Object Box – SMAT

The knowledge of an Object Box is another great gift given to us by Ms. Nona [Foundations Montessori Academy of Frisco].  These are a fun way to teach children to recognize letters by the sound they make.  First, we trace each letter with our pointer finger saying the sound the letter makes. Second, we trace them with two fingers (pointer and middle), saying the sound again.  Last, we trace them with an object that resembles a pencil, repeating the sound a third time.  I’ve found a chopstick to be a great “pretend” pencil.  It’s very important to trace the letter like you would write it, because this is the first step towards learning to write the letters.  Here’s JR demonstrating how to trace the letter with the “pretend” pencil.

JR has been practicing this work for months now.  The newness has worn off and he goes a little A.D.D. on me.  Today I kept a “scoreboard” showing how many he got right and it was amazing how accurate and fast he was.  I’m always inventing new ways to keep things interesting. One day the “pretend” pencil magically transformed into a magic wand that could find the correct letter when I made the sound.  Whatever works for the day…

I found most of these objects at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.  Look in the scrapbooking, beads, and wood sections.  The mat is felt and I used glitter fabric paint just like Ms. Nona to give the letters texture when the child traces them.

The proud student with his finished work and scoreboard. :)

PostScript (1.12.11):  I discovered a new way to organize the Object Boxes.  It includes a worksheet that will help JR develop his writing skills.  Did you know, most kids can write and spell before they can read?  We tried it out for the first time today and JR really liked it.  Sometimes, adding something new, makes the work exciting again and really stretches the work’s longevity.


Here’s the worksheet in case you are interested.

15 thoughts on “Object Box – SMAT

  1. Pingback: Object Box – DNIR |

  2. Hi! Just came across your website! I like how you createdthis work. Just wanted to add that the sensorial tracing is so that the child gets the “muscle memory” of how the letter is written. Also, you can use miniatures from Barbie toys and Montessori N Such sells the actual miniatures that we use in the classroom. I bought little tool drawers at Lowes and made stickers for the front to keep the miniatures in. The kids choose the sandpaper letter and drawer they want to work on. Also I made little ringed cadrs with pictures of the begining sounds. The kids love to sort the pictures under the corresponding sound. Last suggestion – only teach the lower case first, once they get that then teach the corresponding upper case, less confusion for reading! Good Luck!

    • I agree with everything you said. Thanks for adding your experience. I’m glad you came across my site. Hope you come back often. :)

  3. Pingback: Montessori Monday – DIY Alphabet Box | LivingMontessoriNow.com

  4. Hey there Lori,
    Yup, 340am. Just could not sleep. So…what does a mommy do…get some things together for home learning!!!! Would you have a download for the s-m-a-t worksheet? Thanks a bunch.

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