Can you guess the word?
‘A for apple, two stumps, a big E’
My son can read!
Well ok, that’s probably a bit bold but we have now started our letter reading journey!
It’s silly really, I haven’t thought twice about encouraging number recognition and a copious amount of baby/toddler books are geared towards numbers and counting. My son can ‘read’ numbers – he likes numbers, it’s been just part of life and play. Yet the thought of encouraging him to recognise letters seemed so daunting and so much more prescribed somehow that I didn’t want to encourage it too early and accidentally lurch into pushy parent territory.
In the last couple of months, however, we are unable to pass a sign without my son pointing at each letter and saying ‘what’s that mummy?’. Now, I don’t know about you but the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie alphabet is not part of my repertoire and apparently neither is thinking of age appropriate words under pressure. I do pull some of the old faithfuls out of the bag don’t get me wrong (apple, see above), but I’ve also realised that the first phonetic word to come into my head for each letter is sometimes far from useful to a two year old.
Let me demonstrate – I would highly recommend this game…hours of fun, but it HAS to be the first word that pops in…no cheating – right off we go:
A for apple (yes! Good start)
B for bewildered
C for collage
D for Dorian Gray
E for elephant
F for filigree
G for Godalming (every time, why!?)
H for haliotosis (uh oh, we’re slipping)
I for igloo (acceptable, we’re back)
J for jungle
K for kinetic
L for lackadaisical
M for millipede
N for nostalgic
O for orange
P for pandemonium
Q for quango
R for really (as in reeeeaaaally)
S for sandwich
T for turntable
U for ugly (again, every time!)
W for woman
X for ?? (I can never think of anything that doesn’t have an e in front of it but that is still the sound ‘x’. X- Ray I think I’d land on but nothing came immediately. Must improve X).
Y for yes please
Z for zippee-dee-doo-dah (where zip would have done)
Well I have fun! I find my brain throws up all sorts of odd first words. I’m actually a bit disappointed that it held Jalfrezi, Petrel and Salamander back this time, but such is life. I may sometimes, depending on my mood, change the initial word to something a two year old has a reference point for, but then equally sometimes I don’t! And so my eager, baffled little boy soaks up his new words (for some reason he finds filigree hilarious) only to find that 60-70% of them are pretty useless in day to day life.
But, fear not! We have been saved! Not only have Miles Kelly Publishers sent me My Book of Letters to review with my son (a Lost in… review post coming soon) they have also sent me some flashcards. I just love the idea of flashcards…I like the name, how exciting does FLASHcards sound, I like the way they remind me of how I wished my GCSE revision looked, I like that they are in a box and I like the fact they are sort of both a toy and a book…’want to read that one’… ‘want to play that one’.
I’ve got the ABC set in the First Fun Flashcards series (they do all sorts, look here for shapes, animals, numbers and letters as one set) and fortunately the person creating them from Miles Kelly didn’t just stick the first word that came into their head onto them (although that would have made for some funny pictures!). The words are age-appropriate and fun with colourful photo-illustrations. The reverse side of each card has the letter in big and small. Finally, and frankly the pièce de résistance for my son, the pack includes one card that has ALL the letters (big and small) on it. What more does a small singing boy need? He holds it like a songsheet and belts out the alphabet rhyme centre stage in the kitchen.
We are spending many a happy hour covering our lounge floor with letter cards and playing with finding different letters or pictures. He seems very taken with it all so far and I definitely think an exciting giant pack of cards has helped…it appeals to the ‘lining things up’ and ‘spreading things about’ side of him. This mix of visual and physical, learning and play is definitely leading him to remember more letters.
So quiz answer time! Did you get the word at the top? My son was in the back of the car holding an unopened pouch of something fruity…. We heard his little voice pipe up: ‘a for apple, two stumps, a big E’…
Ahem backwards. And yes, he thinks l’s are cricket stumps.
Back to the flashcards then.
Disclosure: The flashcards were sent to me by Miles Kelly Publishing to review. They are part of their ‘early learning’ range of products.