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I bought my FIRST set of Leap Frog Fridge Phonics when my son was about one years old. Very quickly I discovered what a great teaching resource these were and bought another set for my school. Since then I have convinced numerous teachers and parents to invest in this great toy/educational product.
I love the very clear voice and jaunty music tune with each letter. The voice correctly produces 1 or even 2 sounds that are made by each letter. I am sure that my son learned his phonics from this toy alone. In addition to being a great phonics teacher, is a great toy for learning letters.
An important language lesson to note before starting this activity is that we almost always receptively learn vocabulary BEFORE we can express it. Think about learning a foreign language. You could probably understand what people were saying in that language long before you could clearly speak the language yourself. Use this language learning knowledge to help your child learn vocabulary rather than stress them out with naming everything. Start with identifying (finding) the letter. When your child is 90-100% accurate then move to naming the letter. Do not overwhelm them with all 26 letters. do 1-5 at a time.
Here’s how I am doing it with my daughter: I sit with her in front of the fridge with several letters in front of us. I started with 1 lettter and am up to 5 at a time. I am using the letters in her name to begin my lessons (since name recognition is very important and usually the first thing that kids learn how to write). Then I ask her to “find E”. If she correctly finds the letter, she can put it in the “device” and press the button and be rewarded with the fun little song. If she does not get it correct I say “try again”.
When she is consistently getting letters correctly I start asking for labels. I start by showing her a letter (one at a time) and saying “What is this?” If she knows, she gets to put it in the device and press the button. If she does not know, it goes back onto the fridge for the “Find….” letters.
This type of learning activity can occur with any letter set that you have. I just particularly like the Leap Frog set because of the song and clear voice.