How to Make an Alphabet Board for a Child

by Rosenya Faith, Demand Media Google
    An alphabet board can help make learning letters a neat and tidy activity.

    An alphabet board can help make learning letters a neat and tidy activity.

    While the fridge can hold all the magnetic letters that your child can dish out, it becomes a bit of an inconvenient spot for alphabet play when the kitchen is being used for meal and snack preparation. Fortunately, you can make a magnetic alphabet board that can be used anywhere in the house. You can even take it along on car rides because it comes with an elevated edge all the way around to prevent letters placed wrong-side-down from falling off.

    Items you will need

    • 1/2-inch foam board
    • Utility knife
    • Square tool
    • Quick-dry paint primer
    • Magnetic paint
    • Low-pile paint roller
    • Foam board trim
    • Paint
    • Hot glue gun with glue sticks

    Step 1

    Cut a piece of 1/2-inch foam board into a rectangle about 12 inches by 18 inches in size. Use a utility knife and a square tool to make a perfect shape. This will be the finished size of the alphabet board; if you'd like the board larger or smaller, modify the size of the foam rectangle. However, if you make it too much larger, it might not fit on your child's lap during car trips.

    Step 2

    Apply a quick-dry paint primer and then sneak in a cup of coffee and a chapter of your favorite book while it dries.

    Step 3

    Spread the first layer of magnetic paint with a low-pile paint roller. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

    Step 4

    Cut four pieces of foam board trim to encase the top of the board. Cut one piece of trim for each edge of the board and miter the corners so they connect to form a rectangle. Paint the trim in the color of your choice and let it dry thoroughly.

    Step 5

    Apply the next layer of magnetic paint with the same type of roller and let it dry. Some magnetic paints will also require a third layer. Check the manufacturer's instructions.

    Step 6

    Spread hot glue on the bottom of the foam board trim and arrange each piece on the magnetic board. Press firmly and then let the glue dry. That's it -- now your youngster can work on her letters at the table, on the carpet, in her bed and in the car!

    Tips

    • If you're looking for a magnetic alphabet board in a hurry, try using an oil pan -- no sanding or painting required!
    • Make a dry erase board so your child can work on printing her letters when she's finished practicing with the magnetic alphabet. Follow the same directions, but use dry erase paint instead of magnetic paint.

    References

    • Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children's Storytelling; Emily K. Neuburger

    About the Author

    Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images