(To be made by an adult for the child as a sharp tool is required)
Wash out a carton of juice or fresh soup from the supermarket having opened the top of the cartoon very carefully to avoid tearing the opening at the top. Pull the top apart for emptying the contents, do not cut it. Milk cartoons can be used, but make sure they do not smell after washing out! Find some red/coloured paper; red/coloured paper napkins are suitable. Turn the carton upside down and cut along the two unfolded edges at the base and also across the middle creating two flaps. These will then fold up inside the box giving it stability and creating a hollow box from which you can retrieve the posted cards.
Cut a slit on the front or back of the box at the top so that a memory/flash card can be posted through the hole. Ideally make it the width of the box and at least 1cm wide for easy posting. A bread knife used carefully and a pair of small scissors are both suitable tools.
Once the cutting is done and the tools put carefully out of reach of the child, the child can help. The top of the soup carton or juice carton can be used to hold the memory/flash card on top of each box. (See illustration) Therefore, the top will need to be squeezed back together and taped around the side edges, leaving an open slit into which to insert the memory/flash card. Alternatively the card could be attached using “Blu Tack”. When deciding on the size of the wrapping paper, leave a little extra paper to tuck inside the carton at the bottom for neatness before trimming. You can line up the posting slot and cut that too, very carefully. If using a paper napkin you can do this last of all. The paper will need to be wrapped carefully around the holder at the top and stuck with glue of sticky tape.
Carefully cut the wrapping paper where the posting slit has been created if using paper napkins and fold the edge into the slot. You might be able to secure it from inside the box if you have small hands by placing your hand through the bottom of the carton with a small piece of tape on your fingertips.
Download the flashcards and print off several copies of the words you want either in colour of black and white, or photocopy a sheet of cards. Two printing options are given.
Now choose a pair of similar words (or words the child confuses) and attach individually to each box. For instance “in”, “it” and “is” could be used to stress the importance of last letters and the link between speech and word/letter shapes. These three little words can help the child learn four basic phonics in a fun type of way. The words Marco and Maria could be used as a pair as these are also similar. The adult can stress the speech sounds at the beginning and end. This activity will support your child to study visual differences between words and by association (with some adult guidance), link the speech sounds to the written form of it. This method can be improvised to make lost of boxes to form short sentences too or to learn grammar. Remember active thinking and working things out even as a child, will enhance learning rather than just being told.