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Monday, February 8, 2010

{Animaletters} Review.

Okay. So if you're like me and either have a child entering {or currently in} preschool soon, or have an even younger one that you just want to get a good head-start on, or even have a child who's a bit behind in their reading abilities, then I have thee product for you!

Meet Animaletters. It is a pre-reading curriculum that parents, teachers & homeschooling professionals alike can use to help kids learn letter sounds and phonemic awareness through multiple tools. They offer not only a book and CD but also a craft kit you can purchase to make those very "animaletters" your child will learn about in the book and/or CD!

Animaletters was created by Ruth Ann Myers and Connie Brady, who have over 15 years of pre-school teaching experience at the lauded Creative Arts School for Youth in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mrs. Myers and Mrs. Brady use the Animaletters program in the pre-school, and "have received rave reviews from parents and other teaching professionals" {you can check their site for parent testimonials!}.

Through this program, your child will begin to recognize letters and their sounds, and do so in a multitude of ways, which only reinforces what they're starting to learn, of course! Here are the 4 steps of the program, according to the website:

"Step 1. Using a template, your child makes an animal-shaped craft out of a letter shape. Step 2. Your child learns the sound the letter makes and the motion associated with the letter. Step 3. Your child sings the animaletter song for that letter. Step 4. Your child engages in activities and games to reinforce the learning of that letter and its sound."

The Animaletters CD contains 27 songs - one Animaletters theme song, along with another song for each letter of the alphabet. The songs are very catchy {trust me!}, and each one contains lots of alliteration {for example, one excerpt from the "G" song is "Golly golly, gee, there's a goose on the loose, a goose on the loose in the grass!"} to really get your child to understand the sound each letter makes.

The Animaletters booklet is spiral-bound {very convenient for little hands to control without the book shutting on them as with spine-bound} and designates one whole page per letter of the alphabet. The letters are shown in capital and small-case, and again in both forms in the shape of the animal that letter represents. For example, "A" is shaped like an alligator - and there are 2 alligators, of course, one for the capital "A" and one for the lower-case "a." Additionally, there is some rhyming text that goes along and tells a little story about that animaletter, as well.

Then there is the craft, in which your child will actually physically make the animaletter they've learned about. So they will not only have the letters to see and look at upon completion of the craft, but they will also use physical movement to be performed as the letter is made, creating a physical memory to link the letters to their sounds, as well! Ingenious!

My own 2yo son received the book and CD when he was just 1, and although he cannot read yet, he does recognize some letters and absolutely loves {and repeatedly sings!} the Animaletters songs! He will be starting preschool this Fall, and I feel great knowing we've gotten him a good head-start with this program!

BUY IT: You can purchase the CD or book for just $12.95 each, or together for $24.95. Or you can purchase the whole kit which includes: CD, booklet, 52 Animaletter templates, Program Instructions, Supply List, Animaletters Motions Guide, & Activities & Games for $116.95.

For more information, visit their site, or email info@animaletters.com.

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