“ Brand: VTech / Age: 2 Years+ / Type: Learning Toy „
I bought the Alphabet fun desk for my daughter for Christmas. She had had the Vtech phonics toy but had outgrown it – time to upgrade! The alphabet fun desk is big and chunky and is sturdy enough to withstand the kind of treatment 4 year olds subject them to! It has a carry handle in the back so that your child can carry it easily as it is quite large. It has a keyboard with large buttons that are easy for a child to press; this goes in the order of the alphabet with 4 shape buttons at the end. Each key has the letter plus two words beginning with the letter plus a picture of each word. For example – a, ant, ape. The space bar is replaced with a big help button and there is a music and repeat button on either side. The screen is a LCD and the contrast can be adjusted to get the best picture. There is also a numerical pad that integrates up, down, left, right and enter. There is also a mouse that is attached to the desk. The wire for the mouse is tucked into desk and the mouse has magnets on it to keep it in place when not in use. Activities Here are 22 different activities to do which are brilliant because they cater for different age ranges and abilities. Letter Sounds – the child is asked to choose a letter key and the computer will say the sound of the letter, good for children just learning phonics because they associate which sound goes with which letter. Find it – the child is asked to find the letter corresponding to the letter sound that the computer makes, a correct answer gets a lot of praise! Learn the letters – the child is asked to pick a letter then the computer will say what the letter is and the sound of that letter. The screen shows the letters as the computer says the sound. Learn the words – the child is asked to pick a key and the computer will say what words this letter is for, for example, n is for nest. The graphics show what
the words are although they are quite hard to make out on some letters. Beginning sounds – the child picks a key and the computer tells the child what the beginning sound of the word is, for example e is for elk. Ending sounds – as above but the computer says the ending letter of the word Alphabet Order – this will give the child 3 letters with the middle one missing – the child will be asked what the missing letter is. For example h?j the missing letter is i. Sounds of words – this spells out the sounds of the word – for example fan is f-a-n. Very good for when your child is just learning to read as it helps with understanding how words are made up. Spelling – teaches the child how to spell. The computer asks the child how to spell a word and will ask the child to put in the correct letters. Word scramble – this gives the child the letters for a word and the child has to put them in the correct order. Word families – this gives a word e.g. van and asks the child to pick out words that match like man and can. Alphabetizing – this asks the child to put words into alphabetical order – quite advanced and more for an older child Sentence maker – this gives the child a sentence and then removes a word and asks the child to find the word. This can be quite laborious because the screen is so small it can take ages for the sentence to move across the screen. Sentence scrambler - asks the child to put the words in the correct order to make a sentence. Sound match – this gives the child a picture on the screen – for example an ape – and makes the sound an ape makes – the child then has to say which letter ape begins with. Mouse skills – shows the child how to use the mouse with different activities. Where is it? – This teaches the child about positi
ons of things. For example left, right, below, above etc. Numbers and shapes – when the child presses a number of a shape the computer tells the child what it is. Number order – this teaches the child about number order and how to count. The child is asked to put numbers in order – 1,2,3. How many – this gives a number of shapes on the screen and asks the child to put in the correct amount. The shapes can be confusing though on the screen. Addition - starts the basics of maths with simple addition that uses numbers as well as shapes to add up. Subtraction – as above but subtraction. All in all, this computer is a brilliant toy. It helps your child learn the basics of how letters look and sound, right through to sentence making. It also helps with concentration as the computer plays a tune between each task. It also builds the child’s confidence because when they get correct answers praise is heaped onto them. The age range for this computer says 5 – 9, (but I think that you could go as low as 2) and I would think that my daughter would use this up to that age easily. In fact had I have known about this I would not have bothered getting the Vtech phonics toy but would have gone straight to this. It is expensive at £36 but it should last 4-5 years and your child will have lots of fun using it, whilst learning at the same time
We bought a talking little smart alphabet desk last year as a Christmas present for one of my little girls. The alphabet desk teaches the phonic alphabet with a clear English voice, and includes letter sounds and names, beginning letters, word sounds. Simple spelling and word construction. On each letter pressed the sound will change by selecting one of the five fun activities. There are also four songs that come with this desk which are: the alphabet song, old McDonald had a farm, alouette, and the teddy bears picnic. Your child can only learn from this teacher/toy. Volume control has two levels and an off switch, and a repeat button
I'll be honest - I love car boot sales, and this was one of my best purchases! It's great for toddlers to play about with and listen to the different sounds, but even better for pre-schoolers to learn the alphabet on. It has six different functions - you can press a button and see what it does, or it will ask you where certain letters are, or what comes before another letter etc. There's also a facility where it will ask you to find a letter and then spell out the word that goes with it. There's a battery save facility too - so if the little ones haven;t jumped all over it for a couple of minutes, it will say bye-bye and turn itself off. As with all electronic talking toys, it has an annoying American tone to it, but I've yet to find a toy that hasn't! I think it costs around £30 - £35 when new, but I bought it for less than a £5.