Monday, 10 October 2011

Pre-writing Cards and sandbox

I found this idea via Pinterest. For those of you who don't know Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can pin the ideas that interest you, as found on the web, to share with the rest of the world.  It has proven far too addictive for me as can be seen by my total number of blog posts of late!
Anyway, in this case the idea is a picture of a product from "Montessori n such".

"Montessori n such" is an online store and they were selling pattern cards for copying patterns in a sand box.  You can find them on sale here for $18.50.  Bear in mind this is just for the pattern cards - the sand box itself is sold separately.

 I know from past experience with A that many younger children who don't like using pencils and paper to make meaningful marks can often be tempted by different textured drawing materials so I decided to recycle an old baking tray in lieu of a no-expense-spared sand tray and used a standard word processing program (in my case the FREE Open Office) to produce some simple printouts that can be popped in page protectors or laminated.  Of course we can also add geometric shapes, numbers and letters to the ideas of patterns to copy as well.  The important thing to note is that the patterns are intended to be followed left to right (as in normal letter formation) so each pattern should have a start point marked as in the original product.
In place of play sand in the tray you can use salt, sugar or flour. A darker tray works better as it gives a better contrast.
Here is a picture of our cheap-skate version of the original in use.

All in all it was a great success.  Although B did follow the parallel lines in the pattern he did more than the two on the sheet, still this bodes well for the future.  Who needs to spend over $35 for a tray and pattern cards!

I Can Teach My Child


  1. have you tried shaving cream yet? My girls LOVE writing in it - so messy & squishy & FUN! You must try it if you ahve not done it w/the kiddos yet!

    Would love to have you share on my child centered linky party - The Sunday Showcase:


  2. Thanks Bern! I haven't done the shaving foam thing yet (despite having 3 little ones) mainly because my older son is autistic and even though he is now 8 years old everything still goes straight in his mouth! I'll have to get myself better organised and try it with B when he is not around.

  3. This is fantastic!!! I would love it if you would link up some of your great ideas on my new Monstrously Creative link party! I'm featuring some great ideas this week, and yours could be next! Come join the party!
    Mandi at BBM