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The Montessori approach to letters and reading begins like everything else in Montessori - follow the child.A child that has little to no interest in letters or reading, can have their interested piqued but it's more often done with fun activities and games when starting out.Here's 5 fun letter learning and reading activities you can do at home to spark your child's interest in learning to read.

I Spy Language Mats

I spy language mats are a fun activity, even if your child isn't yet showing an interest in letters quite yet.

You can use them to practice colour recognition (i.e. find the items that are green) or to practice other sorting and categorizing skills, a skill that toddlers love to work on around this age, as it fulfills their need for order.For older children that are learning their letter sounds, you can initially assist in saying the names of the objects, emphasizing the first letter, i,e, sssssscarf. Does that start with an 'ssssss' sound?Click here to download language mats for 6 popular letters - Ff, Pp, Mm, Rr, Ss, and Tt.

Letter Baskets

Letter baskets are a hands on way to explore the sounds that different words make.

Simply collect items that all start with the same letter sound and add them to a basket/container. Then go through each item in the basket with your child - "Look it's a mmmmmagnifying glass. Magnifying makes an mmmmmmm sound.

One important note is to choose objects that all make the same letter sound, not just start with the same letter.For example, with the letter T, you could choose:

  • Teddy bear
  • Train
  • Truck
Avoid using items that sound different, even though they start with T, like:
  • Thermometer
  • Thermos
  • Thread

Letter Tracing Boards

Tracing boards and letter tracing cards are a wonderful, hands on way to introduce letter symbols and develop letter recognition.

Children can trace the letter shapes with their index finger or a wooden pen.You can also introduce them to young children alongside playdough or dried legumes.Use the playdough or legumes to fill the grooves provides a fun, rich sensorial activity.Click here to find our letter tracing boards and cards.

Phonics Sound Chart

A sound chart is a great way to practice letter sounds with an easy cue for parents on the phonetic pronunciation of each letter.

When they learn the ABC song, they're essentially just memorizing a song.When they learn the sound of the letter, they can begin making the connection between letters and words.i.e. B makes a "buh" sound, like ball.

You'll notice the letters are not organized alphabetically but in an order that's often easier for children to learn them in.It won't be the same for every child but here's a few factors that make learning letters easier, when you're considering what order to introduce them in:Easier

  • Sounds they can pronounce - be mindful of your child's age and any speech challenges they might currently have. If they struggle to make an 's' sound then you might want to leave this letter for later.
  • Sounds they're familiar with - i.e. the sounds at the beginning of words they commonly use - i.e. 'm' for mama/mommy
  • Letters where the uppercase/lowercase are familiar - these tend to be easier to remember as they learn the letter symbols


  • Sounds they can't pronounce
  • Sounds they don't hear very often
  • Sounds that are very similar to other letter sounds - i.e. the vowels

Letter Scavenger Hunt

You can bring this scavenger hunt out to a restaurant, the park, on a walk, or anytime you need to keep your child patiently waiting (i.e. doctor's office).

This is perfect for children still learning the letter symbols and sounds.For children working on letter recognition, work on finding the letters written on signs and shops.For children working on the letter sounds, try to find objects that start with each letter.Click here to get the Letter Scavenger Hunt.

BOB Books

BOB Books are great for learning to read with a phonics-based approach, where the emphasis is on sounding out each letter and putting them together in a logical way.

They are organized by reading level and are especially helpful because, unlike other early readers, they only contain words appropriate for that reading level.They text is simple, straightforward, and great for building reading confidence. Click here to check out the full collection.

Puzzles, Games, & Books

Lastly, books, puzzles, and games can also make learning letters and reading more fun. Go here to check out our collection of games, puzzles, and tracing books: https://themontessoriroom.com/collections/letter-learning