Montessori Language Cards and Materials: A Complete Guide

Montessori learning is an interesting concept. But what are Montessori language cards, and how do you make them?

Montessori language cards are vocabulary cards that are used after a child has mastered letters and the sounds that the letters make. The language cards show images, and the child has to identify what the image and name the object or item shown on the card.

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What Are Montessori Language Cards?

Montessori language cards are basically vocabulary cards that have photos of objects or items on them rather than words. They are sometimes called three-part matching cards. You can use them to help your children learn the names of objects and help them learn another language.

Montessori language cards are used after children have learned and shown an understanding of letters and how letters sound and work together to form words. They teach children the names of different objects and items. They also teach them how to connect a physical object with an abstract object.

Montessori cards include three parts: cards with only an image, cards with only the name of the object, and cards with an image and a word that identifies what the name of the image is.

Montessori cards are typically laminated to make them last longer and prevent them from becoming stained or ripped, especially since young kids are the ones who use them.

Montessori 3 part cards
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How to Make Montessori Language Cards

Montessori language cards are very easy to make, and you only need a few materials to make them.

Materials You Need:

  • White paper
  • Pictures of objects
  • Laminator
  • Scissors

How to Make Montessori Language Cards:

  1. Find pictures of items you have in your home, or take pictures of them and upload them onto your computer.
  2. On your computer, copy the photo onto a document that you can print out.
  3. Below the picture, write out the name in lower-case letters, unless it is a proper noun. You may have to create a text box to do this.
  4. Print out the document with the names and photos.
  5. Laminate all photos and their names. If you do not have a laminator you can send them to be laminated elsewhere.
  6. Cut out laminated photos and words. If you want to keep the name of the object with the photo of it, don’t cut between them. If you want your child to learn the names of objects without them reading them while looking at the picture, separate the name of the object and the photo of the object.
  7. Round the corners so your child does not get hurt or distracted by sharp corners.

You can do this both with objects that you have and with realistic-looking pictures of things that you don’t own or have around you, like snakes or whales.

If you want ideas on what objects to put on your Montessori language cards, there are many ideas to find on Pinterest.

Check out our full article on Montessori 3 Part Cards for more ideas.

What Are Montessori Language Materials?

Montessori language materials are materials that are designed to teach children the different intricacies of written and spoken words and language. They help teach children how to write, identify, and pronounce various letters and sounds. Over time, Montessori language materials help children improve their handwriting, although that only comes after the children have learned how to write.

There are many different types of Montessori Language materials that you can use. Listed below are some examples.

  • Sandpaper letters
  • Metal insets
  • Sound boxes
  • Moveable alphabet
  • Rhyme Cards
  • Sentence-building cards

Sandpaper Letters

Sandpaper letters help children learn their letters. They are pieces of sandpaper formed in a letter that is attached to a piece of wood or tile. Consonants are placed on different colored tiles than vowels to help children identify them and the differences between them. Key sounds that can’t be heard with one letter are placed on a different colored tile than the consonants and vowels.

The sandpaper letters help children internalize the letters and remember what they look like and what sounds they make.

You can use different materials than sandpaper and tiles if you want to use sandpaper letters to teach your child. Almost any materials that are different in texture and color than what they are placed on will work.

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Metal Insets

Metal insets are metal pieces that are all shaped differently with a frame around each piece that help your child improve their fine motor skills enough to start writing. The frame is removable. When using the metal insets, remove the frame and place a piece of paper on top of the metal piece, then place the frame around the piece. Then allow your child to trace the shape of the metal piece. Eventually, your child’s fine motor skills will improve, and they can begin learning how to write.

Sound Boxes

Sound boxes consist of objects, or pictures of the objects, and movable letters. The children then are supposed to place the letters near the object to spell the name of the object. However, they don’t spell out the name immediately—they learn how to do that over time.

When the sound boxes are first used, the children are supposed to place the letter that the name of the object starts with near the object, then move from there over time. Eventually, they will be able to completely spell out the name of the objects.

Moveable Alphabet

The moveable alphabet is very similar to the sound boxes and the sandpaper letters. The moveable alphabet is comprised of letters that can be moved by the child in any way. The child uses these letters to spell out different words. These letters are typically red or blue, and both colors are included in one set of letters to help the child recognize what letters make what sounds.

The movable alphabet is typically used by older children that have mastered the concepts that have been taught by the sound boxes and sandpaper letters. You can use the objects used in the sound boxes to prompt your child to spell out the name of an object, especially because they will recognize the object from the previous lessons. Check out our in-depth article on the Montessori Movable Alphabet for more information.

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Rhyme Cards

Rhyme cards are cards with words written down on them that rhyme with other words in the English language. These cards help children learn and recognize words, especially because many of the words that are on the cards are not the names of the objects that children have learned from the lessons previously mentioned.

These rhyme cards help children begin to learn the relationship that certain words have with other similar words. Eventually, the children will be able to sort words into different rhyming groups, which means that they have learned how to identify what words rhyme with each other.

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Sentence-building Cards

Sentence-building cards are used to help children identify different parts of speech. These cards have different words and marks that help children identify how different words work together to form a sentence, and it teaches them how to form a complete sentence.

Punctuation marks are included in the sentence-building cards so the children can learn the names of different punctuation marks. Some of the punctuation marks are periods, exclamation points, commas, question marks, and sometimes apostrophes.

These sentence-building cards help children learn and understand syntax, sentence structure, and different parts of speech.

Can I Make Montessori Language Materials?

You can make Montessori language materials if you do not want to purchase them from the Montessori website. Instructions on how to make Montessori language materials and ideas on how to make them look can be found easily on Pinterest or other craft and DIY websites.

What Are Montessori Language Objects?

Montessori language objects are objects that represent different words that are used while the child plays literacy games. These objects are always small so that they are easy for the child to play with. Montessori objects are also called Montessori miniatures, phonetic objects, or alphabet objects. They are very similar to the objects that are used with the Montessori language cards.

When interacting with the Montessori language objects, ask your child what the object is, have them show you what an object is, and ask them what the object is. This will help them remember the name of an object and recall the physical object when they see it in a different form.

When choosing what objects to make Montessori language objects, choose objects that are not very familiar to your child, but make sure that the objects you choose do not have very long and complicated names. Choose objects with long and complicated names when they are older and able to pronounce the words better and clearer. If you choose objects that are not as familiar to your child, they will increase their knowledge of the names of different objects that they see around the house, but do not interact with often. Kitchen tools, ones that are safe to be used by children, are great things to use as Montessori language objects.

When interacting with the Montessori language objects, first tell your child the name of the object and ask your child to repeat the name after you say it. Do this with a few objects, but no more than three at a time. If you teach them more than 3 names of different objects, your child may become overwhelmed and cranky, and they will confuse the names of the different objects, which will make them frustrated in the future.

Next, try to get your child to recognize the object and the name of the object, but do not ask them to say its name. Ask them to get the object for you from where it is in your house, and tell them where it is if they seem to not know what object you are talking about. When your child has found the object, repeat the name of the object. Repeating the name of the object often will help your child remember the name of the object.

After you have done this multiple times, pick up one of the Montessori language objects and ask them what the name of the object is. If they say the correct name of the object, praise them and tell them that they have told you the correct name. Do this with multiple objects.

You can also do this process with 2D images and things around your home that do not move or are slightly larger, such as a couch, television, or picture frame. If you do this process with objects around your home that do not move, it will help your child learn object permanence, and may help them identify them while outside of the home. If you do this process with 2D images in a book, your child will learn how to identify objects in different areas, not just in a picture book.

Montessori language objects
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Can I Use Objects around My House for Montessori Language Objects?

You can absolutely use objects around your house as Montessori language objects. In fact, this will be very helpful for your child because they will be able to see you use and interact with the objects in a different setting than just a learning setting. This will also make them want to interact with the object outside of a learning setting, which will help them identify the name of the object while they are outside of the home and away from their normal surroundings.

Montessori language objects, materials, and cards are all very helpful when you are teaching your child how to read, write, and identify different letters and words. It does take time to teach your child all of these different concepts, so be patient with them as they learn how to identify objects, letters, words, and rhymes. They will eventually learn and understand all of these concepts, but they are complicated to a child and take time to fully understand.

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