Montessori-Inspired Language Activities for Preschoolers — Matching Words as Patterns

L has recently become interested in her Sandpaper Letters, and she is pointing out the letters she recognizes everywhere we go.  I decided to put together this name matching work to continue to develop her interest and show her that these individual letters she is learning can combine to spell things — like our names!


I made a small card for everyone in our family that had a picture with that person’s name at the bottom, and then another small card that had just the name on it.  I showed L how to match the shape of the letters in the name to the picture with the same name on it — she’s not reading the names, but she is matching the words as patterns of letters.  I had intended for L to place the name cards directly underneath the picture cards, but she prefers to place the names on top of the name part of the picture card.


If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen that L now likes to combine her sandpaper letters with this work to identify the letters she has already learned!

This is an easy pre-reading work you can make yourself using your own family members!

9 thoughts on “Montessori-Inspired Language Activities for Preschoolers — Matching Words as Patterns

  1. That’s really clever! May I ask how old L is? I have an 18 month old and a 3 year old but wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate for either little one!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. She just turned 3! She doesn’t know all the letters in our names yet, but she can recognize that the shape of the letters on the picture card match the shape of the letters on the name cards — it’s a very early prereading activity!

      1. Yup, we’ve only done one basket of sandpaper letters so far. The thing about this work is that since she is matching the words as PATTERNS rather than their individual LETTERS, she can do it without knowing what all of the letters are. 🙂

  2. Wow! That is an excellent activity! I can’t wait to try… I love all the activities posted here. Fun and educational!

  3. Great idea! I’ve been trying to get R into reading/letters but he’s not one to sit still for long. Looks like I need to take a few of your tips for a spin. Thanks!

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