2 Year Old Daughter Interested in Really Learning Her Letters, Help With

Updated on March 27, 2008
E.F. asks from Chattanooga, TN
76 answers

HI! I am a mom of a 6 year old who is reading great for being in first grade, but my 2 year old who looks up to her brother and wants to do what he is doing all the time wants to learn her letters. I am reasearching a good product that will help her learn her letter, I mean by sight. She can say her ABC's in song form and non song form from begginning to end. Does anyone know of a fun product that will teach her letter recognition.... Any ideas. I have looked into the Hooked On Phonics program, but I am getting so many different reviews like 50-50. some say yes buy it, some say no don't it isn't great! Thanks E.

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So What Happened?

WOW! I got more responses than I thought I would. I have taken the advice of everyone. You all are so wonderful!!! Thank you so much!!!! I do have the magnetic Leapfrog letter toy, and I am going to get big letters from my day care and make large copies of them and make my own letter book!!! She goes to a wonderful child care center and they have taught her about counting and she knows all her colours and her shapes, so this is naturally the next thing, and I wouldn't push it so much but she loves to learn and she loves to look at letters. Thank you again to all! Elle

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C.A.

answers from Anniston on

My son loved the leap frog dvd's and really learned from that they also have flash cards and a little refrigerator magnet thing that the kids put the letter and it says the name of the letter and it's sound so that might help

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E.S.

answers from Knoxville on

Any of the Leap Frog products are excellent. Specifically the fridge phonics and there is a DVD called the Letter Factory that is really cute. My daughter is 4 and has been able to write and recognize her letters for quite a while. Hope that helps. Good luck

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J.S.

answers from Orlando on

Hi my two youngest are 8 months and 4 yrs. I found two websites I really like just yesterday:

http://www.fastq.com/~jbpratt/education/links/preactonlin...

then I went to
http://www.starfall.com/n/level-k/index/load.htm

He had so much fun singing the songs and my 8 month old did too. I want to encourage you to just do what your child loves with him. Children will learn when they are ready and if he's interested, go for it. My 4 year old is reading and writing and right now is working on telling time and fractions. He learned to read music on the grand staff and is just now learning to do the left hand on the piano and incorporate it with the right, which is very slow at this point. Anyway, my point is, each child is unique and special and learns at their own pace, but if they really genuinely show an interest, go for it. I have 5 children and they all have different taste and learn at different paces. You are mom and know what's best. Have fun !!!!

6 moms found this helpful

V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

I know you already have tons of answers, and most mention the fridge alphabet from Leap frog. All of the Leap Frog products are good. My daughter learned all on her own in the car, playing with the LeapFrog himself, as we did our daily errands. (Stuffed frog, with the alphabet on his tummy). May I also suggest the "I Spy" books? My daughter (who learned to read at 3 1/2 - with comprehension--) LOVED and STILL loves (at 7) these books. We did not start with the "kiddie" ones. We used the big full sized ones. You read the rhyme at the bottom of the page and look for the items in the picture. There is one (It is bright yellow- "School Days" or something like that) that has several pages with the alphabet all mixed in. It is great! She not only learned her alphabet, but she was given an opportunity to learn what things are that might not come up in normal conversation... (what is a "knot" Mommy? what is a "ramp", a "lighthouse", a "twig", a "tin man", "thumbtack", "two equal signs"..etc....) AND, lots of times the items have double meanings, so you get to explore language too, in a fun way! Since kindergarten my daughter has read classic condensed books (Call of the Wild, White Fang, Treasure Island, etc) and comprehends! Her curiosity was piqued with reading stories every night, and we usually did an "I Spy" page too. Then, she began ASKING ME to teach her to read when she was about 3. At 3 1/2 we used "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons". It is a single workbook style book, about $20 at the nearest Barnes & Noble. You don't have to buy anything else. (a magna doodle is great for them to write on though). It teaches them the sounds letters make, how to put them together AND how to WRITE them, all at once. And more importantly, it teaches them comprehension skills as they learn to read. My daughter was reading whatever I put in front of her before her 4th b.day. And understanding it. Her vocabulary is amazing... She BEGGED me to teach her how to write in cursive when she was in K4. (I waited and let her K5 teacher tackle that...my Penmanship is not that great). Just try not to push. Go at your daughter's pace. Keep it fun!

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V.B.

answers from Little Rock on

Hi. I'm a teacher, and I have taught 4 year olds up through 6th grade. Of course the number one way to help your child learn her letters and at the same time begin learning to read is by emersing her in all kinds of print. Read, read, read to her no less than four to six times a day. Let her "read" a variety of print all throughout the day. I can tell you that teaching letters in isolation is not a good idea. One thing you can do to help your daughter learn her letters and some words is to play a game with her whenever you are out riding. Children learn and remember names and logos of well known businesses, such as McDonald's, Wendy's, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Chuck E. Cheese, etc. Take advantage of this naturally aquired prereading skill. Decide on a store like K-Mart, and ask your daughter to show or tell you the name of a place that starts with a particular. (Example: Do you see a word that has a "k" in it? Make the k sound several times and repeat the question. You might even want to get a set of alphabet letters and hold up the letter you are asking her about. That way she would hear the sound and see the letter. OR "Oh look. There's McDonald's. M-M-McDonald's. What letter does McDonald's start with? Or "McDonald's. M-M-McDonald's. What sound do you hear at the beginning of McDonald's? What letter makes that sound?" OR "Mommy sees a word that starts with "M", M-M-M. What word starts with "M", M-M-M, "M"?" If your child is unable to tell you what letter it is or what sound a letter makes, then you reinforce her learning by naming the letter and telling her the sound it makes. Whatever you do you want your child to make the connection between the letter and its sound. Also, if you teach her words of familiar things, like dog, cat, boy, girl, etc., She can practice identifying, reading, saying, and even writing those easy, familiar words until she masters them and then apply her understanding and knowledge of the sights and sounds of the letters in those words whenever she sees them in other words. You must remember, however, when teaching a child as you young as your daughter, the key is making it fun. You want her to grow up with a love for learning. I hope I have been helpful.

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M.E.

answers from Madison on

There are some great free educational games online that can help you add some variety into teacher her. They will help your older child too. In our house we use them a lot during the summer when the kids are not in school so they can keep everything fresh in their minds. There are tons of websites out there. Some are resources for teachers and you can print out worksheets and books. The pay sites have tons of free samples. Some of the sites are educational games. There are too many to list here but I have a links page on my website if you are interested. I hope this helps.

http://www.yourfunfamily.com/links.html

M.
[email protected]____.com
http://www.yourfunfamily.com

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S.M.

answers from Atlanta on

A lot of those LeapFrog toys and videos drive me insane. But there's a DVD called "Here Come the ABCs" by "They Might Be Giants" (the name of the band) which is a lot more appealing for adults and kids. It's all music videos, but they have a great sense of humor, and the six year old will probably enjoy it, too. There's things that he'll "get", that will go over the younger one's head.

It's no substitute for reading books to 'em, obviously, but I found it more enjoyable than most videos.

We also get a big kick out of a set of "The Electric Company" DVDs - your six year old will get more out of it than your younger one. And the husband and I love seeing Morgan Freeman as "Easy Reader". Groooooovy, Man!

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C.W.

answers from Youngstown on

I really reccomend The Original Letter People, you can go to ebay and find all kinds of things, dvds, activity sheets, songs, they are great and have helped. I have 5 children 17-5 and all of htem have worked with the letter people....we have had leap frogs, leappads, writing, letter desk things...all of the expensive electronic noisy stuff and i don't reccomend any of them at all. Letter People, they don't get tired of.

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A.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi. My daughter is 2 1/2 and we recently bought the Letter Factory dvd (I've seen a few other moms mention it) and within 5 days she knew all her letters, sounds, and can recognize most of the letters now as well. It's like a miracle dvd - a few of my friends have had the same experience with their kids, too. They sell it at Costco for $8 so it's one of the cheapest ways to go, and it definately works!
A.

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C.P.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi Ellen,

My name is C. and I am new to Mamasource. I completely agree with the moms who responded with the LeapPad Video Series. Just for kicks, we started to show the letter factory to my daughter when she was 1 1/2. By the third or fourth showing, she was repeating the sounds. By 2, she knew her alphabet. She is now a bright 6 year old in first grade. After the letter factory, there is the word factory (simple 3 letter words along with a start on blends), the advanced word factory (silent e, th, ch, and sh, and two vowels together), the number factory (recognizing and simple addition/subtraction), and a video on reading (so they are more fluid when reading stories). I love the whole series as does my daughter. Good luck. I know your daughter will do well.

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J.K.

answers from Memphis on

There is a wonderful website you need to visit, starfall.com.
Your child can go at there own pace. They also don't need much adult help. It is very child friendly. My son is 3years old. He is now working the phonics part. He started with the alphabet. He loved it. Check it out.

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S.H.

answers from Austin on

Ellen, my sister wanted to help her kids too, so she designed some letter magnets that I since had manufactured and sell. Many kids have learned how to sound out their letters with them, as they have phonic value too. Some kids line them all up in order and sing the alphabet song; others learn how to spell out words; others just find the beginnging sound of a word. I think you can click on my name and get to my site that way (if you want to see them). It's eagermind.com I also have free pages you can download for coloring, counting and matching.
As far as Hooked on Phonics goes, I have heard that it is not worth the money at all. Sesame Street was fun for my kids, and learned a lot if I sat with them to reinforce what they learned. We also loved the Dorling Kindersly teddy alphabet book.

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D.G.

answers from Savannah on

HI, i have been reading many of the responses and you have gotten a variety I must say. Many recommend the leapfrog products as well as others. You know your child and you will know what works. The only thing that I want to add is to be sure to encourage your child to play, use her imagination and don't let her be cooped up in front of a screen (TV or Computer or even a book) all day or for too long. Kids need to learn to play outside, physical play for exercise, social skills, fresh air. They need to play in dirt and sand and make castles and mudpies, lay in the grass and see figures in the clouds, take walks, ride bikes, play kickball or street ball with the kids in the neighborhood. Not necessarily unsupervised as I was as a child (hey this isn't the 50's and 60's) but not always with you tagging along either. Kids need balance. As long as she wants to learn, go for it, but make sure there is balance in her life. Read and snuggle before bedtime, make play dates with kids her own age with the moms along, help her socialize appropriately.

That's my two cents worth. I am a 55 year old single mom to a 15 year old DD that is bright, intelligent, musically inclined, and who loves the Lord Our God with her whole heart. I have homeschooled her since 2nd grade and this worked for us. She does need to get more exercise as she is overweight, as I am, but we are working on it and have both lost (me 30 lbs and she about 10 but she is toning and fitting into her clothes better and is making better food choices.) This year she is enrolled in a co-op homeschool program part time and next year in the complete program. She will have classes two days a week and do the rest of her work at home. I will be working full time next year.

God Bless. D.

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T.

answers from Chattanooga on

My kids LOVE the Leapfrog videos. My 6 yr old is in kindergarten. He has wached the videos since he was about 2 1/2 and is reading on about a 3rd grade level!! My 4 yr old daughter has recognized all her leters since she was 2 and could even tell you the sounds that they make. She is now learning to spell and sound out words. There is a whole series of videos: The Letter Factory (teaches ABC letter recognition and the sounds the letters make), The Word Factory (teaches reading and sounding out of simple words), Code Word Caper (teaches about the silent e), and the Storybook Factory (you read along with the video) There is also a math video called The Math Circus that teaches counting to 20 (I thinnk) and addition/subtraction of numbers 0-10. You can usually find the videos at Target or Wal-mart or at Toys R Us. Good luck!!

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B.R.

answers from Knoxville on

Hi my name is B. a have 2 girls that are 12 and 9 and a 2 year old son. We have bought every toy out there but the thing that helped my kids learn their abc's is to buy a cheap small photo album and fill it with photos or cut out pics from magazines with familiar items that start with each letter. Go in alphabetical order and beside each picture write the letter that it starts with in bold (or you can do it on the computer). Seeing their family and their own things in the book really seems to help them remember. Good luck!

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M.L.

answers from Redding on

Having been a teacher and seeing some bored kids who became discipline problems I didn't try to encourage my son much, but he still knows all his letters and he will be 3 next month. Most of them he learned by watching Word World and Super WHY on PBS. I have always loved to read and as a student I would have my nose in a book as soon as I finished an assignment. I hope my son turns out the same way, but he is a lot more talkative and socially outgoing than I was so I'm sure he will be a social butterfly. At least if we can keep him interested in reading, maybe he will learn to keep his mouth shut in class and read while others are finishing their work.

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T.M.

answers from Detroit on

I agree with the other people who mentioned the Letter Factory DVD. I bought it for my 2yr and 4yr old girls. The 4 year old wasnt catching on to her letters very easily. After about 3 times of watching the DVD she could easily recognize the letters and know their sounds. My 2 year old can also recognize the letters and knows the sounds. Of all the expensive learning toys I had bought who would have thought a $10 DVD would work the best.

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K.N.

answers from Jackson on

Hey, Ellen! I would advise you to put away the pocketbook, get a marker and paper. Now, write the word for all the things in your home, tape the names to the items. Your daughter will learn their written names as she already knows what they are. I did this for my three daughters, they were all reading books by age 4. Fun to do. Ask her what the item is, write it while spelling it out loud and let her tape it to the item.

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C.R.

answers from Columbus on

"letter factory" by leapfrog!!! i had gotten it from the library for my oldest when he was 3 1/2 yrs old. my almost 2 year old loved it and it didnt take him long to know the alphabet and its sounds. he started writing them by the time he was 2 1/2 yrs old and has become obsessed with the alphabet. forget regular toys, he has requested abc's every christmas and b-day since then. he is now 4 1/2 yrs old and is almost reading and writing words almost correctly.....i swear its b/c of that video!!

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L.P.

answers from New York on

I didn't read the other responses yet so I wondered if anybody had suggested already Starfall to learn online. My son also knew all his letters before turning 2 and I think that his love for that website had something to do with it.
http://www.starfall.com/

The literary center is also great:
http://www.literacycenter.net/lessonview_en.htm

Hope you like them.

L., Mom to Nickey 3.5

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

The best products for helping your daughter learn to read are a book and your index finger. From the day she was born, I read to my daughter, and followed the text with my finger, so her eyes would track the sounds to the shapes of the letters. One day, while I was reading to her, she pointed to a word in the book and said, "That says Snow White." Actually, it was Sleepy, but she had made the connection between the letter "S" and its sound, capitalization, and proper names. By the time she was three, she was reading independently without ever having been formally taught to do so.

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C.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I know that you have already gotten great advice but I just have to say that those who said dont teach what they will learn in school because they will be bored... I couldnt disagree with you more! I have a 3 year old who knows all her letters, letter sounds, is beginning to read and can write all her letters and can spell words. I do not push her at all, she has a want to know these things and almost teaches herself. I get so irritated when I am told not to encourage her on these things because she will be bored in school. I think it is sad when we as a country dont focus some more attention on children who are, not necessarily gifted, but just really smart. If my daughter is bored in school then I will find alternative ways to challenge her. I am fortunate to be a stay at home mom so home school would be an option. I also get tired of people who assume that I am 'making' her learn when I have never made her sit down and learn anything....she just picks it up and asks tons of questions. She has a willingness and want to learn and as long as she does I will keep giving her more and more information in a way that is fun and exciting. I just dont think being smart and having a want for knowledge should be looked at as something that isnt good. We need more smart people in this world!!
Just keep doing what you are doing without pushing her or stressing her about it and dont worry about what others say is right or wrong....do what works for you.
P.S. The Letter Factory by Leap Frog is an excellent video to introduce letter sounds!! :)
Have fun learning with you child!!!

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J.B.

answers from Knoxville on

Ellen,
As a mother of a 4 1/2 year old who has always had a love for learning, I would say not to invest in anything expensive. An ABC Cardboard puzzle would work great. Since she is avid in learning on her own, she will put forth the effort to do it. As you sit together, ask her letter recognition. "what letter is this?" She'll get it.

If she was falling behind with no desire to learn, then I would invest in a more expensive program.

Check with the local schools in your area to make sure when it does become time to enroll her that they will put her at her cognitive level. This will prevent boredem.

Congratulations on having such smart children. Our future depends on their success.

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S.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hi Ellen...I know you already got tons of responses but I had to tell you about a DVD I bought for my son who is now 2 1/2. I bought it about 6 months ago and it promised to have them recognizing their alphabet in 2 weeks or less... and it worked in 3 days! No joke! Pretty cheap too. $16.

It's called Meet The Numbers by Preschool Prep Co.

Very annoying to adults...but kids seem to like it. Happy learning!

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K.L.

answers from Nashville on

It may sound basic, but a good old fashioned set of magnetic letters and numbers work great! They can be seen and held and rearranged to make words, you'll probably find yourself playing with them too! Just put them on a cookie sheet for use just about anywhere, and of course the side of the fridge is another good place. Hope this helps.
-K.

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M.T.

answers from Honolulu on

Ellen,
I am sure there are alot of programs out there but do you want me to tell what I found very helpful?
I got the great big huge foam letters. The entire alphabet. I started with about 2 then added a couple. We put them in the bathtub and stick them on the tile and my 2 yr old can point them out and she knows which ones are which. And when she is walking around the house, she may see the A lying in the floor and can pick it up and will bring it to me and say A.
You may want to try this along with another program too. You can practice this anywhere and everywhere.

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L.B.

answers from St. Joseph on

I am a HUGE fan of the LeapFrog programs...my son's preschool teacher recommended the Letter Factory DVD. It is amazing! Now the 3 & 4 yr old go around singing it everyday...and the 4 yr old has even started reading words...you can get it off of ebay but I went to Amazon and just got the whole 4 pack series...they were so eager to watch the other videos they are even working on the complex sounds like ch, sh, st, etc.

Whatever you do, don't discourage it...in fact, I would recommend big brother read to her every now and then. My hubby had 4 older sisters and they read to him all the time. By the time he was 3 he could read the Sunday comics by himself!

Another really cool product if you have a computer is the Fisher Price easy links...it is password protected so your kids can only go to the web sites that the links will take them to and they can't screw up your computer either. I have found the Wiggles and Arthur to be the best on numbers and letters.

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K.F.

answers from Saginaw on

Ellen, Now a different perspective, First, NO "hooked on phonics" Your daughter will learn when she is ready, She will continue to learn from you, her preschool and the whole family! If you feel your daughter learns fast or is gifted, teach her other things that she will NOT learn in school, the basics of other languages, music, simple science, Manners, respect... Why you ask? First, If you teach her all the things she will learn in Kindergarten, she will be bored, un challenged.
I have been a childcare provider for 30 years, and mother of 5 grown children, my son is VERY intelligent, could read, by 21/2, tested at a college level at 4! He was my 1st born, so it was exciting! In the real world, what do we need to do our best in a work force and every day life? Be social, relate to others, be able to work with others, right? My son was always bored in school, the teachers mostly had him do the "little, practice work" even though he could do it all once and know it, he always felt "different". Grade school was better, many of the teachers had him be the "teachers helper" it helped him socially till middle school, in middle school one can't be a teachers helper, he skipped a grade, which made him smaller than most boys, and seriously picked on, his self image and confidence was devastated, he took gifted classes, and some college classes, he loved the learning, hated feeling "different". Many teachers do not have the ability to "help, offer more" to a gifted child, they have so much to do for those who are slower. High school was better, there are advanced classes, and they can go to college for free when the high school cannot offer what they need, he made friends with other gifted children. But, he always felt like he didn't fit, he never learned to "work". He has won National spelling, geography,writing, and math competitions, has traveled all over the world, which was great, but still he never had to work for them. He started out at college, was still bored, tested out of many classes, he thought it would be different than lower levels. He dropped out. He now works with an accountant, does well, finishes his work before noon and still is not challenged enough. I love my son dearly, being gifted is not always a gift. My other children have their gifts, we have encouraged them to learn in so many other ways, so they were challenged in school, learned new things in school. They are all happy and have achieved success in their lives, one is a Dr. One teaches internationally, knows 11 languages, another is a physical therapist. Most of the "children from my childcare are successful in all they do, we taught the basics and more, prepared them for school, but also gave them the choices to learn, music, the arts, did plays, sports, and field trips to science museums... let them learn from school what they need to, offer so much more, to give them more choices in life. I hope this makes sense to you. let her learn her letters, and still be a child, read silly stories, sing, be a princess, play musical instruments, draw letters on the sidewalk, and make them into silly shapes after! She has her whole life to learn the rest from school. K.

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K.P.

answers from Santa Fe on

You don't really need a "product"--just get a good ABC book, like Dr. Seuss's ABCs, or probably just about any other alphabet book. My just-turned-3/y/o is learning his letters just by my pointing out all the letters and reading to him. I've also got some foam letters (like you can have in the bathtub), and he's recognizing some of them, so I know it's not just remembering the letters from being on a particular page of a book. Kids this age just love to learn, and be with you, so any activity you do with them will be well-received and well-loved. Just work at her pace, and she'll probably learn all her letters within a year (probably even faster, since she seems to be motivated--but don't push her because that might backfire).

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D.P.

answers from Colorado Springs on

One of the daycares I worked at we made binder books, get a small binder and get enough pages for each letter and an addtional page for words and such to go with that letter. Print off a HUGE copy of that letter and stick it to the page( clear protector sheets work awesome to keep little fingers from pulling the glued or taped letter off) the page oppisote have a picture of someting the child can recignize for that letter, like for a you would have apple on one page and the letter a, well on the page with the apple either do pictures of things that begin with that letter or words. I did one for my dd and she's 20 mths old and already knows one or 2 letters and we're slowly doing our numbers. I have one for her numbers and one for the alphabet and i'm working on one for animals as well and colors. She likes to look at books and be read to and i think this will work well for her. I saw many kids at daycare that picked up on letters really quick using this.

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J.N.

answers from Columbus on

I have been an in-home childcare provider for over twenty years and read lots of books and make games about colors, shapes, and counting using blocks, shapes, and the hoops on a peg toys when they are little (also did this at a private day care as a lead teacher with 12-18 month olds). A great book that the children love is Elmo's Big Lift-and Look Book which teaches numbers, alphabet, shapes, and opposites. I've even bought each child one to read with their parents at home. We play with mega blocks to build towers and then count how many, what are the colors, and how many of each color (also good for large motor skills). Play on the computer on www.sesamestreet.com with Elmo on the alphabet game (and other learning games). They love finding the right letters and watching what item for that letter Elmo shows. Also does numbers and when the hearts come up to count, you blow kisses. Since the little ones are getting older now, beginning of the year we started coloring big and little letters of the alphabet (one each week) that I printed out from a website. After they are colored, we cut them out and put them on construction paper and then find things that start with that letter to glue with the letters (i.e., magazine cutouts of ears, eyes, and elbows for the letter E; feathers and foam stick-on flowers for F). The children love finding the items and pick up on what things start with the particular letter. We made banana bread for the letter B. As another respondent wrote, we look for a lot of things and what letters or how many or what color when we are out and about. There are so many neat things that can be done to teach in a way that really makes learning fun.

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K.A.

answers from Chicago on

ONe more thing to get and play over and over is the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD. My mom got it for my kids and my 2 girls new all the letters and sounds when they were 2 - 2 1/2. and my first daughter had a speech delay! But she loved the DVD and learned from it. its $15 and well worth it.
The catchy song can be sung anywhere and you can make it fun. Good Luck!!

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P.S.

answers from Dallas on

Ellen, I was reading your response to all who responded to
your request - and if you can stand one more ideal. I've
been a child care prov. for almost 20 yrs. w/a preschool
curriculum. I teach by games. I've spent a lot on Disc. Toys
and others (and most I really like) but their favorite one is
this: I got a pack of sm paper plates (Walgreens $.99) and
w/a blk marksalot put the alphabet on them. This would be a
great game for you and your son to join in. Have your daughter lay down 3 - A's, 3 - B's and 3 C's. Play upbeat
music (I play the party music CD (Celebration, YMCA, Twist
and Shout etc.) Everyone walks around the plates and when the
music stops, call out a letter and everybody runs to it and
puts their foot on it. There's lot of laughter. (also) when
she knows quite a few I lay the plates in a line (outside -
weather permitting) and call out letters and they have to run
and find it - then I call out another. Great fun AND exercise
and fresh air. I also put them on colored index cards and
play Memory. (make two of each letter, put face down and you
get to turn over 3 cards to try and find a match. It's called
Memory of Concentration and you can add more cards the more
advanced she gets. I also have a felt board they get to find
a certain letter among 3 others and put on the board. They are so pleased with themselves.

Have fun!
P. S

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L.Y.

answers from Springfield on

Have used Discovery Toys? They are educational toys that promote learning as you play. We have toys that are birth-middle school age. They are also lifetime guaranteed! When was the last time that you found that in a toy? Today, Mar. 14th is the last day to save 12% on all your toy purchases. Saturday we start the new Spring/Summer line. You can visit my website, www.discoverytoyslink.com/boyoachum
Call me if you would like a persoal shopping date, home party to earn FREE toys, or get our Best Buy Bundle.

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C.M.

answers from Kansas City on

My son learned his letters at age 2 when we read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". I pointed to the letters as we read it, and he picked them up pretty quick. I also got him flash cards of the alphabet to PLAY with (I didn't drill him!). He's now 3 1/2 and reading sight words & books (Kindergarten skills). Just make everything "play" and don't worry too much about "teaching" your daughter yet!

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H.E.

answers from Knoxville on

Hi Ellen,

My son, who is also two, received the BEST gift for his second birthday from a friend of ours. It's the Leap Frog Fridge Magnetic Phonics Set. All the pieces stick to your fridge (or you could get a magnetic board if you preferred, which she did for us).

There's a main piece that the letters and numbers fit into, and it says the letter or number put in there and what sound it makes. It has all the letters and numbers in the set, and has been a GREAT learning tool for my son!

He can recognize (by sight) so many letters now (and all his numbers). His sister, who is only 10-months-old, already likes playing with it ... and I'm sure will learn her letters quickly when she's old enough! ;)

It's for ages two and up, and really has been one of the BEST learning gifts my son has ever received! He LOVES it and it has really done wonders in teaching him the letters and sounds they make!

You can check it out on Amazon (one of my favorite shopping sites because they usually have the BEST prices) at http://www.amazon.com/LeapFrog-Fridge-Phonics-Magnetic-Se....

Thanks and good luck!
H.

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E.M.

answers from Boston on

Hi! My daughters are the same age as your children,,my first grader loves to read to her baby sister! My 2 year old also loves those LeapFrog Alphabet fridge magnets,,they are great,,she likes to sing along to each letter and pronouce the sounds each letter makes. Another bonus,,her Early Intervention speech therapist recommended them! They sell them at Walmart for $19.99. Well worth it. The letters are nice and thick so you don't have to worry about her putting them in her mouth. Big sister likes to play with them too!

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L.M.

answers from Chattanooga on

Try Fridge Phonics by Leap Frog. I have bought it for 2 of my friends and they swear it's how their kids learned their letters. It's magnetic and tells the names and sounds of each letter...fun to manipulate also. Good luck!

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T.K.

answers from Jacksonville on

My 2 year old learned with the puffy magnet letter that you put on the refrigerator. He was so eager to learn. I would just tell him what the letter was when he would hold it up. It was only a week later when he waas able to identify all letters! It works better than if you sit them down and actually try to teach them.They are more interested if it is all their idea.Good luck!

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B.B.

answers from Houma on

My son Matthew is a 6 year old Autistic child and when he was seeing his speech therapist at home she recommended the Letter Factory DVD. We played it all the time even when he wasn't watching it. Matthew was saying his letters and phonics before he was 3. It was amazing.

Brandy B

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J.C.

answers from Charleston on

Ellen: I am a mother of 4 (2 grown and 2 in high school) boys plus 2 step sons who we raised to adulthood, and grandmother to three ages 4 and 2. From experience I advise you to share your time with your daughter everyday with looking through and reading books together. Take her to the library for stories. Soon she will be reading. The main thing I want to convey is, you may never have another opportunity like this in her life. A toy that I like and my grandchildren have enjoyed is The Phonics Bus.

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S.N.

answers from Washington DC on

Read, Read, Read! My son "taught" himself to read words at 18 months and by the time he was 3 could read anything you put in front of him (of course he didn't always know what it meant yet). One book we read often when he was younger was Dr. Seuss's ABC Book. That is what introduced him to letter sounds. Also, if there were pictures with words in stories we would read them too and find them out in the neighborhood. For example he had a story about kids going to get ice cream. There was a picture of a car at a stop sign. The word stop wasn't in the story's text but we read it from the picture and very soon he was telling me to stop at every stop sign in town. Another thing he did on his own was pick a word in a story and try to find it on other pages of the book. That was great for sight reading. Go along with what interests your kid (reading, numbers, etc.) It's fun for them (and you)when it's their idea and you aren't pushing it on them and it develops their love of learning.

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A.M.

answers from Providence on

Leap Frog Fridge Phonics. My son knew all his letters and their sounds at 15 months. The toy goes as such when you push the letter placed in the slot "A...A says AHH... A says AHH... every letter makes a sound, A says AHHH" and so on. He is OBSESSED with anything that even resembles a letter now at 2 1/2. Did you know that the curve of a hanger looks like a "J"?!?! Great Job to you for raising such well rounded happy kids!

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W.H.

answers from Modesto on

Read to your child. A favorite of ours was Dr Seuss' ABC. My sister sent a homemade card that was basically just paper folded in half with a big markered "2" on the front, and he absolutely LOVED the number 2 and the letter A the rest of that month/summer! (funny story, this helped with his swimming)

Foam letters, wood blocks, etc. Just plain old paper! Use your 6yo to write letter cards for your 2yo! Nothing fancy needed, just time and talking together, repeating whenever needed. My 5yo is reading at the 3rd grade level now, it's crazy. When they want to, they really will! We don't use any of those stupid talking toys either (we are deaf & it BUGS us both when something is not captioned like computer websites, games & toys), really just reading and playing and interacting with their daily environment is enough.

OH, and use the library!! Variety is great, a house full of books and a lean pocketbook isn't. My son loves books and we go weekly. (Or whenever I know I will need some quiet time for a couple hours, ha)

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L.M.

answers from Boca Raton on

Some great products just came out and ones that have been around for years, check them out. www.DiscoveryToysLink.com/LisaRyan also to view the catalog page by page go to DiscoveryToysInc.com

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L.W.

answers from Tucson on

Hi Ellen, :-)

You've received so much good advice already. Mine just might be redundant, but I'll share anyway:
My (5) children all loved to learn their letters when they were around 2 to 3 years old. I've always tried to make games out of everything and anything.

*In the tub,we would always play with the foam letters. First identifying them, now having the child pick out a certain letter...and whenever we put them away, I would have him hand me a letter and either I would tell him what it was, or I would ask him what letter it was...We made a game out of it... Making it fun is the way to go!

*When we walk to school, we would look at the signs and license plates and house numbers... We would play "I SPY" to find certain letters, then later, using letters to spell short words, such as "I Spy a red C-A-R", and then sound out the letters to figure out what a C-A-R would be...

*We would go to the library often. (Since the dvd's were only a 1 week checkout, we would make a weekly trip to the library) Each child was allowed to check out a couple of books. They LOVED to get new books! I would always make sure there was at least one book in the van so they'd have something to look at if they did not want to watch the scenery.

*When we lived in Japan, we would play the hunting game. We would drive to our destination and try to find the letters of the alphabet. (That actually took some looking because practically EVERYTHING was in Japanese)...We still do that game here in Tucson, but have much quicker success...So, we start to play the word game instead of the letter game.

*Another product that each of my children have absolutely LOVED is our "PHONICS FIREFLY" toy that we bought from the < ldfr.com > homeschooling website. This toy has 6 levels of play, ranging from singing the ABC's, telling the child what each letter is, having the child press the letter they hear, the different sounds the letters make, to mystery words, to having the child spell their own three-letter words. (the good thing about this toy , besides the volume button,is that it does NOT recognize bad/dirty words). Right now this toy is my 3 yr old's FAVORITE toy. He HAS to take it EVERYWHERE we go. He loves learning the letters. (He LOVES the "ta-da!" music he hears whenever he gets the answer correct).

*Playing with play dough and making snake letters has always interested my kids. They like to spell out everybody's name in the family, including the cats' names... (Actually, they wanted me to make the letters because after about 7 letters, they lost interest) So, the trick is to quit the game while they still want to play it, that way, they will always want to play it again...

*My kids really enjoy watching the "Electric Company" dvds we that we have. They learn letters and sounds and have fun laughing at the jokes on the show.

*When you label everything in the house, ask the child what letter it starts with. (Example: This is a table, let's make a card to label it. What letter do we put down first? T-T-T table...Table starts with a letter that sounds like "T"...what letter makes the "T" sound?...and once they tell you, you can show them how to write it, either by using the magnadoodle, or with pencil and paper)...then go ahead and make labels for about 5 different things...and review them each time you use that item...and then tomorrow add 5 more labels in the house...)

**So, to wrap it all up: repetition, making it fun, quitting while they still want to play, using your imagination, anything goes... and when they've mastered a concept, move on to the next...such as moving on from letter recognition to letter sounds, then soon comes the putting the sounds together to make short words...

That's enough information overload for now... Have fun with your child! Take full advantage of their wanting to learn at this age... :-)

Huggs,

L. W.
(mother of 5 active and wonderful children: ages 11, 9, 7, 4, and 3)

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P.M.

answers from New York on

My son started to learn the letters at 17 months. I didn't even know he was picking up on what I was saying. I had the foam letters in the bath tub, and I would say what it is before sticking it to the tub. Well, one day he started telling me what they were, and that's even before he learned colors and shapes. He would try to read the car plates when we walked since they were eye level for him. He didn't know all of the letters, but I was surprised that he knew some of them. I didn't really push anything and continued with our regular routine. Once he turned 21 months he picked up everything over night, numbers, colors, shaped, all of the ABC's, it is amazing to me. Enjoy your daughters learning ability. I posted something similar to this site as well and received some good and some not so good comments. I wasn't implicating my son was gifted, and I still don't think he is. I do however think he is better at something's than others and I really only compare him to himself. I think your daughter's curiosity is excellent and perhaps encouraged by your older one as well. I would just celebrate it, and get some ABC tub letters, Books, blocks, puzzels, and just use everyday stuff.

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M.D.

answers from Waterloo on

Our son understood that concept of square roots in the first grade. We just didnt make a big deal about it just answered his questions and had "fun" quizzes from time to time. He now has his Masters in Mech. Eng. and is a dad himself.

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A.R.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

Leap Frog has lots of great toys that would help!

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K.S.

answers from Texarkana on

There is a leap frog product that is great and it is fun. It has a magnet to attach it to the fridge and all the letters of the alphabet are fridge magnets too. You put one of the letters in the box and it says the letter and sounds it out. There is a newer one that you can put up to three letters in and it spells the word then sounds it out and then says it normal. These are really great!!

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B.S.

answers from San Juan on

This week I saw on The TODAY show, NBC, a little girl who is 16 months old. and the child is reading. You can see how lovingly she turns the pages and reads. Children are learning earlier and earlier it seems. The child was presented by the staff on the program with words she didn,t have and she pronounced each one of them. She went on to 3 & 4 word sentences. Let your child go at the pace she sets. I can't help you with how to teach her because I have been living in Puerto Rico many years, and here they start with the vowels, then begin to add sylables with the vowels, and add more syllables as time goes on. I am proud to say I learned Spanish drilling my children and studying with them, but I still have problems with Grammar. It is so wonderful to have a child like yours! Her IQ must be high now and will continue to rise so much! Congratulations!

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N.P.

answers from Knoxville on

My son read at the age of three - he read on the seventh grade level in kindergarten - my secret - I read to him nightly as we rocked and it always included the Dr. Seuss book "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb" - it's fun - it's colorful - tapping the words rhythmically
and saying the words almost in a singing voice makes them laugh - pointing to the words as you read, helps letter and word recognition plus it's fun. Pretty soon he was saying some of the words and turning the pages - eventually (not long) he could "read" it to me - the book is hard to find and you might have to get it at E-Bay or Amazon ---- by the way - because he was an early reader, he read everything - he went to schools for gifted children and it was all because of early reading. There is also a "controlled reading machine" but it is usually used for slow readers who need help and isn't lots of fun. I highly recommend the fun part........

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S.M.

answers from Nashville on

My son is not quite 2 1/2 and he was also very interested in learning letters. I found an alphabet puzzle in the shape of a train at Ross for like $4.99. Each piece is a different letter so I can say "OK, find the letter J." He has put it together so many times (with my help and naming the letters as we go along) that now he recognizes all of the letters. I don't think it takes an expensive kit like Hooked on Phonics, just a little creativity.

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M.B.

answers from Jackson on

Playschool.com has a great computer game they can play just google toddler games and there is an ABC game everytime they press a key it goes from A to B etc. and at the end sings the abc song and gives the option to start over! I played it tonight with my one year old and she loved it... granted she can't say her abc's yet!! but it's fun to play with different education mediums. Also we have a phonics radio from leap frog that pages turn and every time you hit a button it tells you what the letter is and sings a song about the sounds the letters make. As they advance you can play find that letter on it. Good Luck!!

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S.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

My 2 year old learned his letters by sight from cheap foam bath letters. :)

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Long ago and far away (my son is now 25) we had square alphabet blocks. We used to stack them and knock them down. At 18 months, I used to find little groupings of the blocks around the house, the O's and the B's. He was pulling out the letters and putting like letters together. I just started identifying them for him. He was reading at 3 1/2. We just used the alphabet blocks and later magnetic letters on the refrigerator.

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C.F.

answers from New Orleans on

My daughter is also 2 and is very interested in her ABCs and 123s. My mother in law bought her an inexpensive set of magnetic alphabets and numbers and a magnetic board, and we point to each one as we sing the ABC song or say 123s. It's been three months now, and if you randomly point to a letter or number, at least 75% of the time she gets it right!

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B.J.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi,

I don't have time to read all the responses. I'm sure some there were some good suggestions. My boys loved the Leap Frog word factory video (they have a good series but this is the one to start with). By 20 months my middle son knew all of the letter sounds. Great for basic phonics.

Hope this helps,

B.

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E.C.

answers from San Francisco on

My son knew his letters when he was 15 months old, from the simplest little thing...those foam bath letters. I would stick them to the wall, and we would sing our ABCs while I pointed to each letter. Some days we would just pick out 5 or 6 of them, and just do those letters that night, so that he got to know them individually, rather than as a whole. Eventually we moved on to me asking which letter was which, and he would point them out. It was the easiest thing to do, he had to take a bath, I had to play with him, and he learned them very fast.
Good luck

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A.L.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi Ellen,
I am a mom of 2 boys, ages 4 and 2. Our little guy likes the book, "Kids Celebrate the Alphabet" by Jean Warren. He also likes the standard fridge letter magnets. If you're going to make your own book, I have two suggestions. I'd use the same color for all the letters, so your child recognizes letters for letters, not color. Also, I'd do separate pages for lower case letters. They are used much more in everyday language than all caps. Enjoy!

A.
Grand Rapids, MI

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L.T.

answers from Knoxville on

My baby daughter loved looking at flash cards of letters before she could even talk. I went through each letter of the alphabet after each meal while she was in her high chair. As some of the other mom's mentioned, the Leap Frog videos are awesome. The first one is the Letter Factory. The way they present the idea is very clever.

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A.B.

answers from Johnson City on

Hey Ellen, my 3 yr old knew his abc's by sight and song by the time he was 15mths old...we watched the leap frog "letter factory" DVD together, and also have the leap frog fridge phonics letters, you can find them usually at any toy store or target and walmart, they aren't expensive and they are fun...it was really great...they also have farm animals, and 3 and 4 letter word ones now....hope this helps...A.

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K.K.

answers from Phoenix on

We loved Zoophonics!

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B.A.

answers from Richland on

We love all the leapfrog toys. Our son taught himself all the letters by the time he was 19 months old by playing with different leapfrog toys. His favorite right now is his leaptop. (looks like a little laptop computer and has a lot of different settings for letter recognition and even spelling when he gets a bit older). He turned 2 in Dec. and can tell me all the sounds all the letters make (even the long and short sounds of vowels) mostly because of his leapfrog toys (and his love for learning). =) Have fun!!

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B.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

HI Ellen,

I use the Hooked on Phonics with my Daycare Children. I Love the Program. It only takes 18 min. a day to work with your child. I also like the refridge Leap Frog ABC's Where they place the letter in the thingy and it sings a a little tune. take print outs of letters and let her glue beans on them and sing a little tune so that she will remember. There are tons of things that you could do to help. I am happy for once to see a parent willing to help their child and not expect the childcare provider to do it. Parents are the childrens first teachers. Way to go!!!!

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J.T.

answers from Montgomery on

Hi Ellen

I have 2 boys age 5 and 3. I have a freind that suggested the Leap Frog Movies. You can buy that at Walmart or Target. They are with all the Leap frog toys in Walmart. My 3 year old loves them and can recognize all his letters and is spelling words. They have a great song and tune to them. Please try them out and see what you think.

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D.Y.

answers from Little Rock on

I bought my daughter Leapfrog fridge phonics magnetic set. It helps make out the letter sounds and also sings the abc song. It's great. it cost about $15.00 - 20.00. great for christmas

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T.H.

answers from New York on

When my son was 2 1/2 he also was very interested in learning his letters. He started coming to me with letter blocks that we had and kept asking me each one until he knew them all and by the time he was 2 3/4 could also write each letter. So get your daughter letter blocks and have fun!

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C.S.

answers from Birmingham on

try v-tech products they have worked so well with my grandchildern i spend a little extra but it is so worth it also look into a good pre-school, now is the time for learning. did u know that they are thinking about starting the kids in head start at age 3?

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B.L.

answers from Birmingham on

My now 13 year old had a toy -- it was a toy to stand at, like a little table, and it had tiles with letters on them or plastic ABC's that you put on the board. She learned her alphabet this way, and with me reading to her everyday. She also watched and loved Sesame St. It was not my intention to teach her to read early or to push her in any way, but she quickly learned the alphabet.

I think the very best thing to do, though, is read to your child, and do it A LOT! For a baby, even reading recipes to her when you are trying to decide what to make for dinner is good. My daughter and I still keep a book going that we read together at night, as well as her own book she is reading at the time! She, an eighth grader, and reads at college level.

B.

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K.J.

answers from Boise on

Hello! That is so exciting that she's ready to learn! We were given the Signing Time DVDs as a gift and its the only videos/movie our 15 month (he's now 2) old would even consider watching. They have a great ABC one that he loves. After seeing how excited he was after he watched it for the first time, I started working with him a little everyday (without pushing it) and he learned very quickly. Both of my in-laws are educators and they said the Leap Frog products, especially the Fridge Phonics, were by far the best products on the market. He's able to recite the entire alphabet and recognize the look and sound of each letter.

It sounds like your daughter is almost ready for kindegarten:)
Good luck!

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L.

answers from Mobile on

Hi Ellen,

I'd suggest the Word Whammer ( I think this is the Leap Frog set others also refered to). It has a setting for letter recognition and sounds and settings for words when your little one is ready. My 2 loved it and learned letters, letter sounds, and how to sound out words quickly (w/the toy and reading books and talking about such stuff w/Mom and Dad). It goes without saying that nothing beats time w/mom or big brother for learning anything new, and that reading is key, etc. (who can resist curling up w/a toddler and a book!). Still, for a product to supplement that I think the Word Whammer is great, and it helps out when you are cooking, too (it goes on the fridge). You can cook, have her there, and talk to her about the letters she's working with. It seems like a lot of thought went into its design, too (e.g. all vowels are red, there are opportunities to explore rhyming words, blinking lights signal that the letters go from left to right, etc.) Just don't use rechargable batteries--they don't really work in this toy (weird, but true).

Have fun with whatever you get!
L.

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S.D.

answers from Chattanooga on

My aunt bought my two year old daughter a leap frog toy. Its frig magnets that come with a little holder that they put all the letters in and it tells them the sound it makes and a word and than does a little song. Its really pretty neat.

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K.L.

answers from Knoxville on

Ellen,
My little boy got a V-Tech Alphabet Town game for Christmas last year and he loves it. He has learned to spell from it. We are on our 3rd on because he takes it everywhere he goes. They are $20.00 at Wal-mart and I think I seen it at Target as well. It is still his favorite toy. It has Spelling,A clock,counting, phonics and several other things on it. I recommend it to everyone I meet.I can get a picture of it and e-mail it to you if you would like. [email protected]____.com K.

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A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Ellen!

Im the mother of a 2 year old who loves letters. We got him a wood puzzle that has letters that fit into their own shapes. I believe it was via Babystyle.com or someplace like that.

He already knows his letters as result. I am not a big fan of electronic toys (long story why!) but with the wood puzzle he fits the right letter in the right shape and is so proud of himself.

Not only that he will pick up a letter and show me and say the name of the letter outloud before he puts it in the correct shape.

Your 2 year old having a big brother is a PLUS. Ive watching older children teach younger children how to read.

I babysat two girls...where the 4 year old taught the 2 year old how to write her name, how to read letters and simple words. :)

Learning involves the interaction between you and children and children with each other. I think you'll enjoy the wood puzzle idea. :)

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T.K.

answers from Knoxville on

My two and three year old love the letter factory video and flash cards. They both can tell me all letters, the sounds they make, and my oldest can write just about all his letters! They have a whole line of products to go with the video. Have fun with it!

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