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Happy Friday: Homemade Miniature ABC Boxes

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Sent from reader, Carolyn:

I put together these miniature ABC boxes for my daughter. She loves them. She learns and then gets to play with them. Each box contains miniature objects that start with respective letter. This is great to learn: letter recognition, letter sounds, letter tracing, colors of objects, shapes of objects, textures, etc. So it’s sensory learning too.

I purchased the mini containers from Dollar Tree (pack of 10). The objects are from Dollar Tree, craft stores, yard sales, consignment sales, random house items, etc. I use a lot of erasers, like the Dollar Spot ones at Target. I try not to spend more than $0.25 per object. Sometimes I can get them as cheap as $0.01. Every container has multiple objects.

I started making these as gift sets for children of close friends and have gotten positive feedback. These sets are becoming my signature gifts. Great for showers, birthdays and Christmas.

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Comments 42

  1. Reena

    Wow that’s a great idea!! Thanks.

    • Kay

      Thanks, Reena.

  2. Swirlypop

    This is great. Love when learning is hands on.

    • Kay

      This learning is hands-on n so fun for both child n parent. I have as much fun looking for the miniature objects. When I observe other adult family members with my daughter, they have fun just wondering what’s gonna b in the boxes. Sometimes they chuckle at my creatively clever ideas, like using a man figure in the U box n calling it “Uncle.”

  3. R

    Great idea! We homeschool and I’m always looking for ideas to keep my little ones busy while the older ones work! I might have to try this!

    • Kiwi

      Google / Pinterest busy bags or quiet books. I’ve given ideas to several teachers I work with at various schools and extreme range of diagnosis and they have been able to turn them academic but present fun.

      • Kay

        A good friend n her sisters r making busy books for grandkids. I asked them to make one for my girls. I’ve made a mini ABC box set for my friend’s grandson. I do agree that busy books r so cute n fun or learning too. While waiting for their book, I have purchase some from growingseason.com.

      • Kay

        Sorry, that’s mygrowingseason.com

    • Kay

      Thanks, R!

  4. Kacy

    Super great idea! Thanks!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Kacey.

      • Kay

        I mean, Kacy.

  5. Karen

    Really smart and cute idea!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Karen!

  6. momo

    So cute!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Momo!

  7. Angie

    Awesome idea! Love it!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Angie!

  8. Darcie

    This is sooo good! Thanks for sharing.

    • Kay

      Thanks, Darcy!

      • Kay

        I mean Darcie

  9. Denise G.

    Woo I saw something similar at my son’s Montessori the other day and my younger son took an interest in them. They were bigger containers but I could make these work. I just worry about my littlest and the small pieces.

    • Kay

      Dear Denise, the tiny objects r definitely a choking hazard. With my gift sets, I include a long personalized letter to the parent. It includes instructions, number of pieces (every set varies), how I personalized the set for the child, etc. It also states that adult supervision is required; the child should never learn/play with the set alone when at a high-risk age. My 5yo doesn’t need me around anymore, but I would never leave a 2-3 yo alone. Another risk with tiny objects is how easily they’ll go missing…another reason to supervise. The advantages for such tiny objects? Some kids love miniatures. The containers r cheaper. The set is small enough to pack n travel with.

  10. Shannon

    Really great idea!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Shannon!

  11. Erika

    Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Erika!

  12. Lisa

    I’m a Montessori teacher and this is an activity we use to teach sounds of letters for phonemic awareness. Young children are fascinated with tiny objects…The i and u are the hardest things to find objects for!!

    • Kay

      Dear Lisa, I agree that the I and U letters r hard to find objects for. Here’s what’s in my daughter’s current boxes (that I can remember):
      I: a pic of her (her name is Isabella), icicle (mini Christmas tree ornament), insect (leftover Halloween party favors), igloo magnet, buttons that look like an Indian (native American) couple that I got at Hobby Lobby, ivory-billed woodpecker, ice cream eraser (Target)
      U: miniature slime containers that look like urine specimen (from Oriental Trading), cardboard underwear (from Target Dollar Spot game), udders (on miniature cow, like Safari LTD), utensils, umbrella (the ones used in drinks in a bar), UFO erasers at Dollar Tree. Let me know if u want pics.

  13. Patti N

    Great idea! I have a set from Lakeshore Learning in my kindergarten classroom. It was over $100. Your set is much cuter, my students love pulling out the little objects and sorting the letter sound objects. Love it!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Patti. I’ve seen bigger (standard size Tupperware) sets online from $70 and up too. Mine cost much less (including the closed container the mini boxes are put in), plus a lot of my TLC n time. Because I make gift sets for close friends, they’re special n cost more. For them, sometimes I do spend $1 for one object, objects u would find at dollhouse store. I could make even cheaper sets if I stick to $0.01-0.25 objects n use fewer objects per box.

  14. Lisa

    ps: opening and closing the containers is GREAT for fine motor development 🙂

    • Kay

      Thanks, very good point. Now that my 5yo (just turned 5 this month) is more independent n advanced, instead of taking the objects out and learning from there, I can walk away, let her play, then ask her to sort them back into correct boxes.

  15. Rebekah

    I want to be your close friend, Carolyn!😊

    • Jennifer

      😀

      • Kay

        Thanks, Jennifer!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Rebekah!

  16. Cool Mom

    Awesome idea thanks!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Cool Mom!

  17. Happymama

    Wow, Carolyn! These are fantastic!

    • Kay

      Thanks, Happymamma!

  18. Kay

    If ur interested in ordering a set, u may email me at kaonu_ly@yahoo.com.

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