The summer holidays are just around the corner now and maybe you’re already thinking that it will allow you extra time to spend with your kid. Perhaps you want to encourage them educationally, over the holidays and prepare them for the next class they will be going into. In today’s blog, I want to focus on younger children – approximately aged 2 to 6 years (although I have included a few games for older children too). During this period, children in Ireland are encouraged to recognise letters and know their name and sound. For some, this can come very naturally, but for others, it can be difficult to grasp. Here are some fun educational toys that will help your child learn what each letter looks like and from there, you can teach them the sound it makes.
As soon as children can speak, we tend to teach them the alphabet song. This is also the perfect time to show them what the letters look like. This fun wooden alphabet puzzle from Melissa and Doug Toys has each letter cut out of the board. It’s also great for your child’s fine motor skills as they attempt to place the letter into the correct letter shape. As you do this with your child, tell them what the letter name and sound is. Underneath each letter is a picture of something that begins with that letter. So, for example, underneath Z is a picture of a zip. This will help reaffirm the sound z makes.
This workbook has 24 pages to complete by drawing over the letters, colouring in the pages and sticking on the stickers. It’s for children aged 3+
Once your child has learnt what each letter looks and sounds like, it’s time to introduce blending sounds. This See and Spell Puzzle from Melissa and Doug Toys is a perfect way to introduce this. Each board has a picture of a word and letter shapes for your child to find the correct letters for. It’s wooden, so it’s super durable and it will last through several kids.
Small children won’t grasp phonics as toddlers but they can start recognising letters from when they are very little. This gorgeous pull along cart from Janod is a great way to show them letters.
Reading to your child can never start too soon and as they hear sounds repeated, learn the words from repetition, they will start to look at the words and recognise some of them. I stock two gorgeous little box sets – The Gruffalo Little Library and Peter Rabbit Little Library. They are perfect for small children.
Creating Words is a wooden grid with wooden alphabet cubes. Your child can on forming word grids on their own or play it with others in a similar way to scrabble is played. The cubes can also be used to play boggle with.
No matter what stage in letter recognition and phonics your child is at, I’ve something to help in a fun and enjoyable way.