Before Katie was even born, I’d heard of teaching babies to read using the “sight-reading” method. Basically by regularly and repeatedly showing certain words to your baby (as young as 3 months!) they will memorize them, and as soon as they can speak, you will start to see evidence that they can recognize and read these words at astonishingly young ages.
With 90% of your child’s brain developing in the first 5 years of life, traditional teaching methods for reading almost completely miss that window of rapid brain development. Although Katie is still only 3, I’m starting to realize I’m missing out on some of her easiest learning years, and I’m now freshly inspired to work harder with some of these learning tools.
Intellectual Baby is a leader in developing products to help you give your children this head start on learning through early reading tools! We were sent 4 sets of their MonkiSee Flash Cards to try out with our two girls, (now aged 3 years and 18 months.)
The basic plan for teaching your baby to read is simple. Using these flash cards you can show them a set of words each day, saying each word out loud and then letting your child look at the accompanying picture, they connect it all together. After a week or so of going through the same set of about 15 cards, you can add new ones!
Our girls absolutely love these flash cards. They both get super excited every time I tell them that we are going to “do flash cards.” Our biggest problem with this whole method has to do with the key element: “regular” “frequent” “daily”…you get the picture. I have the hardest time getting sat down every day with them and remembering to go through these on any sort of regular basis.
Even with sporadic use, we’ve seen a huge increase in the girls’ vocabularies because of these cards. While I don’t think they’ve memorized any of the words to be able to actually read them, these flash card sets are an amazing collection of all kinds of words that I wouldn’t normally think of teaching them. Katie was a very early talker and when we introduced these cards to her, she ate them up, absorbing each one and she immediately started using the words in her conversations.
Having a chatty first-born with a big vocabulary has huge benefits for your subsequent children too. At 18 months, Victoria is always talking, and I love hearing their “conversations” with each other. I’m pretty sure Katie understands more of Victoria’s dialect than we do.
The other issue I’ve had with using these cards, especially if I’m trying to sit down with both girls together, is that they want to hold the cards. Victoria is especially a hands-on, let-me-touch-it kind of learner and it can be difficult and frustrating to mama to try to get through the cards with any kind of regularity. If I tell them they can not grab/hold the cards, they quickly lose interest in the whole project, which obviously defeats the purpose, so I’m learning to live with my little grabbers.
That said, most of the issues we’ve had have been entirely on our side, (my laziness, their grabby-ness) and the quality of these flash cards are amazing. They have survived some pretty brutal treatment in our household so far…they are thick, sturdy, and well-coated, so even getting chewed on occasionally hasn’t harmed them!
I love the huge size and big font that makes it easy and eye-catching for little ones. The pictures are simple but real-life photographs, not drawings, making them more recognizable for little eyes.
I recently learned that whole-word reading DVD’s are also available from Intellectual Baby, which would help solve some of our issues, (especially the grabbing one!)
Each pack of 40 flash cards is $16.95, DVD’s are $19.95, and you can save on those prices by getting bundles or purchasing one of their huge Reading Kits.
Right NOW you can win 2 sets (of your choice) of the MonkiSee flash cards during the Shake Rattle & Roll Event!
Head on over to the giveaway post to enter, now through June 5!