere else on the cardboard, such as in the centre. You only need it in the corners.
Overlay the felt on top of the cardboard (leaving one inch hanging off each side of the cardboard) and press down to adhere the glue to the felt. You can place a heavy book on top of the cardboard and let it sit for an hour to be sure that the glue adheres to the felt. You will see that the glue will leave a mark on the felt, and that is normal. This is why you don't want to place glue anywhere else on the cardboard. You can always place a felt border around the board to cover the corners, if you wish.
Fold over the excess felt on one side of the cardboard to the back. Place a few staples to keep the felt secured in place. Do this for each side of the cardboard until all of the felt has been stapled down in place.
Trace letters of the alphabet onto felt pieces using a permanent marker. Cut the letters out.
Let your child use the letters to create words on the felt board. You can cut out objects to go along with the letters, such as an apple that will go with the letter "A," or a boat that will go with the letter "B."
Be careful when laminating. It is easy to get creases in the laminating paper. Do not laminate both sides of the paper. Otherwise, the paper will be too hard to fold properly. Keep sharp cutting objects away from children.