DIY Letter Wands

My students always LOVE using pointers in the classroom.  We use them for concepts of print practice (pointing to different parts of the books/words/letters), to track words when reading in big books (these pointers are too big to point to words in regular-sized books), to go on letter and sight word hunts around our classroom, to point to letters and words in pocket charts, and to use on our SmartBoard.  I also like to call them wands--I just find that word more fun--and my students agree!

I decided to make letter wands to use when teaching letter recognition, letter sounds, and beginning sounds.  Because I want to use these for letter sounds, I'm using lowercase letters (when I have time, I'll probably end up making uppercase wands as well, and only use them for letter recognition).  The best part of this project is that the final product only cost $16 total!

To begin, I needed wooden letters.  My search began with looking for small(ish) wooden letter blocks that I would end up spray painting in neon colors.  I quickly realized this would be quite expensive and time-consuming, so I rerouted my search to wooden letter puzzles.  I happened upon these amazing wooden letter puzzles from Amazon (duh!) for $11.99 (no tax + free shipping).  They are the perfect size for kindergarten pointers and they are already painted!
For the "wand" part, I bought 30 wood dowels (1/4" diameter 12" long) from Joann's for $1.49 a pack.  I can't find them online, so here is a picture of what I purchased:
Attaching the wood dowels to the wood letters was easy!  I simply drilled a small hole (with a 1/4" drill bit) into the bottom of each letter, added a dot of wood glue, inserted the dowel, and allowed them to dry for a few hours.  That's it!  I definitely recommend using a drill bit that is exactly 1/4" wide; there is really no room for error.  Too small and the dowel won't fit, too large and the dowel will fall out.  The

I'm so excited to have these letter wands ready for the first day of kindergarten.  I have 24 students this year, so having 26 letter wands will allow for each friend to have their own wand (and a couple extra for Miss Morgan).  For the Letter Wands label, click here (I also included a "Letter Pointers" version).  The jar I put them in is from Target, and can be found here.  Enjoy!  :)

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