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I've had these cards for a couple of years now and call me a pushy parent, but I really want my little girl to read early and understand her letters and what words they make. I hold the philosophy that the sooner you start teaching them, the better. I have heard that children learn better when they can see a combination of shapes, letters and pictures as well as the word to accompanying them so I was quite excited to start playing with the cards and make learning a fun thing for us to do during regular play time.
At first I was purely using them as flash cards and just showing them to my little girl now and again to see the letters and start to become familiar with them. They have nice pictures on them as well so it was a bit like looking at a story book.
These cards are from The Early Learning Centre and I think they are really well made. They are just made of flexible paper but they have a wipe clean surface to them so they are shiny and fairly robust although most of our have creases and a few rips in them after playing with them for a few years now. The box they come in is only thin cardboard so its almost fallen apart now which doesn't keep the cards very protected either.
The cards cover all 26 letters of the alphabet and what I like about them is that on the front they have a word beginning with that letter and also a picture of a word. SO for example, on the front of the k card is the word kite and then a nice picture of a colourful kite. On the back of the card you will find the letter k written in dark black and then underneath there is just a dotted line outline of the letter k which allows your child to write the letter themselves and get practise at writing it because the pen marker can be wiped off over and over again to allow them to do it again. The cards come with a wipe clean pen which is handy. What I like is that most of the letters features pretty common first words that a child should learn such as e for elephant, o for orange and r for rabbit to name but a few. All the letters are written in lower case letters.
On the back of the box The Early Learning Centre give you some advise for ways to play with these cards. They say, "first, teach your child how to write each letter by following the arrows on the grey dotted lines. Next, ask your child to trace the letter underneath by following the black dotted lines. Finally teach your child to write the whole word on the back of the card. The photo will reinforce and speed up your child's learning process."
If I remember rightly this set cost me just £4 from The Early Learning Centre and is a great way of introducing the alphabet.
Big, bright flashcards showing the letters of the alphabet.