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).

Language: Lingu Pinguin App

You see a lot of flak directed at screentime for kids, but there’s one thing screens can do that I can’t do: provide my children with language instruction in a native accent. Whether it’s sign language or French (both of which I am teaching Scout Kid), my clumsy, slow translations can’t measure up to the fluidity and accuracy of a recorded voice.

The Lingu Pinguin app is just an introduction, providing a gateway for us to talk about the different languages people use (we currently have a French intern student working on our farm and Scout Kid was asking me today, “Gus learning to speak French?”, so we talked about how he lived in a country where everyone speaks French, and how his mummy and daddy talked French to him from the time he was a little baby, just like we speak English to Scout Kid.) The app is simple and attractive, and features several different screens with a theme (Animals, Toys, Nature, etc.) The different objects can be touched and respond with a narrator saying their name in French, and a little animation. The game also features a multiple choice quiz to practice. $1.99 for iPad and iPhone.