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We’ve helped our kids to learn letters and sounds in a week by using a simple trick.¬† Getting them ready for Kindergarten is such a wonderful thing because it sends your kids in with confidence, which helps them to feel successful.

teaching letters in one week
disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

When our two-year old started walking towards the store, he looked up at me and said:
¬†“T, tttttt, ¬†A¬†aaaaaaaa, R rrrrrrrr, G ¬†gggggggg, E ehehehehe, ¬†T ttttttt I knew that we were onto something good. ¬†He knew his letters and their sounds, and he had learned them in just one week… less than that, actually. ¬†He had learned them during a long road-trip.

The method that I used is almost too easy to admit because I was a teacher, but it works.  This is the easiest and best way that I have found!

Do you want your kids to learn their letters and words?¬†¬†Be prepared… its a lot of work… ready?¬† ¬† We¬†ordered the movie¬† (seriously) ¬†¬†They are FANTASTIC! All of our kids have learned their letters within about a week watching The Letter Factory (before 2 1/2 years old) while riding in the car!

Picture yourself in the car with the kids (our car trip was a 6-hour ride to Pennsylvania one weekend). ¬†What are they doing? ¬†Watching a show? ¬†Playing a game? ¬†Listening to music? ¬†Talking? ¬† I took this opportunity to show them The Letter Factory¬† ¬†I knew that it was an educational choice, but I didn’t realize how it worked to teach our kids their letters!

I ordered the movie, put it into our car DVD player & that was it. It is a quick show that teaches them letters.  The kids sing along to the letter songs and love to watch it.   I was able to turn a 6-hour car trip into a letter-learning experience, all while keeping him entertained.   From then on, he loved it & asked to watch his letters even during a short 20 minute trip to Target.   It became a mini-lesson that he could watch anytime.

This should not take the place of you working with, reading with, or learning with your child. 

This is not to say that you don’t need to keep practicing and supplementing the DVD. ¬†If you are reading this post, you probably are already invested in your child, so just continue to do what you already do. ¬†Read books, play games, maybe even use¬†flash cards¬†before bed. ¬† This is essentially a DVD that taught our kids their letters & sounds faster & more efficiently¬†than I’ve ever seen.

I had planned on teaching our kids myself, but by a (great) accident, they learned their letters watching a movie.

How to teach kids letters & sounds in ONE week

Here is what I do:  

1. Rent the movie (our library carries these) or buy The Letter Factory (We keep a copy in the car that we bought.  We use it so often that the library would have charged us an arm & a leg in overage fees!)  You can even download the movie onto a Leapster Explorer for a few dollars. 

2. Once I had it, I put it in our car and turned it on whenever we were going anywhere. ¬†Heading on a road trip or vacation? ¬† Perfect timing. ¬† We used it for all of our trips to Pennsylvania to visit family. ¬† A 6-hour car ride is a perfect time to learn your letters… right?

3. At home? ¬†Put the movie in for a little break during the day (it’s¬†only 30 minutes). ¬† Maybe after lunch, for 30 minutes of downtime. ¬†Try this for a week.

4. Use everything as a learning opportunity. If you have on a t-shirt with letters, ask your child to help you name the letters & say their sounds. Tell them the answers (repeat after them if they get it right or help them if they miss it).

5. After they know their letters from the movie, make sure that you either put it on occasionally or review them yourself a few times a week. I picked up a pack of the magnetic letters in the dollar section of Wal-mart and I keep them in a ziplock bag in my “learning organizer” (over the door holder).
I like to put the letters on a magnetic cookie sheet and let the kids manipulate the letters to make words and tell me the sounds.

Learn Letters and sounds

6.  When they have mastered this without a mistake, move onto The Talking Word Factory and Word Caper.  We waited almost a year to do this (our kids learned their letters at two, so we started this next movie around 3 or 3 1/2) and they loved it!

They even have math ones that our kids like to watch (Math Circus is our favorite).

7. ¬†They are never too old for it. ¬†Our kids have Leapster Explorers and they still use them at times (I bought each of them one when the turned two- so its been years). We keep them in the car because then they won’t get lost and they are an easy way to keep them busy and learning in the car if we’re headed on a trip or if we are going to a doctor’s office where they have to sit & wait for long periods of time.

Other Leapfrog movies that we have: The Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, Word Caper, Lets Go To School, Math Circus. I would at least get the first two, without hesitation. You can find them pretty cheap on Amazon.

Good luck!

Sign up for my weekly encouraging tips here – I’ll e-mail you once a week with a fun parenting or teaching tip!¬†


If you are ready for it, I have two more posts that will be helpful, as well:

reading tips for preschoolers

5 non academic skills to learn before kindergarten

If you are ready for the full-on “Get Ready For Kindergarten”, I want to introduce you to my book, ¬†What your child REALLY needs to know before Kindergarten, written by two teachers:

A close up of a stack of children\'s blocks with text above it.

This post contains affiliate links to things that we love & use often.

 

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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18 Comments

  1. We love these Leap Frog movies! Sometimes libraries have them, too. We need to check these out again. Thanks for the reminder!!! ūüôā

  2. I’m a teacher and used the Leap Frog series at home with my children. They are great!

  3. I do use this but not often since I run a preschool. What works just great is
    PreschoolPreco. LOVE these you can get the apps for them too.

  4. I’d much rather spend quality learning time with my preschooler for six months than pop in a DVD as often as possible.

    1. Good point – but I would rather them watch this than other shows that are on TV (plus we save it for our car-rides. Yesterday we had a two hour car trip and this worked out perfectly.)
      PS- It takes about 3-7 days, not 6 months.

      1. Yes, it takes 3-7 days when you listen to the DVD as often as possible. It takes a few months when you take it slowly and mix it with authentic learning experiences.

        1. Yep- that’s why extension activities are always a must, for everything that our kiddos learn, in school or at home (or in the car on a road-trip to PA!) ūüôā

    2. I’m glad you commented this. I was thinking the exact same thing. Maybe doing one on one actually teaching wouldn’t be as quick as a DVD, but my son would have yet another bond with me and we could do it any way that my son is stonger in, since every child has their preferences of learning styles.

      1. I put it on in the car because if they are watching a movie, I would rather it be educational than just a movie. We do several 6+ hour car-ride trips a year, so it really works out well that they are learning while we drive. We also use the National Geographic movies for our older boys.

    3. Glad I found your site. Im a retired teacher that tutors all ages and needed some strategies for my new kindergartener. Can’t wait to use what you suggest.

  5. This looks great! Would this suitable for older kids? I have a 3yr old, turning 4 in 3mths (she’s quite bright, but I haven’t taught her the alphabet sounds yet – I don’t really know how to!). Also my son is 5, turning 6 in 3mths – due to hearing issues (that are currently being addressed with ENT specialist and speech therapy).
    Is this video only for the very young, or do you think older kids will enjoy it (and benefit) from it also? Thanks ūüôā

  6. First off, thank you for sharing. I was on the fence about these DVDs and now I am going to give them a try. I fully understand the need for a dvd in the car. Our girls have sensory issues and a movie in the car distracts them (along with keeping the car sickness aka puking to a minimum lol) So I do the same and try to keep what they are going to watch as educational as possible. Go you for staying positive, even when other parents were not as polite. We all raise our children in our own way. Respecting one another goes a long way. There are way worse things in this world than a mamma who is sharing that she lets her child watch a learning dvd.

    1. Oh I LOVE the DVD’s, seriously! They are our “car videos” for long trips & they work so well.

  7. Becky thank you for your article first of all. I am a preschool teacher and can recognize those kids that get extra help at home,whether it be from an educational video or not, it gives them a stronger start and teaches kids at a younger age that learning can and IS fun. Second, I am curious as to what a “play therapist” is and does. Thank you.

    1. I have a post called Play Therapy ūüôā It explains it in detail. ūüôā

  8. I have 5 year old kids with a soft cleft palate.. and not complete ear plate(only tagskin on both side on the ear part).He had a speech delay and airy sound when he spoke.Really appreciate towards your idea to help my kids on letters and reading in future.