Every once and a while on Stir Crazy Moms we come across resources that are incredibly helpful to us as moms. Even though these resources are not local, we still want to pass them on to you!
What it is: Starfall is our most recent find. It's a website with free ABC activities to entertain your toddler while teaching them a little about letters and phonics. While there are different levels on the website to introduce all aspects of the reading process, with my toddler, we just look at the ABC section. You can click on a letter and it takes you through several activities and screens based on that letter. Usually there is some entertaining animation involved.
What we liked: My son has found Starfall very entertaining. His current favorite letter right now is "H" with a picture of a helicopter on that page. Through this site my son has had practice with letters and sounds as well as learning to independently follow the instructions of the activity. He also receives beneficial motor skills practice as he learns how to use the mouse to click on the various parts of the page. The pages are simple enough that, with practice, my son can now click through the majority of the letters without needing help, complete simple letter activities, and go back to pages he especially likes and doing them again.
**In addition, they also have pages you can print out for your older toddler to practice writing letters in the alphabet. As a teacher, I can see that the website would also be a great resource for use in the classroom with certain students.
What we would change: It is complex enough that it was not an immediate independent activity for my son. We had to teach my two year old son how to progress through the letter pages and use the mouse itself. However, for younger children Starfall could be an activity that you can do with your child to expose them to letters and sounds.