Here is the first, not quite complete, crafty item:
What is it? It's a Phonics Miniatures Sound Pocket. The idea is that you create 26 pockets, one for each letter of the alphabet, then populate them with tiny items that start with each letter. That way, someone who is just learning about letters and words can figure out that "Apple" starts with "A" or "Zipper" starts with "Z". Will is doing great with letter recognition and he seems to understand that words are made of letters. He is very excited about the felt envelopes and the tiny items.
The pocket above isn't quite done. It still needs some felt sewn on to cover the top of the elastic button loop. We also need to add the letter, "W". You may notice that my button is a wine cask. You may also wonder about the appropriateness of including a wine-theme in a child's educational toy. If you like, ask Will about wine sometime. :)
Of course, this is not something I came up with on my own. I got the idea from a mom who is teaching her 3-year-old using the Montessori method. She has a wonderful blog about some of the activities that they do. She is also very crafty and made much cuter pockets for her son. She also was kind enough to organize a miniatures exchange. So Will helped me to shop for 10 little items that we could also send to our two exchange partners. As we live here in Southern California, we got some small wooden surfboards and some other sea-themed items such as a tiny finger puppet octopus and whale. We also got a neat little rubber lobster and a realistic looking rubber donut. We are still waiting on our packages from our exchange partners as they were sent from Singapore and India. We will post our sound pockets once they are done!