With the evolution of the computer, ipad, phones, and all of the technological toys out there parents have a plethora of ways to introduce the alphabet to their children. I am not going to do a review of all of the technological devices and toys that try to teach the alphabet, instead I am only going to focus on one great one. That website is Starfall. You can also purchase it as an app for your phone or ipad if you wish.
What makes this website so great? Well, it teaches the name of the letter and the sound of the letter in an interactive manner for kids. When you get to the website click on learn ABC’s.
You will see a group of blocks on the next page.
At this point you can click on any of the letters that you would like to learn about. The program will show a capital letter and a lowercase letter. Then it will make the sound the correct way when the sparkling letter in the lower right hand corner is clicked.
You may be wondering what the right way to pronounce letters is. Well, often when different programs pronounce the sounds of the alphabet they will make the /uh/ sound after many of the consonants. So instead of a pure /b/ sound, you will hear /buh/. This can become a problem for kids as soon as they begin to put sounds together to make a word. If a child was trying to sound out the word bat and sounded it out this way, /buh/ /a/ /tuh/, then when they put the sounds together it would sound like buatuh. The child may think, “Hmmm, what does this sound like?” and blend it together as batu. It will confuse the child and change the purpose of reading him/her. You can see a quick demonstration of the letter sounds in the video below.
The Starfall website repeats each of the letter names and sounds throughout the demonstration. Children are taught the letter names and sounds through a series of pictures and the names of the letters reiterated. In order to see the next picture the child clicks on the letter again in the bottom right hand corner and this will result in hearing the sound again.
I love that the voice the child hears is the voice of another child. At the end of the demonstration there is an interactive game that the child can play. This game sometimes focuses on one letter, or is a review of other letters.
At the bottom of the main alphabet page that is featured above you will notice that the vowels are each listed. When the child clicks on one of the vowels there is a little video that goes over the short sound of each of these letters using a song. The songs are quick and easy to remember.
If one clicks on the ABC button you will hear an alphabet song that is linked to words that kids are familiar with. This website has many other useful tools on it for beginning readers, but for now if you have time check out the ABC’s and let me know what you think.
Do you have a favorite website or app that you like to use with your child? Share in the comment section below.