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2014 Awards
VTech Lil' Speller Phonics Station
( Vtech $25 Score: )

Learning letter names and the sounds they say is an interactive game with the letters in the carry case that fit into the board and speak. That is just one level of play. Kids can spell hundreds of three letter words and hear them said or they can hear a word and find the letters to spell that word. This is a game for the beginning reader. We like that the toy uses lower case letters since that is what beginning readers need to learn to recognize and read. Often kids only know upper case letters and have to relearn the names of letters in their lower case form. The toy is marked for 3-6 and we would say that most 3's are not ready for most of the skills on this toy. That said, it can be a fun toy for preschoolers who are getting interested in letters and words—not being pushed into reading. This is very much like the original Leap Frog phonics toy introduced several decades ago. It was a good idea then and still a good idea for a new crop of pre-literate children who are ready and eager to become literate.

Reinforcing sounds and shapes they can hold in their hands and touch give young learners double sensory feedback to help them master the names, sounds, and shapes of letters. Making letter play appealing, this format allows children to play solo as well as with an adult. Use the letters for spelling their names as well as the words in the program. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on

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