Monday, 25 March 2013

Alphablocks Phonics First Steps DVD review

We were sent an Alphablocks DVD to review from Abbey Kids and I couldn't wait to receive it as I am a big fan of the show. We are a bit late with this review due to the distraction of the arrival of baby brother but my 3 year old has been enjoying this a lot over the last few weeks! It's provided a great distraction for my daughter for those inevitable moments when mummy has been a little bit busier than usual... and as she's learning while she's watching I am not left with the guilt factor!

If you haven't seen Alphablocks before, it is a fantastic learning cartoon which helps children learn phonics. The Alphablocks really make learning letter sounds fun and show children how to put sounds together to form words. It is all done in an entertaining way so kiddies don't even realise they are learning, which is the best way I think!

Each Alphablock character is a different letter and makes it own sound in clever ways, for example letter 'm' is a chef who likes to say "mmmmmmmmm" and 'd' loves to "d d d d d drum". The characters use a lot of aliteration when they talk to really hammer in their individual letter sounds. When the letters come together and hold hands they each make their sounds and the join them up to form the new word. My daughter will really happily sit and watch it and it really helped her pick up her letter sounds at a young age. She's 3 and a half now and is starting to put her sounds together (to mummy's amazement) to read simple words like dog, cat... and activities like this really help.

Phonics didn't exist when I was learning to read, so a lot of parents won't really know how to get their children started on it. I have an ex-primary school teacher mum who pointed out to me early on I was doing the sounds all wrong when teaching my daughter the alphabet! The DVD includes a Parents Guide which gives some helpful tips.

The DVD is fantastic and has episodes a plenty, you get a really long run time so you really won't feel short changed. The episodes are great fun and Squiggle would happily watch the whole thing in one go but I have been breaking it down into a few episodes at a time to help her take it all in. A couple of the episodes even had her laughing out loud, and she'll happily watch her favourites over and over.

The DVD also comes with a great poster which she has put up in her bedroom and is a great way to introduce little games and practice sounds away from the programme.

We will be getting a lot more use out of this DVD for a while but I will eventually be buying the next volume in the series to keep up the good work!

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