Montessori Pink Series: CVC Language Object Boxes


We’ve been working hard at learning how to write and form our letters for several months now, so I thought the kids were ready to be introduced to reading with the Montessori Pink Series!

The Montessori Pink Series is a set of language object boxes where all of the objects represent a CVC word and have a matching index card.

In traditional Montessori classrooms, the pink, blue, and green series can take up an entire wall with individual boxes dedicated to each letter sound! Obviously, that needed to be adapted for my smaller (home) environment.

Montessori Pink Series: An introduction to learning to read cvc words using language object boxes

Instead of doing one box for each letter sound, I decided instead to do one box for each short vowel sound. I also wanted to aim for a minimum of 8 language objects per box, and ensure that each letter sound was included somewhere in the 5 pink series boxes.

The pink series uses “language objects” to play on preschool children’s love of tiny objects. They can be anything from dollhouse miniatures, to homemade symbols, to re-purposed odds and ends you find around the house, as you’ll see!

(But, first, I want to thank my dear friend, Sharon, a wonderful and passionate Montessori teacher for all of her help in helping me select my objects, and for all of her nuggets of Montessori wisdom along my journey!)

If you’re following the Montessori Method, you want to introduce the Montessori Pink Series after children have mastered the Sandpaper Letters and have had success with writing. I also highly recommend doing games like Montessori I Spy or hosting special mini-units like our “sss is for sounds” series to ensure that children have a solid grasp of letter sounds and phonemes.

(In Montessori we “encode” – write – before we “decode” – read. Ideally, children should be writing and forming small words before we encourage them to start reading.)

If you’re not using the Montessori Method, you still want to consider introducing letter boxes after your children have started to display an understanding of letter sounds. (And preferably after they are familiar enough with letters to have begun experimenting with writing.)

I was really intimidated to put together the pink boxes and gather up all of the objects. It seemed like such a monstrous (and expensive) task that I have been putting it off for over a year! But in all honesty, you could complete these boxes in one evening and I made mine (objects included) for under $15.

pink series

How to Make Montessori Pink Series Boxes

You basically need three things to make Montessori Pink Series Boxes:

  • pink containers or boxes
  • language objects
  • index cards

OK, to make things slightly more complicated, you want:

  • 5 pink containers, and 5 separate storage for the index cards (you can use separate boxes, envelopes, or use a divided bento lunch container like I did!)
  • language objects that:
    • can stand in for a standard CVC or CVC word, remembering not to use any phonemes or letter blends (i.e., “car” is a CVC word, but “ar” is a phoneme so it is not a pink series word)
    • a couple of objects per each short vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u — don’t worry about “y”)
    • try to include every letter sound – c/k are the same letter sound
  • enough index cards to have one for every object
  • placemats or work mats for children to work upon (check out my post on teaching children to use a work mat here)
  • moveable alphabet (which children have hopefully already worked with, to practice spelling these new CVC words)


If you’re interested in how I made my boxes, please check out DIY Montessori Pink Series Boxes, Part 2.


 Letter Objects for Short “A” Pink Series Box

pink boxes (13)

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short Vowel A:

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short Vowel A:

Other objects you could use for the Short “A” Box include a (baseball) bat, a mini cab, a can, dad, dam, ham, lab, jam, lad, lass, man, map, mat, (something use for) nap, pad, pass, rag, rat, sap, tab, tan (crayon), tap, van, or wad (of gum).


Letter Objects for Short “E” Pink Series Box

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short Vowel E:

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short Vowel E:

  • net (cut from a bag of onions)
  • red (red crayon – if you’re worried about this being used on the cards, you could alternatively make an extra red colour tablet)
  • ten (I made this “ten” object with some Shrinky Dink paper)
  • vet (from our Working People Toob)
  • well (not pictured, part of a fairy garden collection – could be a dollhouse miniature)

Other objects you could use for the Short “E” Box include a miniature bed, leg (from a broken toy?), keg (no judgment from me), a small pen, a pet, or a well.


Letter Objects for Short “I” Pink Series Box

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short Vowel I:

  • dig (represented by a miniature shovel purchased at a craft store)
  • kiss (represented by a pair of lips I made out of Shrinky Dink paper, you could alternatively do a pretend Hershey’s Kiss)
  • lid (from the set of dollhouse pots and pans used in the “a” and “o” box, could really use any type of lid)
  • mill (made out of Shrinky Dink paper)

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short Vowel I:

  • pig (from our Farm Animals Toob)
  • pit (a peach pit from our Spring nature table set-up)
  • pin (I had saved a plastic pretend cloth diaper pin, but couldn’t find it when putting together the boxes – so instead used this button pin and put some hot glue on the closure to prevent it from being opened and pricking little fingers)
  • tin (piece of tin foil, or aluminium foil – could alternatively use a dollhouse miniature can of food)

Other objects you could use for the Short “I” Box include a bin, fig, lip, fin, hiss (represented by a snake), mitt, nib, rib (maybe from a game of Operation?), rig (toy truck), rip, sip (represented by a straw), wig, or win (represented by a trophy).


Letter Objects for Short “O” Pink Series Box

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short Vowel I:

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short O:

Other objects you could use for the Short “O” Box include a cob (of corn), cod, cot, tom (drum), top (shirt or the spinning kind), hog, or (something to represent) hot.


Letter Objects for Short “U” Pink Series Box

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short U:

Above Pink Series Language Objects for Short U:

Other objects you could use for the Short “U” Box include a (flower) bud, a dollhouse bun, hut, mug, (pencil) nub, putt, rug, gut, sud, sum, or tub.


Whew! OK, this post is already getting long enough. I hope this post served as a great introduction to the Montessori Pink Series for you, and gave you some ideas for items you may already have around your house that you could use to make your own boxes!

I’ve gone into even more specifics, including a checklist for creating your own Pink Series Language Object Boxes, and how I made my Shrinky Dinks and customized my boxes in a Pink Series Part Two Post.

I also have an upcoming Pink Series Part Three Post that will outline a simplified presentation of the Pink Series.

Make sure to pin this post as a project reminder, and if you’d like to follow along with our CVC series starting April 4th (full of CVC activities and free CVC worksheets, with several guest posts  from my friend, Alecia from Learning2Walk), make sure to subscribe to my free weekly e-mail newsletter.

Today, I’m linking up to some of my favourite Montessori bloggers who are all sharing fabulous posts about Montessori Language — I’ve seen some previews and I’m excited!

Natural Beach Living ~ The Natural Homeschool ~ Living Montessori Now

The Kavanaugh Report ~ Mama’s Happy Hive ~ Sugar, Spice and Glitter ~ Child Led Life

Every Star Is Different ~ Grace and Green Pastures ~ The Pinay Homeschooler

12 months of Montessori Learning

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  1. Oh my goodness! What a fabulous post with so much instruction. I think you just motivated me to start putting together my own pink series boxes. Such a fabulous Montessori language concept!

  2. This is one of my favourite Montessori Language! I love that you shared all the contents and where you sourced them out. And my favourite part is using a DIY card! Love how frugal it is… no need to spend a lot of $ just to pull out this activity!

  3. All I can say is, “Wow!” This was such a wonderful presentation of the pink series. Thanks for you hard work at putting it all together so that it is easy for a mom to do. 🙂

  4. wow I was really interested in this. I don’t use this method of learning but think the activities are fab thanks for linking up with #fabulouslyfrugal.

  5. This is just what I was looking for today; thank you! Do you have anything for the blue or green series?

  6. my second year studying at montessori college and we are nw busy with the pink series. how i wish to comlete cnt wait!
    can anyone pls help ,what mst i do to a 3 year old who joined my class and speaks another language othr then english

  7. Love this. Thank you for the “order ” . My daughter( almost 4) knows ALL letters and sounds and was stating to build words. I just ordered sandpaper letters, glad to know we should learn to “write” lettes before building words to “read”. I was planning to work on sections of letters at a time , beginning with (c,m,a,t) then have her learn cat, mat, at . Then the next series of letters and build words with those. But, it looks like the child needs to be able to write all letters to do the pink series because most letters are represented… thoughts?

    1. Yes, this is the next step after writing, but they don’t need to be writing words. This would actually replace your plan to do cat/mat/at OR complement it. You wouldn’t need to complete that plan before moving on to the pink series – once they know their sounds and how to write the letters, they are ready for the pink series. (And they can actually be introduced before they can fully write.)

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