The best way to hold the reading blocks is to hold two adjacent blocks in place with one hand while the other hand turns the remaining block. Holding the blocks like this will keep them in place while children create new words. While the rods can be held by the end balls, the end balls are mainly designed to keep the blocks together on the rod. Since our blocks are made with completely solid wood, versus MDF or plastic, there will be natural variations to the cut of each individual block and how it fits together with its partnering blocks.
A: You can create 60 modern English words with the blocks. Note that this number does not include nonsensical words that can also be created. Nonsensical words are also extremely helpful in teaching children how to decode and blend together letter sounds. Furthermore, exposing children to words both real and nonsensical helps them develop a more vibrant vocabulary base.
A: Absolutely! We only use safe, water-based finish on our beech wood blocks. All of our products go through stringent lab testing to ensure that we are not only compliant to ASTM F963 and CA Prop 65 U.S. Toy Safety Standards, but that we exceed those standards! We are proud to offer a wood toy that is not only safe for your kids, but for the environment.
A: While it is extremely helpful for your child to already know the sounds of the letters of the alphabet, it is not necessary to wait to use these reading blocks. Our Spin-and-Read Blocks come with an accompanying alphabet card that helps guide children on the correct sounds of the letters. Parental guidance in the beginning is helpful for children to see how letter sounds correlate to its written form, and to also see how putting letters together create their own sound. These blocks then reinforce that knowledge and provide endless amounts of practice and exploration through touch, sight, hearing, and speaking.
A: While most children between the ages of 3-6 are ready to fully utilize our Spin-and-Read Montessori Reading Blocks, the awesome thing about these blocks is there are really no age requirements when it comes to learning to read. These reading blocks allow children to learn at their own pace. Once children are taught the sounds of the letters and know how to blend those letter sounds together to make new sounds, they can use our reading blocks for self-directed practice. This enables them to absorb the patterns of reading through observation, instead of memorization.
A: That's a great question! While we recognize the tremendous value fonts such as D'Nealian present for learning writing (as well as being a precursor to cursive), we also recognize that for most of the children who use our blocks, a standard font they are already familiar with builds upon their existing letter knowledge since most children's material today are not in pre-cursive fonts. As our reading blocks are not only strictly used in Montessori circles, we chose a standard "child-friendly" font to allow children from any background or educational philosophy to benefit from using our phonetic reading blocks.
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