Building Words With Speller Jr.

Learning toys always have room in our home.  With their help, we are able to teach the toddlers new skills without them realizing that they are actually studying.  Learning really doesn’t always have to happen in a classroom setting with only lectures and paper-and-pen tests.


check out my new toy!

One of the most recent additions to our growing collection is the Speller Jr. which I got for a steal at only P200 at a nearby toy store.  It targets skills such as object and word recognition, letter recognition, letter matching, and of course, spelling.   It also teaches sorting and grouping while enhancing concentration and memory.  Since it is a game that can be played solo or in groups, it is also a great tool for teaching the toddlers to take turns and to share.

We are now using it to make our Thursday Talkies sessions more fun. Jakei is still working on mastering identifying the alphabet and building his vocabulary so the Speller Jr picture cards are mainly used for vocabularly building.  Since Jade can already identify all the letters of the alphabet and match similar letters, she’s able to build the words by herself.  We’re able to use the letter blocks and the picture cards to pratice reading and spelling at the same time.



Reading and Writing Books

Right after breakfast, the toddlers started our Thursday Talkies. We started off with a couple of their reading books which I read to them. To check their comprehension, I would ask them some questions after a couple of pages. Jade is usually able to answer my questions while Jakei often just parrots what his sister says.

We then moved on to our workbooks.  I bought three different workbooks fo Jade to use: English Workbook for Kindergarten, Learning Horizons Beginning Sounds, and Little Genius Learning Writing for ages 2-4.  She can already identify all the letters of the alphabet and their corresponding sounds.  She’s able to match the pictures with their beginning letters in The Learning Horizons Beginning Sounds workbook.  She can write yet though so I write letters on sticker paper which she uses to fill in the blanks in some of the activities.   Both the English Workbook and the Little Genius Workbook have great activities for practice writing although the toddlers love the latter better for its colorful pictures. The English Workbook has the most varied activities which include writing skills, phonemic awareness, matching words with their beginning or ending sounds, comparisons, and vocabulary building.

I just usually print out some worksheets for Jakei to do as he doesn’t really have any interest in answering the acivities in the workbooks yet.  He’s quite happy just doodling or smashing crayons onto his sheets of paper. Sometimes, he asks for the Little Genius Workbook and names the pictures he recognizes or asks for the names of the ones he doesn’t recognize.

We’ve been trying to practice his pencil grip but he’s really quite stubborn about it. Since he’s not yet even two years old, I just let him do what he wants anyway.

Spelling Fun

My daughter has now started to read CVCs (consonant-vowel-consonant words such as car, pan, bat) and my little boy can already recognize most of the letters of the alphabet and has quite a rich vocabulary for his age. Modesty aside, I am really proud of how fast their development is.

Aside from avoiding baby talk and encouraging meaningful conversations, my husband and I stimulate their language development by reading with them everyday.  Our toddlers won’t learn much after all if we just leave them with the books to browse.  If we do that, we just might come back to a roomful of torn pages. ^_^

We also provide our toddlers educational materials such as puzzles and vocabulary builders.  Among their favorites is the Vtech Write & Learn Letter Pad and a couple of Joytoy Puzzles. Together with worksheets and books, we use these during our Thursday Talkies.

One of the puzzles that we love to use is Joytoy Spelling Fun which was given as a gift on Jade’s second birthday. The box contains 16 picture puzzles each forming a three letter word.  The puzzles are self-correcting ones so it’s impossible to put together pieces that belong to different words.  The pictures are colorful and very appealing to young children.  I checked the price in a local bookstore and found that it costs only around a 100 pesos.  There is also another set that contains 4-letter-words.  We will be getting one for Jade soon.

 photo spellingfun.jpg

Since Jade already knows all the letter sounds, we have been using these to help her build more words to read.  To challenge her skills even more, I give her a set of three or more words and scatter the puzzle pieces.  She is then to determine which puzzle pieces go together and put them together.  After doing so, we go over the words and read them together.

 photo spellingfunwithjade.jpg

Jakei can already recognize most letters and can also determine which puzzle pieces go together.  He has just recently been able to put three puzzle pieces together all on his own.  Lately, I have been hearing less of “I can’t!” and more of “There! Ta-da!” from my little boy.

 photo spellingfunwithjak.jpg