Monday, February 22, 2010


We recently got a kids meal for Q at Wendy's across from Walmart while we were waiting on a prescription to get filled. We rarely eat at Wendy's, but I am glad we did! She got the coolest and most educational kids meal toy! It is made by the I SPY people....It's a little box of cards and overlays, and the goal is to match the silhouettes on the overlays with the picture cards.

Did you know this teaches a reading skill, even though there are no words present? It is teaching young children to pay attention to features of forms and shapes....which is absolutely necessary to learn letters and later words. You have to learn that "A" is made up of two slanted lines that touch together and have a straight line across their middle. And you have to pay attention and look for these features so that next time you see two slanted lines touching together with a line across the middle you remember--it's an A!
So working with activities that involving matching is an early step in this process. This game is one of the best examples I have ever seen for a game that teaches shape discrimination!
Right now Q is simply enjoying opening and closing the little container and taking the cards out, which is perfect for a toddler! Later on we will move to actual matching..

So...don't have Wendy's nearby? You can totally make a set like this in Word! Just use clipart to put several little pictures together to make a card in color. Print on cardstock. Then open the picture editing toolbar and change each picture to either "black and white" or "grayscale" and print out on overhead transparency paper. Cut....Presto! (let me know if you need more specific instructions...I'd be happy to help!!)

Here is a link to the I SPY books, which I strongly suggest for prereaders and beginning readers! My 2-year old preschoolers LOVED them and like I said before, they are great for teaching early reading skills! They have a set of board books in the series that are fabulous! just one sidenote...there are a few pages in the books, like the one with clowns, that totally creep me out. Be warned. :) Jk.

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