Friday, April 19, 2013

Sandpaper Letter Rubbings

Here is another activity that was inexpensive to put together with materials from Dollar Tree including sandpaper from the hardware aisle. This one took about an hour and a half to put together, but now that I have it done, it can be used over and over again. I did all of the tracing while watching TV, so it's not like it was difficult. As I was cutting out all of the letters, I wondered if I could have saved time by making them with my Cricut, but I wasn't sure if that would be too rough on the blade and I didn't want to experiment to find out. I suppose you could do it with letter punches if you happen to have those, which I do not. However, this way only required the $1 investment of the punch-out bulletin board letter set from the teacher supply section of Dollar Tree, and it was guaranteed not to ruin any expensive equipment.

The inspiration for this project came from the book, The Little Hands BIG FUN Craft Book by Judy Press. I recently checked it out from our library and found lots of good ideas.

I am excited because making these letters has sparked Logan's interest in letters, which he previously was not very familiar with, and didn't really seem to care to learn. He especially likes running his fingers over the bumpy texture of the letters. I decided to take advantage of that to help him learn his letters. So, I take his index finger and run it over the letters the way that we would write them saying, for A, "up, down, across" or for N, "up, down, up," and so on. He repeats the motions and the words, and I believe that this sensory element really helps it stick in his mind since he is an active little boy. Plus, it means more bang for our buck.

{Finished letters!}

{Tracing in process...}

  • sandpaper
  • 2" punch-out letters 
  • Sharpie marker
  • scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • boxboard
  • paper trimmer (optional)
  • tacky glue
  • paper
  • crayons (I suggest scribble cookies)
  • clip board (optional)
  1. Punch out the letters you will use. I chose to do each letter of the alphabet, but you could select letters to spell out a message or just a name if you prefer. Tip: Store these in a zippered bag.
  2. Trace the chosen letters onto the rough side of the sandpaper. You are going to cut these out so save space by placing them as closely together as possible. You can turn letters upside down for example or put them out of order. I ended up using 2 pieces of sandpaper from the package of 12 that I bought at Dollar Tree. Tip: I wasn't really thinking when I did this and I did the M/W twice, when once would have been fine. It was the exact same letter just oriented differently. I suppose this could be different depending upon the font used, but for me, I realized I had wasted time.
  3. Cut out the sandpaper letters. Tip: An X-acto knife is helpful for removing the smaller interior sections from letters like A, B, and O, for example.
  4. Using a paper trimmer, if you have one, scissors otherwise, cut 3" squares of boxboard. I needed 3 cereal boxes for this, which meant that I had some left over. (Or, if your letters are a different size, adjust the size of your boxboard squares accordingly.)
  5. Use tacky glue to adhere sandpaper letters to the boxboard squares. Make sure to apply glue to the smooth side so that the finished letters have texture. Allow glue to dry completely.
  6. Once glue is dry, place paper over the letters. Rub crayons over top to produce letter rubbings. We found that our scribble cookies were ideal for this. Tip: If using regular crayons, remove the papers and use the sides of the crayons for rubbing. Tip: If you are planning to take this busy bag activity in the car, I suggest taking along a clipboard to hold the paper over the sandpaper letters.
{Scribble cookies work well for making rubbings.}

No comments:

Post a Comment