The sandpaper letters are one of the key materials found in the language area of the classroom. They are the letters of the alphabet (lower case script) cut out and each mounted on a separate piece of wood. The consonants are mounted on blue wood and the vowels on pink.
The direct purpose of the sandpaper letters is to teach the child the sounds of the alphabet by means of muscular and visual memory. The child is encouraged to trace the symbol over and over again until the shape of the letter becomes a part of the child’s muscle memory. The indirect purposes of the sandpaper letters are preparation for reading and writing.
The sandpaper letters are an exciting and important material for the children to discover. They love thinking of new words for specific sounds. Once the child has mastered all 26 sounds they begin to write short phonetic words and reading quickly follows.