The Letter Factory

I have heard for some time from a few different moms how helpful the DVD “The Letter Factory” was for their toddlers. Moms that home school and a couple that don’t both commented on either blogs or in person how much their kids loved this video (am I dating myself by saying “video?). We aren’t big on buying DVD’s (read=we don’t buy them at all, really) so I never gave it a whole lot of thought.

Well, we did decide to buy some DVD’s after we bought a portable player for our car when we were driving to Indiana to visit our family. I looked for “The Letter Factory” but the store was out of it when I was there. Since then, we did buy it along with “Talking Words” and “Let’s Go to School” in a three pack because one DVD was $9.99 and the three-pack was $21.00. Ava already knows her letters and the sounds they make, so I was thinking more about Binh at the time. It seems like he knows his letters, but when you asked him to tell you what some of the more obscure one were he couldn’t do it. By more obscure, I mean ones that aren’t in his name etc. He also didn’t know what sounds they make. He knew B because of “Binh” but not a whole lot of other ones. Then, I thought Ava might like the one that is supposed to prepare kids for what preschool would be like.

We’ve had them now about 10 days or so, and both kids love them. The “Letter Factory” goes through the alphabet and explains in a fun way that each letter makes its own special sound. Then “Talking Words” starts putting sounds together to make simple words, explaining vowels and blends. The “Talking Words” is probably their least favorite, but they still ask to watch it sometimes. I’ve heard Binh around the house singing the Letter Factory song..”every letter makes a sound the _____ says _____” (insert whatever letter with its sound there). Like I said, Ava already knew the letters and sounds but she loves the DVD anyway, and I’ve seen her writing a lot more letters. She has started writing letters and then asking if she made a word. I tried to explain how you’re supposed to think of a word first and then try to sound it out to write it, but I’m not sure she totally gets it. I had her think of the word “pop” yesterday and sound out how to write it. She was successful, but I’m not sure she understood how to do that on her own. As a side note, she inadvertently wrote the word “often”! Tee-hee. Complete accident, but it was a word. She does understand that all words have to have a vowel, or “sticky letter” is what the DVDs call them, so she understands words more than she used to. She also loves the preschool DVD that explains how things word at school- raising your hand, recess, lining up, etc.

I think they’ve been great in helping the kids understand some things that they won’t listen to me try to explain. Since I almost always let them watch t.v. while I take a shower in the morning and while I cook dinner, I think these DVDs have been a great buy.

As a side note, Leap Frog, the makers of the DVDs don’t know me from Adam. I just wanted to share that all those other moms were right about how much their kids like and learn from these. So thanks for the good advice. If you’ve got toddlers or are going to be having a toddler soon, I think these are a good investment if you let your kids watch t.v.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 18:52:07

    I think that is the one I got for celie after reading and hearing so much about it. We never made it to the song, I guess. Is it like a story cartoon in the begining? Maybe I got something else. I am going to give it a try again though b/c it CLEARLY is a great DVD. Thanks for the great review!


    • metaphase
      Jul 14, 2010 @ 21:27:23

      Yes, it is all animated and has Tad the Frog going through a factory that makes letters. (Hence, letter factory). My kids love cartoons, so it’s a natural fit.


  2. Tracy @ My Minivan Rocks!
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 02:34:28

    I love these DVDs too. We have all three that you mentioned!


  3. E.
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 12:11:35

    Yes, awesome dvds! Did you get any of the math ones? Most of my kids never were interested in the math ones, but Quinn? LOVES them. He’s already able to skip count to 100 by 10s and to 10 by 2s and to . . . I think 40 by 5s. On the other hand, I let him watch them waaaayyyy to *often*.


  4. Lauren Cristina Vitrano-Wilson
    Jul 19, 2010 @ 03:52:33

    Funny, as I read this I thought, “Wow! I’m at the same level of reading.” I wish they made this for Thai. 🙂 So, exciting to see children learn how to read and the hole world open up to them in this area. I’ll see if I have any Montessori materials on my comp. for you too. 🙂


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