Idem Smile’s “ball and stick” Alphabet Rubber Letters can be used to teach phonics and letter names, as well as for building words in teaching, reading, and spelling. Their rubbery texture offers pleasing tactile input.

Before teaching the child to match sounds and letters, see if he can identify the beginning sounds of words. For example, “a” is for “apple”, “b” is for “boy”, etc. Encourage the child to identify the beginning sounds in a number of different words in everyday situations.

You can assist your child with spatial setting out of letters by drawing lines onto which the letters are placed. Draw a line onto which the letters can “sit”, and another line along the top of the tallest letters, and one more line along the bottom of the lowest letters.

Teach your child to match letters: Write the letters, or even write short words, using a font of the same size as the plastic letters. Ask your child to find the letters and to place them on top of the letters that you have written. Matching letters in this way is the first step to learning to recognise letters.

When teaching your child to name the letters, begin by teaching only a few at first. If you try to teach the whole alphabet your child will become overwhelmed. Also, begin by teaching the phonic sound and saying the name of the letter. Some letters have several different phonic sounds. This can be confusing for the child. You could make the task simple by teaching the most common sound first.

1 x Set of 26 Rubber Letters

Age: 4+

Grade: R and 1

Skills: Literacy