Yesterday during nap time, I repurposed some of our many Duplo blocks — you know, the big Lego bricks made for little kids — as DIY Lego Reading Rods. I got the idea from the Filth Wizardry blog‘s post: DIY spinny spellers and repurposing Duplo Bricks. I changed up her idea a little bit by making all my vowels in blue and consonants in red like traditional Montessori materials.
DIY Lego Reading Rods
Consonants in red (4 of each letter, 21 total blocks):
Vowels in Blue (8 of each letter, 10 total blocks):
I plan to use these for Word Play
to go along with the You Can Read sight word program
by Carisa at 1+1+1=1
that we just started! (By the way, You Can Read is absolutely awesome, and it’s free! There is a one-time $10/membership fee if you want the bonus pages that go with the program, but you can use all the basics without paying anything. I actually did pay the money so I could get the stamping pages! Luke LOVES to stamp!!)
Here are the sight words from the first unit of You Can Read
built using our DIY Lego Reading Rods:
To make the Lego reading rods, first I made sure all my blocks were facing the same direction. This is IMPORTANT! Otherwise you will end up having to peel letters off and try again. I made the prongs face forward like on the commercially available version.
To create the letters, I used my label maker
, but you could write directly on the Lego bricks or on stickers if you don’t have a label maker. I like the plastic stickers that go with my label maker because they can be removed in the future if we decide we want to take the letters off. I used size XL and format vertical, then printed out 8 of each vowel and 4 of each consonant. I found that doing large groups of letters with a space between each one wasted less label than printing each letter individually.
I put vowels on blue and consonants on red. I put together the blocks in a stack by color and held them horizontally like they are pictured above (only without the letters on them yet) with the prongs facing my right. I started at the far left putting the letters alphabetically on the blocks. As I put on a letter, I’d rotate the horizontal stack of blocks so that the first block was blank again and put on the next letter, repeating until the first block had letters on all 4 sides. (So, my first consonant block has b, c, d, f on it.) Then I moved to block 2 and put one letter on each face of it until it was full (g, h, j, k). I just continued until I had filled up all the blocks from left to right and used all the letters I printed. I made 4 of each consonant and 8 of each vowel — which perfectly works out to 10 blue blocks and 21 red. You could certainly do more, but I think this is a good minimum to have.
The size of the set I made is probably the bare minimum you will need to do beginning sight word work (21 red consonant blocks and 10 blue vowel blocks). You can always start with a small set like this and add more as needed!
I plan to expand the set in the future by adding more individual letters, as well as blends and digraphs, and perhaps make a second set that has complete sight words on them for sentence building. These are great for word work, practicing CVC words, sight words, spelling words, and just play in general! See what fun activities your kids can come up with!
See more of my homemade alphabet play & learning sets:
Would your kids like building words with DIY Lego Reading Rods?
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