Monday 23 June 2008

Phonics miniatures swap

About time we had another swap don't you think?

For this swap you will need 2 sets of 10 miniature items suitable for the phonics sound pouches/boxes.
I will put all participants into groups of three so everyone will send 2 packets and receive two.

For some ideas on what to put in the package take a look at my sound pouches below...

1. a, 2. b, 3. c, 4. d, 5. e, 6. f, 7. g, 8. h, 9. i, 10. j, 11. k, 12. l, 13. m, 14. n, 15. o, 16. p, 17. q, 18. r, 19. s, 20. t, 21. u, 22. v, 23. w, 24. x, 25. y

So, the rules....
  1. You must send 2 packages, each containing 10 small objects.
  2. The objects should NOT be made of plastic (unless it is something really cool)
  3. Each package should contain at least 2 of the difficult letters (e, i, n, o, q, u, v, w, x, y, z)
  4. You must notify your partners when you have sent your package and when you have received theirs.
  5. The objects should not be made of food due to the customs laws, some countries don't accept food in the mail and it would be a shame for someone to miss out on their package for the sake of a peanut or something of the like.
  6. A list with the package, naming all the objects, it might be obvious to you what everything is but someone else might not get it, especially if it is a cross cultural swap.

So, if you would like to sign up send an email to
montessori.swapshop at gmail dot com

Please put 'Phonics Miniatures Swap' in the subject line (this helps me keep the emails organised).

Plus I need
  1. your name
  2. your email address
  3. the country you are posting from

If you want to sign up please do so before the end of the month.

*UPDATE* To answer some questions..... 

Q. What size should the objects be?
I should have said the items should be somewhere between 2 and 10cm, key fob size.

Q. When you say not to use plastic unless it is cool, what is 'cool'
Hmm bit hard to define, when I made my pouches I was lucky enough to get a box of miniatures from someone who was selling them really cheaply. Some of the things in the box were great, other things I would call 'tat' like cheap crappy plastic toys such as a little car that the wheels fell off and another object where it wasn't moulded properly so the edges were sharp. So, I suppose I mean, if it is a well made, well detailed plastic object then it should be OK. I have just picked up some sushi magnets that look realistic, I have been trying to get the crappy plastic objects out of the pouches as I have found things to replace them with, it is difficult with some of the letters though. If you click on the 'm' bag you will see a green motorbike and a milk bottle - that is what I mean by crap! I think 'p' has a good example of objects, the pig and panda are ceramic, a brass pan, a wooden post box and some Mexican people.

Q. How much should we spend?
Obviously less is best! I don't put a price on swaps because what you can buy for $5 in one country you can get twice as much in another, doesn't seem fair. Keep you eye out in dollar shops/¥100 shops, charity and thrift stores, garage sales. Look for things that are packaged together, you might drop lucky and find 5 objects in one bag, I found a bag of doll house tools for a couple of hundred yen, it had 6 tools in it. Look around the house, are there any key fobs you have forgotten about in the bottom of a draw? Doll house items are usually a good size, are you handy with your hands? Why not make something?

Q. When do we have to mail the packages out?
I will send your swap partner groups at the start of July then you have until the end of the month to get them sent off.

Q. Do I have to include anything else?
A letter/postcard telling a bit about yourself is always nice, I like to think that the swaps are for building friendships as much as they are swapping objects. International postage can get quite pricey so I recommend keeping the package light.

If you have anymore questions pop them in the comments below and I will answer them there

And there is still time to sign up for the giveaway


  1. OH MY GOSH!!! Those sound pouches could NOT be cuter than they are! Did you just use felt and embroider it freehand? Freehand cut the pattern? I LOVE THEM! I am thinking about doing the swap. I will sign up by the end of June for sure if I decide to do it.

  2. yes, they are made of felt, I used iron on felf for the letters and did everything free hand, there is a tutorial of sorts here

  3. Ditto that... those are the cutest things I've ever seen. How do you store/present them? You people and your talents! How do you make the time? Insomnia? hyperactive? ADORABLE!!!!

  4. They took me about 3 weeks to make, all in all. I just sat and did a bit each night once little one was in bed and all the jobs were done, it was quite a relaxing project really.

  5. Hi MamaEbi,

    I am totally amazed with your blog and your son is so lucky to have such creative mom like you.

    I loved your phonics pouches. I will sign up for the swap too. I have couple of question;

    -What is the dimension of the pouches that you made and how do you store them?

    - My daughter Amber's phonics will be in Turkish Language. For that reason a miniature COW will be in her "I" pouch or box instead of "C" because cow is "INEK" in Turkish. Are you going to let us know the language of the participant that we are going to mail our swap miniatures to, or is the swap going to be just in English?


  6. the tutorial for the pouches is here...

    I hadn't really thought about the language aspect, of course you can always put them in which ever language you wish once you receive your objects but basically the swap will be in English.

  7. So... I realize I missed the swap
    :( I just found you today. This is so up my alley. I am a homeschooling mom of 3 and have a collection of phonics minatures but am always looking for more. I am so techno-impaired. How do I let you know I am interested in participating in a swap? (you know for next time?) In the comment box?

  8. bummer you missedit, I have already sent out the goups :o(,next time, yeah!

    I usually put up a swap announcement and you send your details to me at
    montessori.swapshop at gmail dot com

    when the swap closes I put everyone into groups, try to mix up the countries, that said we always have more Americans than anywhere else sign up, once you have your group contacts it is up to you.

    The next one will be in a couple of months, I tend to do one very 2 months or so.
    You will have to just keep checking back ;o)

  9. Thanks! :D I felt pretty silly asking... I know. hehe

  10. BillyBojenny - if you send me your details, I have someone else who wants to swap so I could set the two of you up.


  11. Hi Jo! I've been following your blog online and on Facebook and love your ideas and tips! May I know if you are still organizing the phonics miniature swap? I have tons of miniatures that I would love to share. Let me know, thanks!

    1. Hi! No I don't do the swaps anymore,I'm have a huge box full of things, I just don't need them these days!


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