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Make Your Own Tactile Letter Cards

Children learn about the world around them through their senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, and tasting. And of course…

Children Learn by Touching

Here at All About Learning Press, we’re really big on the multisensory approach because learning is so much more effective when children learn through all their senses. Our tactile letter cards provide a great multisensory way for little ones to learn about the alphabet.

Our free download includes uppercase and lowercase letter templates, instructions for creating your tactile letter cards, and tips for using your cards. Ready to go?

Tactile Letter Cards activity download 3-page spread

Instructions for Tactile Letter Cards

  1. Print the uppercase and lowercase letter card pages contained in this activity download. Cut out the letter cards.
  2. Prepare the colored sand using the simple instructions in the PDF.
  3. Spread glue in the shape of the letters, sprinkle with colored sand, and let dry thoroughly. The cards are ready to use!
Using colored sand on tactile letter card

Playing with Tactile Letter Cards

There are so many ways to use the tactile letter cards.

As your child learns the names and sounds of each letter, have her feel the letter as she says the name or sound.

Preschooler touching tactile letter card

Is your child ready for more? Use both sets of cards to help your child begin to recognize and match uppercase and lowercase letters.

Preschooler matching tactile letter cards

Older children can be encouraged to use the letter cards to spell their names or short words.

Preschooler spelling 'mom'

Other Materials for Tactile Letter Cards

If you’d like to make tactile letter cards but don’t want to make colored sand, that’s okay! We’ve got more great ideas for you. You can make tactile cards with all kinds of materials. In addition to our colored sand cards, we made cards using glitter, pipe cleaners, rice, dried mung beans, and fabric. Aren’t they awesome?

Variations of tactile letter cards

Have you made tactile letter cards? What materials did you use? Let us know in the comments below!

If your child enjoyed this hands-on letter recognition activity, why don’t you try some of our other letter recognition activities, too?

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María

says:

Your alphabet cards is amazing. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, María!

Georgia

says:

Thank you so much for being so generous with the amazing resources you have available.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are so welcome, Georgia! 😊

Alison

says:

After I saw this post about tactile letters I knew I needed to try it with my little one who will really benefit from touch and feel associated learning. Thanks so much for all of the information ❤️

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Alison! I hope your little one enjoys this a lot.

Karissa Butikofer

says:

You don’t laminate these letter cards do you? I am thinking not as it would take away from the experience of the tactile letter, but wanted to make sure

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karissa,
No, I wouldn’t recommend laminating these tactile letter cards. You want children to be able to feel the texture.

These weren’t around when my kids were little, but I made something very much like them using index cards, white glue, and colored sand. They held up through three children and were still in very good condition. I gave them away so others could use them too.

Ondina Hernandez

says:

woooo Thank you for sharing these great ideas .

Melanie

says:

I love this! These would be fun with different textures of hot glue or puffy paint, too!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oooo, good ideas, Melanie! I’m thinking colored, glitter hot glue. 😊

Michelle

says:

Much thanks for having them free.
I already receive your newsletter though and I use the reading and spelling programs.
Do you have these for numbers?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
We do not have templates for numbers, sorry. However, they aren’t difficult to make at all. Using Word or Google Docs or similar software, print large numbers on cardstock. If you underline the number, that will help with directionality. Then trace the number with white glue and apply the sand.

Let me know how it goes.

Cantrell

says:

I love these! The idea is great and also an opportunity to craft with the LO which is always fun.

Kendra

says:

My girls will LOVE these! Thank you for the idea and the download!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kendra!

Thank you very much for this. I teach girls in the slums how to read and write. This will be very helpful.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Anima,
Thank you for what you do! We are happy to be able to help you in this way.

Cherie

says:

Great idea to make them yourself! I will make them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cherie,
Yes! These tactile letter cards are pretty easy to make and they last through more than one child. They are a great resource to have on hand for letter learning.

Corina

says:

These are fabulous! Do you find the sand gets worn off quickly? What sort of glue worked the best?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Corina,
More than a decade ago I made a set similar to these. I used white Elmer’s school glue as shown here and colored sand I bought from a craft store. My cards held up through three preschoolers and were still in great condition when I gave them away. The sand doesn’t wear off much at all.

Brittany Alessio

says:

Thank you times a million

Melissa

says:

thank you

Maya

says:

This looks like the Montessori sand paper letter cards. I love the all ideas, especially ones with grains.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maya,
We have been told that these cards are easier to make than the sandpaper letters too.

Elizabeth

says:

Thanks for the free printables! My little guy is having a tough time with letter recognition, I am going to add this to the mix. I love that he can help make them, and we can use different mediums for different letters! Perhaps this will make it click for him. :-)

J. Muhammad

says:

Wow…I never thought to make these tactile cards myself. I did not know they were that easy to DIY…I’ve been search high and low for them (on sale). Well thats out the door after watching this video. The other ideas at the end of the post are neat too. My dd loves glitter and those chenille stems. Looks like a afterschool project for mommy :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Have fun crafting, Mommy!

Laura Stephenson

says:

This is an awesome idea. Letter recognition has been one of the biggest obstacles for my children. We will be making these cards.

Mallory

says:

My son and I made these and he is obsessed. I was going to spend the money on the Montessori sandpaper letters but I’m glad that we could spend the time together and make these instead.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mallory,
I especially like the idea of making these with your child, and not just for him. Great idea!

Daniella

says:

Really needed this! A great solution for my sensory child! Thank you for the instructions.

Joanna Adams

says:

I love this idea of making your own. My youngest has sensory processing disorder, and giving her the sensory experiences she craves is a daily challeng. Looking forward to making these when she starts learning her letters!

Cailin

says:

Such an awesome idea to make learning hands -on!

Sara

says:

Well, fun! I could see my 4yo girl having some fun with glitter paint pens and these cards!

Mehgan

says:

About 2 years ago I bought some very durable wooden sandpaper letters from an etsy shop. They were quite expensive, but they are beautifully made and show almost no signs of wear. Unfortunately my first 2 sons were never as enthralled with them as I was. I’m hoping my third son will get a lot of use out of them this year! I love that you are offering an easy DIY version of these, if I had seen a post like this back then I would have probably tried making my own!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mehgan,
I know how it is to spend money on something you think is great, but you kids never really get into. I spent a lot of money on nice quality art media and craft materials, and four kids never got into them much. But my 5th… She is making my investment worth it! Maybe one of your future children will get a lot of use out of those sandpaper letters too.

Rosanne

says:

Looks so fun. Thanks!

Rosanne

says:

Thanks for the great idea!

Rosanne

says:

This looks awesome! My little girls would love it. Thanks!

DC

says:

Love that we can make these together!

Sheila

says:

What a fun idea! Thank you!

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