Thursday, March 20, 2008

Product Review: 52 Magnetic Wooden Letters from Rainbow Resource

Actually these wooden letters aren't a newcomer to our homeschool. I had bought a set from a local store back when my oldest was either 3 or 4; but in the last few years, some of the letters had gone missing so I had been looking for a new set similar to what we already had and finally found them at Rainbow Resource. YEAH!!

Here are the reasons we love these letters so much:

1. The 52 Magnetic Wooden Letters are between 1 1/2" and 2" tall. This makes them big enough that I don't have to worry about any younger children choking on them when I'm not looking. (Believe me there are a lot of teeth marks on the first set.) It also makes them easy for young fingers to grab on and manipulate.

2. There is one each of all of the capital letters and the lowercase letters. The letters come in a divided wooden box with uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other side. I have always found it easier to teach the alphabet in pairs. This puts all the letters I need in one place. Since the letters are from the same set the letter colors coordinate, making it easier to find a matching letter when my kids have mastered over half of the alphabet cutting down on frustration.

3. The letters come in 4 different colors: red, blue, yellow, and green. Having each letter pair the same color eliminates a lot of letter confusion. The little b and the little d which my preschoolers commonly mix up are two different colors. When they are matching on their own, the color different helps them self-correct their own mistakes with these letters. I do wish the lowercase d and p were not the same color, but since my kids always spin the letter around anyway it doesn't make any difference.

4. There are two advantages to have the sheet magnets on the back of the letters. First, these magnet do not fall off of my refrigerator every time I open the door (or even when my kids close it too hard). Second, the letters can double as letter stamps on our Fisher Price drawing boards for tracing, spelling, etc.

If I were going to change anything about the letters, I would make the dots on the i and j a little better defined. My only other wish is that the manufacturer had provided a number which could be used to replace individual magnets that are lost. Then I could let the kids play with the magnets whenever and wherever they wanted instead of having them set aside with Nathan's preschool time items. Overall these are an excellent, versatile product that we have enjoyed very much.

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