Toddler Tuesdays: Leapfrog Letter Factory

As we started working our way through School Sparks, I realized that before we could do the letters section, Scout Kid needed some serious phonics help. He knows his letters backwards, uppercase and lowercase, can write them all with minimal help, and has a few sight words, but he really only knew a handful of the phonics sounds despite, I thought, me being pretty regular about talking about them.
I got this movie on the recommendation of a friend— she used it for her kids in the past and apparently it works like magic for teaching kids phonics sounds. Since I am all about education in the form of magic, I bought it and, yep! It’s magic! Scout Kid went from basically not knowing more than a few letter sounds to knowing them all in two days! The video doesn’t cover long vowels, alternate sounds (such as for c, g), or digraphs, but it’s a good start and Scout Kid found it effortless and engaging.
Find it on Amazon for $15: Leapfrog: Letter Factory (link through my Amazon Affiliates account).

English: (Story) Leonard Bernstein’s Peter and the Wolf

I’ve been trying to move away from my default of letting Scout Kid watch a movie (Robin Hood, usually) while I’m busy with something, so this morning I played him a record we have of Leonard Bernstein narrating/directing Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. He was enthralled. For most of the story he sat still(ish) listening, but near the end he grabbed his toy wolf and jump rope and began acting along with the story. As soon as it was done, he requested to listen to it again, and he’s been playing Peter ever since so, I think, success!

Here are the recordings if you want to listen: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

English: Alphabet Puzzle

Mondays are our busy day (grocery shopping + claiming back the house from the weekend mess) so we keep the activities simple. Our English activities will actually be mostly playing with letters, talking about phonics and letter combinations and such as a natural part of the play. Here’s what we did today:
-Got the fabulous¬†Richard Scarry’s ABC Word Book and Scout Kid’s hand-me-down alphabet puzzle out. Dumped all the puzzle pieces on the floor.
-Flipped through the pages, finding the letters that matched the respective pages, talking about the letter sounds, and reading the words in the pages.
This was a very simple activity and I wasn’t sure Scout Kid would be interested, but he enjoyed it. He was definitely more interested in this than last week’s geography activity (although he did actually end up liking the continents song.)

English: Parking Lot Letters

Today we practiced uppercase/lowercase letters and phonics sounds with a “parking lot” and some toy cars. We also used a Scattergories die and our fabulous set of magnetic letters*. Here’s what we did:

-Rolled the (uppercase) die and drove cars to the matching lowercase letters.
-Picked out our family’s initials from the die and parked our corresponding cars in those spots.
-Talked about the M and the W and turned the parking lot around so the W was an M.
-Pulled out our magnetic alphabet and made piles of the lower and uppercase letters on their corresponding parking spaces. We also spelled our names and our new cat’s name.

*Link through my Amazon Affiliates Account.