As my daughter progresses in her learning we’re always looking for something new to challenge her with. While she might know her alphabet quite well, she’s not really that familiar with the letters or exactly what sounds they make but at three, it’s not really surprising. However age is never really an excuse to simply shy away from something and assume that she’ll just pick it up later. That might very well be true, but I’d prefer to see her be a little bit ahead when she starts school rather than trying to keep up with the other kids.
Having recently picked up a LeapReader Junior for her I’ve had my eyes on the interactive flash cards which are available when suddenly our local Target stores decided to put them on clearance which presented the prefect opportunity to pick them up. The Letter Factory Flash Cards are the ideal thing to get your child started on their way to learning more about those letters in the alphabet they undoubtedly been repeating over and over again. The set of course includes each of the twenty-six letters on individual, double sided cards, but this is more than just a mere flashcard set.
On one side of each card you have the letters doing a variety of comical things. By touching the LeapReader to the card the first result is that your child will hear a short song sang to the tune of Farmer in the Dell which tells them what the letter is and what sound or sounds it makes. This helps them to learn the phonics portion of the alphabet. The second time they touch the card they will hear again what sound the letter makes only this time without the music. Your child will hear this again when they touch the letter a third time only now it relates to the picture shown on the card. The letter A for example is scared, so make an “ahhh” sound.
The revenge side of each card shows the upper and lower case versions of each letter as well as an animal that starts with that letter. They can use their LeapReader a second time on this face of the card and they will then hear the animal as well as its color This might not always be the case however and with zebra they are told that they have stripes while the x-ray finish teaches them that you can see the inside of it.
There is another card included with the set which offers different games to play. Your child can learn to identify both upper and lower case letters. The LeapReader will ask for a particular letter and then your child must locate it in the Letter Factory Flash Cards. They can also play a game where they must find the right letter based on the sound they hear. The final game isn’t one that necessarily teaches child but instead is simply meant to have fun. They will be asked to touch two pictures in the Letter Factory Flash Cards and then a sentence will be formed which uses both of them.
There are only two real drawbacks I found with the Letter Factory Flash Cards. The first is that my daughter grew tired of hearing the letter song although probably not as quickly as I did. Unfortunately the LeapReader uses a pattern where it follows the three variations in order so each time the song will be the very first thing which is heard. My daughter also has a set of Japanese flash cards and while they don’t work with the LeapReader for obvious reasons, what I do like about them is that they have a plastic ring which you can slide the pre-punched card onto and avoid losing them. This really would have been a great addition to the Letter Factory Flash Cards.
While your child might learn about letters here and there from various educational programming on television, the Letter Factory Flash Cards offer them all of the letters right at their fingertips. So far my daughter has bene enjoying playing with them and she loves the animal sides more than the others, but I have noticed that little by little she’s picking up the correct sounds, even those which she hasn’t quite been pronouncing correctly. Most parents will find that the Letter Factory Flash Cards is a great teaching tool and the interactivity between the cards and their LeapReader is just another added benefit.
Mike is the resident reviewer for Couponing to Disney and his own site Underland Online. He has a toddler daughter and is obsessed with Haunted Mansion and all things Disney. You can read Mike’s complete bio here.