Alphabet games for kids

Let's break down the title of this page.


Alphabets, games, kids. Don't they all seem to belong to each other? Maybe it's because alphabets are the building blocks of knowledge, but parents have for ages searched for new alphabet games for kids.

Something new, something exciting, something amazing.

Something to make our kids learn the alphabets faster, something to make them learn it better and something to make them smarter in the process.

These are just a few of the demands that some of us parents have these days when we look for things such as alphabet games for kids. But does this quest necessarily serve us and our kids better?

The ABC of it all

Okay, so it's not really the ABCs, but it sounded good, didn't it? Well, without the smart title, here is what you need to know straight up.

Something new

Everyone wants something new. And it's no different when it comes to children's games. Parents are alwasy on the prowl to find that new thing that will win over their kids, keep them busy for a little longer, or make them smarter.

But I have to tell you something here that you might not necessarily want to hear. When it comes to something like the alphabet, there hasn't really been anything new in a while and probably won't be unless there is a big change in education philosophy, methodology, or technology.

So until that happens, do yourself and your children a favor and stick with the tried and true. Not so glamorous, but it works.

Something old

Speaking of sticking to the old, I have to mention this here. It is my firm belief that repetition is mother of all skills (and some knowledge too, that must be memorized by rote method).

These days, I hear too many people ruling out the rote method simply because it was the the way they were taught. And naturally, we tend to think, "Well, things are different now. I want better things for my kids."

Unfortunately, until someone invents a pill that will give us knowledge and skills, rote method is here to stay. It has worked for generations and it will continue to work, simply because that's one of the ways how the human brain is built to learn; by repetition.

Something old, but new

But this doesn't mean that learning the alphabet by rote method requires you to sit your kids down and drill the alphabet over and over again. That might work, but you might notice your kids suddenly developing allergy to learning if you continue this way.

Instead, you can incorporate various twists on the same method. Here are just a few quick ideas:

  • flash cards
  • memory card game (the one where you turn two cards to try and match them; great for learning lower and upper case)
  • making up songs
  • finding people or things that begin with each letter (ideally people and things that the child likes)
  • some TV shows
  • computer games
  • Internet based educational games (see below for some sites that you might find useful)
Even the old alphabet poster with pictures of things beginning with each letter works. They all work, as long as they keep the child interested long enough to get a few glances here and there, and the child is repeatedly exposed to it over a period of time.

Some online game sites for children

Here are some sites that I found to be good for various reasons. Before you bring up the site on your computer and let your children explore it, make sure to go through it briefly yourself first to make sure that there isn't anything there that you don't want your children to see. It's always possible that I missed something.

starfall: A great site for variety of things. My 4 year old loves this site. Need I say more?
noggin: Great site for exploring various other sites, and games.
playkidsgames: Great assortment of math and language games.
nickjr: Not particularly educational in the alphabet game sense, but if your child is into some of these popular shows, they might prove to be a hit.
tvokids: A TV show based on Ontario, Canada. Great assortment of educational games. Again, not too focused in terms of alphabet games, but definitely worth a look.

Keep in mind...

It's not that important to pick sites that are flash and has lots of eye candy. The bells and whistles don't add much to the play experience and learning experience. As long as they aren't plain ol' boring, they'll do. Pay more attention to the kind of games and the concepts they will teach your children.

Remember, we're looking for alphabet games for kids, not games that sometimes have educational content.

Rote isn't bad, just keep it interesting

So in the end, the point comes down to this. Don't frown upon the rote method. I'm not a huge fan of it, but I find myself defending it from many parents simply because they seem to have an unfair bias against it.

Rote method is responsible for a great deal of things that we now possess as part of our knowledge. It is also responsible for giving us the ability and freedom to do more things with increased efficiency, and to learn new things (e.g., addresses, names, phone numbers, directions, faces, routines, tying shoes, riding a bicycle, etc...).

So when it comes to letters, focus on alphabet games for kids that is fun, interesting, and a bit challenging. Oh, also, keep rotating between the games so that they don't get bored and you should be off to a good start.

"Your Baby Can Read"

While surfing through the web, I found this program and remembered seeing commercial for it on the television. I thought it quite interesting and recalled the positive first impression it made on me.

The system seems quite reliable and well thought out. It basically gets the kids to recognize the word as a picture for what it represents. Aside from learning the phonetic rules, syllabication rules, and others, this is what happens when we all learn to read.

When you see the word "dog", you no longer think about what sound each letter makes and recognize the whole grouping of "d", "o", and "g" in that particular sequence as a representation of a thing called "dog".

This site seems to offer a 30 day trial of the program and so I thought that it might be worth checking out.

Get your 30 day trial of Your Baby Can Read.

"education at play"

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