Sunday, October 11

A Relation Between Letter Reversal and Toys

In today's toy market, toy makers try to encourage parents to buy "educational" toys for their young children. Often times parents may choose a toy because it has lettering or numbering in hopes that early exposure will benefit their child. Margaret Homfray, a Montessori educator, spoke about an exisiting relationship she sees between many of these "educational toys" and the problem of letter reversal among children.

Margaret states that these toys with lettering actually can create more confusion for a young child then they do providing a learning experience.

Using these types of toys allows the child to become too accustom to seeing letters sideways, upside down and reversed to the point that they are unable to distinguish between correct positions, which can lead to letter reversal in writing.

So, what is the best way to have letters available to a child? Margaret states that a parent would be better off having the letters written beautifully in a fixed position where the child can see them modeled the correct way.

(The link to the Margaret Homfray's videos are located at the side of this blog.)


jojoebi said...

I totally agree with this idea, I think that kids need to know the letters before given these kids of toys, they do have their benefits but the child should already know the letters before they fish for them etc. Then they can be used for word building. Another case of too much too soon. Thanks for posting about it.

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I wish I would've known about this 3 years ago. M learned his ABCs with his foam bath letters at a very early age - we were so amazed and proud, etc. However, I have noticed quite a bit of confusion since then in just the way described. I have my work cut out for me with trying to help him "relearn" them the correct way. Any advice on how to go about this without causing more confusion?

Susan Dineen said...

I enjoyed reading your article on The Wonder Years. My daughter and I recently launched, an activity resource for parents contributed by Montessori experts for children ages infant to 5. The free site provides parents a simple, daily activity suggestion based on the age of their child. Activities begin with simple sensory experiences for infants and progress to more challenging ones for pre-kindergartners. Pleas visit the site and share with your friends!