I can remember volunteering in Michael’s  kindergarten class as they were learning the alphabet.

They sang the  alphabet song.

They played some instruments as they sang the song.

The teacher wrote the letters on the board and the children would yell out which ones they were.

There is no question that they were learning well.  In the “big ” or capital form.

The harder concept is to learn their counterpart called the “small” letter or lower case.

These lowercase letters are challenging.  Probably because their shapes are so different.

I know they usually appear on the charts, next to their capital counterparts. But sometimes that is not enough for your child to learn them and their sounds well. That’s especially the case for a child with special needs.

Elizabeth, who has sensory processing disorder ( SPD) and Dyspraxia, struggled to learn to talk at all.   So making any sound for her was hard let alone trying to learn the exact sounds of each individual letter in the alphabet. And then learning their lowercase counterpart.

When we were at the point where we could teach these alphabet sounds, we read to her, used picture books and the old chalk board and chalk.  I think this was because we noticed she liked to have something to manipulate as she learned.  And because she is a visual learner, meaning she needs to see something to learn it well versus just hearing it.

So  we used magnetic letters.  They were really a good fit for her because she could see them, manipulate them and we could teach her the sounds with both upper and lower case letters while making it fun and easy.  You can pair them up.  Talk about them and practice sounds

You can even do a quick matching game of the upper and lower case letters. Maybe put three upper case and three lower case near each other and teach which ones go with which.  Then help your child do it themselves.

Even the manipulating of the letters is good fine motor work for your child, which makes this even better.  Such as when you can place the letters and numbers in a pile and ask them to find a certain one.

So these Magnetic letters and numbers have many fun and therapeutic uses.

I can remember my brother coming over and seeing the one side of the refrigerator loaded with magnetic letters and the other side only have a few scrambled ones on it.  He laughed and asked why.  I told him that one side was our work side and the other was the side we stored them on.  He then asked how did I ever clean the front of the refrigerator and I must say I did not have a direct answer for that one 🙂

The thing is, Elizabeth really enjoyed this type of learning.  For those who follow our story this was a time of her life when we were indeed learning about her and how she worked.  So pretty much, things were new to us as well.  So I am sharing what we learned on our journey here.

Now with all of us pretty knee deep in the school year, magnetic letter and numbers can really be a fun, easy and doable thing to augment school learning.  So take a peek at our site for our magnetic letter offerings.  They come in a nice case to store them in if you need to ( or to clean your refrigerator)  so that you do not find a capital “E” under your refrigerator like we did. ( It was actually a “Q” )

I wish everyone a safe, fun and memory making Halloween. And a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”