My almost 5 year old daughter recently moved into a Pre-K room at her daycare. I am excited about the increased learning potential she will have by having her moved into a room with older kids that in the same boat she is. The only draw back is the Air Force daycares do not teach directly, but instead teach through play. I think this is good for preschoolers, but I wanted to do something that would help to supplement my daughters learning and ensure she is ready for Kindergarten next year when the time comes. I reached out to friend and family for ideas and my cousin suggested I make her an alphabet box. I had never heard of this before and started doing research. I found that this idea comes from the Montessori style of teaching and is great for not only teaching kids the alphabet, but also their sounds. Armed with that knowledge I started the search for how I would make my box. The idea is for each letter to have its own drawer where the kid keeps items that start with that letter.

If I lived in the states I could easily run to Walmart or a hardware store and purchase an oranizer from the tool section, but since we live in Okinawa finding such an item was more difficult. I did luck out and find 3-drawer mini organizers at the local 100 yen store.


I opted to purchase 9 of these and attach them together myself to make one large unit. Luckily they were made to connect together if you just popped off the top layer.



I ended up connect 9 total in each column and had 3 rows, getting me to 27 drawers.


Next I used hot glue and glued each of the columns to each other.


I used clothes pins to hold the rows into place while the glue dried. Make sure to remove all the drawers before trying to glue.


Next came the fun part of labeling the drawers. I lucked out and already had letters in my scrapbook supplies.


I added an uppercase and lowercase of each letter to the drawers.

 
Next came the best part of deciding what went into each drawer. I started with a flash card that I already had for each letter. I found these in the dollar bin at Target when we still lived in the states. I did cut them down a little to fit in the drawers.

 
After the flash cards came the items that would go in the drawers. This is where you can get really creative and have fun. When I was purchasing the drawers I found the fun eraser section of the store and purchased several adorable erasers to use in several drawers. Living in Japan these are a lot more common than they are in the states and my daughter loved picking them out at the store.


Once we sorted the erasers, we started going through all her toys and some household items to find more things that could work. This is where creativity is the key.
   This is what the “P” drawer looked like with all the erasers. We had the following: “piano, paddle, peach, pineapple, penguin, and panda.”
     
Here is the “S” drawer with a variety of erasers and toys. For “S” we used the following: “spoon, shark, squirrel, sandal, stingray, sushi, spider, and strawberry.”

The best part of our Alphabet box was it fit perfectly into one of the cubbies of our IKEA Expedit shelving unit where we house some overflow toys. And we are able to keep it up and out of the reach of my 10 month old.
 My daughter Tegan was so proud of it she wanted me to share a phot of her with her new box.


Have you made an alphabet box? If so leave a comment and share what you did.

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