I’ve already written about inexpensive and DIY sandpaper letters and a DIY alphabet box. Today, I’m writing about the movable alphabet, an important Montessori preparation for spelling, writing, and reading.
The traditional Montessori movable alphabet uses wooden lowercase letters with blue vowels and red consonants. The classic wooden Montessori movable alphabet is beautiful, but an attractive inexpensive version can be prepared using printables for home use. There are also other inexpensive options for homeschools and schools outside of traditional Montessori schools.
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Inexpensive and DIY Movable Alphabets
If you’d like a high-quality but reasonably priced, traditional wooden movable alphabet, consider the small movable alphabet from Alison’s Montessori (see review here) or Kid Advance. Alison’s Montessori and Kid Advance also have wooden movable alphabets in cursive, although the tails aren’t shortened on those from either company. (They aren’t shortened in the Nienhuis movable alphabet, either.)
An inexpensive cursive movable alphabet that looks like a great option is the felt cursive alphabet from KoloRa Studio on Etsy. I like the shortened tails on the letters that allow the letters in words to join up naturally.
(2019 update) Right now, I have the cursive movable alphabet in configured box from Absorbent Minds Montessori in England. This is my favorite movable alphabet because it’s small enough to fit on my shelf, has shortened tails, and is gorgeous. Unfortunately, it’s expensive, especially if you’re not from England and have to pay international shipping. That said, the service is amazing! I ordered the movable alphabet with standard shipping on a Sunday afternoon, and it arrived in San Diego on Tuesday around noon! I’m hoping Amazing Child Montessori will start selling it on Amazon soon. Amazing Child Montessori recently started selling gorgeous products from Absorbent Minds Montessori on Amazon, so I’m hoping!
Montessori Print Shop has a number of inexpensive moveable alphabet materials, including Movable Alphabet with Lesson Instructions (which also has a word list and picture cards). In addition, Montessori Print Shop has a page with preparation instructions (Make a Montessori Moveable Alphabet), information on Moveable Alphabet and Extension Lessons, and Moveable Alphabet Colors.
I have a free printable movable alphabet (1″ letter tiles) in manuscript, D’Nealian, and cursive (instant download).
Montessori Services has a number of options for movable alphabets you can easily assemble.
Preschool Universe has ideas for inexpensive alternatives to the traditional Montessori movable alphabet.
My Free Montessori Materials Online post has links to lots of inexpensive Montessori material suppliers with movable alphabets. (Counting Coconuts often shows materials purchased from one of the less expensive Montessori material suppliers. (Photo from Counting Coconuts).
Little Spark Company has a free printable movable alphabet (subscriber freebie) in print and cursive.
HomeschoolEscapade made a pipe cleaner moveable alphabet.
Livable Learning has free movable alphabet printables.
The Little House on the Prairie made a cardboard movable alphabet.
Criss-Cross Applesauce has a lima bean movable alphabet.
Moms Have Questions Too has a glass gem movable alphabet.
Maybe Montessori tells how to create a movable alphabet carrying case.
Directions for Presenting the Movable Alphabet
Montessori Primary Guide has moveable alphabet presentations.
Montessori World has movable alphabet presentations.
eHow has a post on How to Use the Montessori Small Movable Alphabet.
To the Lesson! shows the movable alphabet in use.
Montessori MOMents showed movable alphabet work. The blog is no longer available.
We Don’t Need No Education has elementary-level movable alphabet work for renewing interest in spelling.
Montessori Works has a post on writing with the moveable alphabet.
Happy word building! 🙂
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