How to Build an A is an ideal book for tactile (or kinesthetic) learners. Tactile learners learn best by doing. This hands-on book teaches the alphabet through fun illustrations of each letter and by encouraging kids to build each letter using the 11 foam shapes.
The foam shapes are safety-tested EVA. While my son (age 14 months) tried to grab and eat the pieces, his older playmate (3 years old) happily constructed letters with the help of his mother. This is a great book for 3 & 4 year olds who may lack the dexterity to write all of their letters but who are ready to learn the alphabet.
I would warn moms to be careful to store the pieces in the mesh bag that comes with the book after each use as all 11 pieces are required to construct the full alphabet. If you’re prone to losing things, you may want to buy a second copy. How to Build an A is available for $11.67 at Amazon.
The LeapFrog – Letter Factory DVD is a joy to watch. Tad, from the popular LeapFrog series of toys, tours a Letter Factory and learns that each letter of the alphabet makes a sound. Each letter is taught through an imaginative visual presentation and a catchy song. For example, the M says mmmm, so Tad and the M letters eat yummy cupcakes….”mmmmm.” The T tapdances, the Q quacks like a duck, the D drums, and the S sounds like a snake.
This phonics program will appeal to both auditory and visual learners. I enjoy watching this DVD with my son since it is so interactive. He dances to the songs and makes the sounds for the letters. We’ve been watching this DVD a few times a week for the past month, and I’ve noticed that my son now makes some of the letter sounds unprompted when I read him an alphabet book.
* Disclosure: Mamanista received sample copies of the products reviewed here.