I had heard great things about Leap Frog's Letter Factory DVD from a few different people but I wasn't sure that I wanted Z to learn his letter sounds from TV, I am a teacher after all :) I have been working with Z on learning both his letter sounds and lower case letters for most of the summer but we weren't getting very far. We use teachable moments to do this (letters on signs, in books or in his letter puzzle), so please don't think I sit there with flashcards and drill the poor child. He was really struggling with the concept of letter sounds and so I even caved and got him the refrigerator leap frog letters in hopes that they would reinforce what I had been teaching him. He could care less about that toy and only pressed the ABC song button to hear the whole alphabet. Last week I finally decided to give the DVD a try.
It was going to be a birthday gift but I was so tired one day, I took it out to watch it with him (with my feet up). We were both taken in right away by the cute animation and wonderful story. The premise is that Leap and his sister Lily and baby brother Tad are going to help their dad and mom with a big presentation at their dad's letter factory. They are trying to convince a famous author to do a talking alphabet book and Leap's dad says his letters are the best in the world. While the dad shows the author around the factory, Leap and Lily practice for the big presentation. Little Tad is not included (because he does not know his letters) and goes off sadly. It is then that he runs into the professor of the factory who gives him a tour of the letter training facility. Each room is dedicated to a different letter and it is here that they train to make the correct sound.
The movie is only 33 minutes long and so well organized. Four or five letters are introduced at one time (each with a very memorable scene...A is scared by a monster so it says "aaahhhh") and then they are repeated. The professor continues to sing the same song from the refrigerator magnets as well for each letter..."the A says aahhh, the A says aahhh, every letter makes a sound, the A says aahh". After two viewings of this movie (Z would watch it every day if I let him), Z already had half of the letter sounds down. After his third viewing yesterday, he was at his chalkboard "writing" the letters and singing the song for each letter. He points out letters everywhere we go and tells me the sounds. He probably knows 18 out of 26 at this point and loves to talk about this film. He is also playing with the magnets and singing along. It is AMAZING!
Now I am just a mom, sharing this information with you. I have no stock in Leap Frog, nobody asked me to review this DVD, I just LOVE it. If you are hoping to introduce letters or letter sounds to someone you love, I highly recommend it :)
It is still not too late to enter my first ever give away :) Read this post to find out more :)
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