Are you looking for a fun way to teach your young children the sound each letter makes without using videos or TV? I am super excited to review a great line of products called Letterland. I was looking online for different programs to help teach my son and daycare babies to read and I stumbled upon Letterland Canada. Basically each letter is assigned a character, for example the letter “B” is known as Bouncy Ben and he says “b”. To learn any sound, the child just has to say the letter’s character name, and the correct sound is on their lips. Now if the letter is a vowel it is given two characters, for example Annie Apple says “the short a sound Ahhh” and she belongs to Mr A, and Uppy Umbrella “short u sound, aaa” and belongs to Mr U. Its great because they kids learn to read through stories and not rules!Great thing is this is a tried and tested program, it has been around for 40 years. Basically its fun phonics. The lady I was talking to at Letterland Canada, Susan, told me she used this with her kindergarten class for most of her teaching career. She told me i could quote her when she said “The children have so much fun talking about the characters that they don’t even know they are learning.” That’s how much fun it is for them!!
Now the starting point for this program is the Letterland ABC book. Now even though my son knows the alphabet this this a fun book so he can learn the characters connected to the letters. So that later on we can read Letterland’s Beyond the ABC book and learn all about what happens when two letters blend together and how they say their new sound. One thing this book has is a great way to teach vowels. I have struggling to have my son learn what letters are vowel, and now because of Mr A, Mr E, Mr I, Mr O and Mr U my son is starting to understand the difference.
What I am enjoying right now is reading this book to my daycare babies, this is a fresh new topic for them, and they love to learn. We are using the flashcards and doing them Doman Style, 5 a few times a day.
We also listen and dance to the Letterland Alphabet Songs CD. This is a CD that I can enjoy with the kids. The songs are catchy, and help reinforce what sound each letter makes.
Another activity I do with my son is we use a old cookie sheet the Letterland Fridge Magnets and Magnetic Poetry Kids First Words Magnets. I place 4 different Letterland Characters at the top, and a bunch of words that began with those 4 letters at the bottom. Wesley then sorts each word into its correct row. We practice sight words as well as learning the characters. “Oh “girl” looks like a words Golden Girl would like because it starts with G and says “g” ”
Come September I will be making Letter of the week themes. We will work on flashing Doman words that start with letter. At my front door we will post a poster saying the Letterland character of the week is… and trying and find activities to do based on this letter. For example on the week we learn about Bouncing Ben, we might do different activity with Balls and Bubbles. Stay tuned!
One thing that made me realize how great this educational line up is, was when I was sitting down with my stepdaughter. She goes to one of the best all girls schools in the city, she was in preschool last year and is attending junior kindergarten this fall. When she saw me pull out the Letterland flashcards she pointed to the cover and said, “Hey! Look, its Annie Apple.” I asked her how she knew who Annie Apple was, and she told me her teachers at school use Letterland. Now since I know several girls who attend this school, and I know from talking to them and there parents, this school is very picky on what they use to teach their students, this says a lot about Letterland.
I would love to get my hands on the Early Learning Handbook after looking at the free sample available for download HERE. I love the idea of creating a Apple Tree and each apple having a word Annie Apple would like on it. As well as spending a whole week studying cats(my favorite animal) and learning about Clever Cat and her sound.
Now Susan from Letterland Canada has generously offered to giveaway a copy of “Letterland ABC’s”book and the Letterland Alphabet Songs CD to one of my Canadian readers. This book is great to add to your bedtime or morning reading routine. We read one letter a day and come September we will reread it, but one Letter a week. Plus the CD is perfect to reinforce learning these letters in a fun way. We play the CD at least twice a day.