Home Schooling with a 3D Printer -How to make Montessori Sandpaper Letters
If you have been thinking that a 3D printer would be great for the kids – here’s yet another reason to get one. These Montessori Sandpaper Letters are super easy and super DURABLE! The rough indented letter makes a wonderful path for little fingers to trace the shape of letters as they learn to write.
Here’s how I made mine.
- In Google Sketch Up – Draw a 8cm by 5cm rectangle and extrude it by 3mm.
- Select 3D font (I chose NSW foundation font) and set the size of the letter to 7cm and extruded by 1mm.
3. Place on the rectangle and use the subtract button to make the indent of the ‘a’ on the rectangle.
4. Use whatever 3D software you use to turn the 3D model into a model that can be printed.
6. Paint the indented letter with craft glue.
7. Use your child’s little fingers to help by tipping sand over the top and shaking off the excess.
8. Leave to dry.
I got my husband to make a display board for our letters and was delighted by my 2 year old’s response when she saw it. “What’s mummy made?” She then proceeded to take all the letters and start stacking them on the shelf in random order. Later in the day I pulled out the label maker and put the Upper and Lower Case letter label on the display board. She came back after her sleep and pulled off the letters and started matching them to their right place. It was great! It was now a game. Pull out the Montessori miniatures and my 2 year old was having ball with letters, sounds and toys.
My next favourite part of this game was to see what price these Sandpaper Letters sell for on the internet. In Australia we are looking at around $70. This project was rather heavy on plastic and would have been around the $12 mark to print. Compared to $70 retail though I am more than happy!
I often tell that to the homeschooling families we sell our printers to. It’s not the cost of the printer, its what you save in the resources you don’t have to purchase.
Feel free to check out our printers on our website or find more ideas on how you can use a 3D printer to support your child’s education. As an teacher and educator myself – I’m convinced they are brilliant!