Teaching Letters to a Tactile Learner


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A few weeks ago I attended a training on early childhood reading. One of the topics discussed was that kids have different ways of learning, but too often we only use one format of teaching the ABCs in preschool. Most of us preschool teachers hold up a card with, for example, the letter “A” on it, and then tell our preschoolers “This is the letter A”. We talk about things that start with the letter A, like apple and ant.  We read books filled with words starting with the letter. We even make wonderful A inspired crafts with our kiddos. The problem is we are teaching in a way that is only beneficial to visual learners, or kids who learn through pictures and images. Flashcards do nothing for a  tactile learner, a child who needs to manipulate and touch objects to learn.

During the training, one of the speakers suggested making flashcards out of sandpaper to help tactile learners learn the alphabet. I love this idea, but decided to take it one step further for my class of 2 year olds. I decided to make 3-D letters, with two types of surfaces on each side.

Easy to make DIY Letters for the Tactile Learners in your class! I made these letters for my preschool class, and they were a hit!

Tactile Learner Alphabet Set

Here’s how I made my letters:

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Supplies

How to Make Letters to Help Tactile Learners

Step 1: Paint the letter in all black chalkboard paint.

Easy to make DIY Letters for the Tactile Learners in your class! I made these letters for my preschool class, and they were a hit!

Step 2: Trace the letter on a piece of sandpaper.

Easy to make DIY Letters for the Tactile Learners in your class! I made these letters for my preschool class, and they were a hit!




Step 3: Cut out the letter from the sandpaper.

Easy to make DIY Letters for the Tactile Learners in your class! I made these letters for my preschool class, and they were a hit!

Step 4: Glue the cutout letter onto the painted wooden letter.

Step 5: Once the sandpaper is dry, trip the sandpaper using an XACTO-knife.

Easy to make DIY Letters for the Tactile Learners in your class! I made these letters for my preschool class, and they were a hit!




I made the first 4 letters of the alphabet for my little class, and brought them to school.

Easy to make DIY Letters for the Tactile Learners in your class! I made these letters for my preschool class, and they were a hit!


When we were learning the letter “A”, my lead teacher and I brought out the “A” I had made. During circle time, we passed around the letter so each of our toddlers could have a turn flipping the letter around in their hand, and touching the sandpaper. I could really tell which ones were tactile learners! They anxiously waited for their turn, and spent a little more time with the letter than their peers. Each time we brought out the letter, the tactile learners reached out to hold it. I love that we’ve found a way to help our little tactile learners! I know their experience in preschool will help build a love of learning!

Free Toy Car Preschool Math Activity!

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