Why My 4 Year Old Loves Critter Cards

My daughter, like many four year olds, is filled with a burning desire to learn about the world around her. She is curious about pretty much everything and asks hundreds of questions a day. It is both delightful and exhausting, and it also usually involves hours of clean up on a daily basis! As a parent, one of my main responsibilities is to teach her important skills while still fostering her love of learning. This can be difficult when it comes to reading – although she is an eager learner, she is high energy and has difficulty focusing on structured activities that require sitting down. While she could play in the yard or build legos for hours, it is difficult to get her to focus on learning her letters and phonemes (sounds) for a sustained period of time. I want her to learn how to read without it being a stressful experience for her. Above all else, I hope that she will share a life-long love of reading with me – what better pleasure is there than cozying up with a good book and a cup of coffee in the morning? One way to create this love of reading is to teach her reading skills while keeping it fun and exciting for her. I have found that Critter Cards is the perfect solution for this – she connects with the animals and the cards, and learning the phonemes (sounds) and letters is a game to her, rather than work. The Critter Card reading and spelling games can be played anywhere, and for just a few minutes at a time. You can adapt all the games and activities to match your child’s attention span, as well as your child’s current reading abilities. Every week, we pick which wall sized Critter Cards are going to go up in her room – I let her choose, and she enjoys getting to decorate her room with her animal friends. The Critter Cards also break down the very intimidating process of learning to read into small segments. I can see my daughter get overwhelmed when she looks at a book or poster that shows all the letters of the alphabet. Because each Critter Card represents only one letter or spelling pattern, she doesn’t experience that same feeling of overwhelm, and is able to focus on learning to read for a longer period of time. An activity that engages my daughter, helps her learn to read, and doesn’t require much clean up on my part – sounds delightful to me!

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