How to Make Tactile Letters That are Irresistible to Your Kids


Your kids will love running their fingers over these fun tactile letters. Find lots of ideas to make DIY tactile cards for your literacy learning centers.

alphabet tracing cards
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Tactile letters are a great resource to help your kids learn the letters of the alphabet.  Kids can feel each letter as they run their fingers over them.  As they do this they will begin to understand how each letter is formed.

Sandpaper letters are traditionally used in Montessori classrooms, but I want to show you how to make tactile letters from different materials.  Your kids will love this letter activity and won’t be able to stop feeling these cards.

DIY tactile letters.

I began by making some tactile letters with glue, but then my brain took over.  I thought “I bet I can use another material for the texture”.  Then I began to wonder, “How many different ways can I make tactile letters?”

That’s just how my brain works.

How many different ways can you make tactile letters?

Soon, I was digging through my craft supply closet, scouring the aisles of the craft store, and looking under the kitchen sink for even more materials.

I made a huge mess…but I tried a bunch of different materials and made a bunch of cards.  If you are a crafty person like me, I hope that some of these ideas will inspire you.

If you are not a crafty person, please don’t hate me.  It’s okay if you don’t want to make cards.

I added several links at the bottom of this post. Use the links and ideas to help you with materials. There will be no additional cost to you when you make a purchase from a link, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards maintaining this website…and for that, I thank you.

Letter Cards

I used the finger tracing cards from my store to make all of the letter cards pictured in this post.  These are the same finger tracing cards that I use in salt trays. The cards are also part of my Super Alphabet Bundle and you can get a sample of all of the alphabet activities in the bundle.

If you don’t have my letter cards, it’s no problem. You can make your own cards by drawing letters on a piece of cardstock.  If your kids aren’t ready for letter cards yet, you can also use this same concept to make pre-writing activities with tactile lines.

Whatever you decide to make, \it is important that you use thick paper or cardstock for this activity.  A thin paper will wrinkle and won’t hold up as well.

Glittery Tactile Letters

The easiest way to make tactile letters is by drawing a line of glue on each letter card.   When the glue dries, it creates a raised line that your kids can feel.

Now that slime-making is all the rage, you can find LOTS of different colors of glitter glue in stores.  The glitter glue adds bling AND creates a rough texture on the card.

Glittery Tactile Letters

I also made some glittery cards with thin glittery washi tape.  It’s really easy to apply the tape to the letters with straight lines, but I will warn you that it takes some extra time and patience to apply the tape around curves.  I used scissors to cut little slits in the tape so that it would overlap on the inside of the curves.

Although this wasn’t the easiest project, I LOVED the result!

Glitter tape tactile letters.

How a Low-Temp Glue Gun Changed my Life

I love my glue gun and have used it for years and years.  But, I can’t tell you how many times I have burned my fingers in hot glue.  When I was searching for ideas in the craft store last week, I bought a low-temp glue gun.

Where has this tool been for my entire life? Seriously, why did I not purchase one before?  I used the low-temp hot glue gun to apply the materials the letter cards pictured below.

Do you know how many times I stuck my fingers in the glue?….a BUNCH!!

Do you know how many times I burned those fingers? …..NONE

My new low-temp hot glue gun allowed me to poke materials down into the glue WITHOUT burning my fingers.  The glue was hot…..but not burning hot.  I’m in love!

Fuzzy Tactile Letters

I really like the results of pipe cleaner letters.  To make them I drew a line of hot glue on the card and pushed the pipe cleaner into it.  Try different types of pipe cleaners…glittery, large and puffy, etc.

Fuzzy tactile letters.

Yarn comes in so many different colors and textures.  Here is a soft, nubby yarn that I picked up at the recycled art supply store.  The color and texture remind me of a teddy bear.

Use yarn for your tactile letter activity.

These red fluffy letters may look a little like they are made from pipe cleaners, but the material is a chenille ribbon.  Again, I used my awesome new glue gun to apply it to the card.

This ribbon is sooo soft and fluffy, but it did tend to shed at the end.  I solved the shedding problem by applying a dab of hot glue at the end of the ribbon and made sure to stick the end of the ribbon into the glue.

Extra fuzzy tactile letters.

Check Out these Tactile Letters

I usually find this metallic coil at the dollar store in seasonal colors.  It’s really flexible, so it was super easy to apply it around the curves of the letters.  The ends tend to fray, so I stuck them down into the glue.

Coiled tactile letters.

Natural materials work well too.  I made some letters from a thin jute cord and from raffia.  I love how the raffia makes a crinkly noise when I run my finger across the letters.

Rope tactile letters.

Paper shred is great to fill gift baskets and even to fill a sensory bin.  It also works surprisingly well to create tactile letters.

I turned strips of shred on their side so that it looks like zigzags and stuck them into the hot glue.  The zigzagged paper is surprisingly strong and I think the material will hold up quite well for some time.

Shredded paper tactile letters.

These glittery letter cards were made with a braided cord that I found in my box of ribbons.  The braiding creates a nice bumpy texture and these colors would make a perfect Christmas activity.

Braided tactile letters.

When I started getting out Christmas supplies, I found these evergreen ties.  I LOVE the result when I cut them to length and glued them down.  They are perfect for Christmas or a study of trees.

Christmas tree decoration as part of your tactile letter activity.

More Material Ideas

Want to try some additional materials to make fun finger tracing cards?  Here are more ideas.

  • ribbon
  • cording
  • textured yarn
  • feathers
  • thin sticks (must be bendy)
  • soft evergreen sprigs
  • bendy straws

You can also glue down small items like:

  • small pebbles or gravel
  • pom poms
  • buttons
  • beads
  • flowers
  • rhinestones
  • glitter

Now….I’m off to plug in my glue gun and find more ideas to make more tactile cards.  Please help me out.  I would love to hear about any ideas that you have.

Purchase the Tracing Cards

Interested in the alphabet tracing cards featured in this post?  You can get them in my store.  Click on the image below to check them out.

alphabet tracing cards
alphabet activity bundle

Do you prefer to shop at Teachers Pay Teachers? You can also purchase the Alphabet Tracing Cards or the Alphabet Activity Bundle in my TPT Store.

You can also learn about more alphabet resources and get a sample of 9 different alphabet activities (including a few of the alphabet tracing cards) in this alphabet activities post.

Here are several links for some items used in this post.  There will be no additional cost to you when you make a purchase from a link, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards maintaining this website…and for that, I thank you.