While limiting TV time is important, the time kids do spend in front of the TV can actually be very educational. A wide variety of shows and DVDs are available that focus on teaching kids as well as entertaining them. Here are a list of DVDs that are great for helping kids learn the alphabet and/or phonics.
Photo © TV Teacher
Originally developed to help children with autism learn to write the alphabet, TV Teacher DVDs can help all kids learn to read and write their letters. TV Teacher Miss Marnie uses visual demonstrations along with clever auditory chants to help kids learn to properly form each letter of the alphabet. In addition, viewing kiddos get to see objects that begin with the letter they are learning, as well as see the word for the object and hear Miss Marnie say the word. All of these different learning styles come together into a highly effective teaching tool. Alphabet Beats somes in two seperate DVDs, one for upper case letters and one for lower case.
Photo © LeapFrog
In this installment of the LeapFrog educational series, Professor Quigley, Leap, Lily, and Tad arrive at the magical Letter Factory, where Leap learns about the sounds each of the letters make. Kids love to watch their friend Tad, and the movie contains humor and music as well to help kids learn to love the letters. For children aged 2-5, LETTER FACTORY teaches letters, phonics, and listening skills.
Meet the Letters
effectively introduces toddlers and preschoolers to the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. Each letter is shown and named several times, and the different animations involving each letter serve as memory cues in addition to being fun for kids.
Developed for kids ages six months to six years old, Baby Learns Alphabet and Phonics introduces children to the alphabet and phonics using computer animation and live action footage. The video displays both upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet, along with computer animation, pictures, or live footage of objects beginning with each letter. Letters, letter sounds, and words are spoken by a narrator.
Photo © HIT Entertainment
In this live action program, Barney, Baby Bop, BJ, Riff and their friends learn about animals one letter of the alphabet at a time. The gang starts out with alphabet blocks, then each character takes a few letters and sets out to find an animal that begins with each letter. As they go through the alphabet, the friends talk, laugh and sing about the different animals they discover. At the end, Barney and friends review each letter and animal again.
Sesame Streets All-Star Alphabet introduces children to the Alphabet letter by letter. Costumed letters A (Nicole Sullivan) and Z (Stephen Colbert) host the show from the mall. In between shorts and musical numbers about each letter of the alphabet, "A" and "Z" walk around as pseudo reporters, interviewing adults and children about alphabet related topics and pointing themselves out in store signs.
Photo © Rock 'N Learn
Rock 'N Learn: Letter Sounds colorfully presents each letter of the alphabet along with corresponding letter sounds and words beginning with each letter. After presenting the letters, the DVD puts kids' knowledge to the test with well-developed games that are both entertaining and highly effective.
Huckle Cat and his classmates present the alphabet in 26 charming stories. Each story emphasizes familiar words beginning with each letter.