I have written before about how we feel it is very important that we read to both Oliver and Leo. It would also stand to reason then that we would also feel that it is important for Oliver to read himself, which we do, so you can imagine our delight when the people behind the Alphablocks Reading Programme wanted me to review the programme.
For those that aren’t in the know as it what Alphablocks are here’s a summary. Alphablocks started life as a five minute TV show on CBeebies and has been running now for a few years teaching kids in a fun way the alphabet and also how to spell various words from Tree to Beekeeper. The Alphablock characters are the letters of the alphabet each with their own personality and obviously the sound of that letter. Alphablocks also feature on the CBeebies Playtime app.
When the programme arrived the size of the box surprised me it was a lot bigger then I expected and when we opened it up we were greeted by 15 magazines and a whole host of accessories and helpful bits and pieces to make the most use of the magazines and to help Oliver learn to read.
When we showed Oliver he squealed with excitement as he loves the Alphablocks characters from the CBeebies app and TV series and recognised them immediately and as once he realised that there were parts of the programme to play with as well he wanted them all opened up.
The programme is split into three sections which are beginners, follow on and finally reading themselves and due to Olivers age I will be focusing on the first section and the parts included.
We started on the evening the parcel turned up going through the first few pages of the first magazine and the first letter in the whole programme is S which I feel is perfect, it’s probably one of the easiest sounds a child can say, if you are familiar with the ling6 sounds you will know it is also one of the most common sounds we make when we speak as well, it is also one of the easiest shapes to recognise and eventually write for a young child.
In the first magazine each page is a letter and as I previously said this began with S. Each page is split in too a few different areas most starting with getting the parent to pronounce the sound and then encouraging the child to repeat it back to them and then encouraging the child to try again and again until they grasp the letter. Also on the page is somewhere where the child can practice writing the letter similar to how they do in school, or did in my day. This is fantastic as Oliver can now write a rough S shape on a piece of paper and recognise it enough to say the it back to us. We’ve also noticed that he has also picked up the letter O from his name and is now signing pieces of art work with O.
The programme is priced at £30 (at time of writing this blog) which in my mind is a fantastic price for what you get and also for the fact that we’ve proved it works with Olivers development with his reading in the last two weeks since we’ve had the programme.
The only gripe we have with the programme is that there is nothing to store the magazines in once you dispose of the packaging it is delivered in so a binder or other similar would be a nice addition to what is a fantastic thing.
For more info on the Alphablocks Reading Programme or to purchase it click here