BOSTON, Mass. – August 24 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — According to the U.S. Department of Education, if children begin kindergarten already knowing the names of many letters, they will master reading more easily. The recognition of letters, knowing their names, and associating letter combinations with the sounds of spoken words are precursors to the development of reading skills.
At Baby Bird Productions childsafe online shop there are now colorful T-shirts, sweatshirts and gifts that can actually help young children learn their ABCs and learn to spell simple words in novel ways. These “A, B, Tees” offer several alphabets, including an animals alphabet and an alphabet of healthy foods. Most clothing comes with fully illustrated alphabets on the front and matching word lists on the back. They’re fun for children to wear and especially useful for parents to wear, too. Every time children look at mom or dad they’ll see the alphabet and reinforce their ABCs effortlessly. This unusual approach to the alphabet lends itself to all sorts of spelling and reading games, as well, and the Baby Bird shop features many spelling game suggestions.
All of Baby Bird Productions’ designs, including the new alphabet series, are the creations of Barbara Freedman-DeVito, an experienced artist, teacher, children’s librarian and professional storyteller. “Learning should be a natural part of everyday life – spontaneous and fun, not dull or tedious,” says Barbara. “Positive learning experiences at an early age make learning exciting, an opportunity for discovery and feelings of accomplishment. Self-affirming early learning experiences help children start school with more positive attitudes that may affect their success in school… and in life.”
It’s not just a question of attitude, but also of measurable skills. To quote the U.S. Department of Education, “Children who had certain early literacy knowledge and skills (e.g., could recognize letters of the alphabet…) when they entered kindergarten demonstrated higher reading proficiency in the spring of both kindergarten and 1st grade…”. The National Institute of Health states that at least 95%, even of the poorest readers, can achieve grade level reading proficiency if taught the relationships between letters and sounds.
Barbara has developed “A, B, Tees” to make learning an adventure. In addition to putting alphabets on clothing, she’s also put them onto gift items such as totebags (where else to store alphabet blocks?) and throw pillows. There are also “Animal Magnetism” alphabet refrigerator magnets. Each magnet has one letter and animal picture on it. They can be lined up on the fridge and used to help young children spell their names or simple words, and offer an amusing alternative to alphabet blocks.
“Our alphabet clothing and gifts are bright and colorful. They are meant to stimulate children to learn and practice their ABCs and spelling in unexpected settings and at unexpected moments, to make learning a part of everyday situations such as sitting on mom’s lap looking at her T-shirt or playing with refrigerator magnets at breakfast time. Learning is a key part of life and there should be no arbitrary boundaries between daily life, learning and play.”
Towards this end, Barbara also writes and illustrates original children’s stories which are available in the CD part of her online shop. These include two animated alphabet-learning stories, “Creatures in the Cupboard,” which features a parade of funny monsters, and “Alphabet on Stage,” which presents one performer for each letter of the alphabet.
The U.S. Department of Education states that “Children from a ‘literacy-rich’ home environment (i.e., those who are read to, sung to, and told stories to more frequently and those who have more children’s books, records/audiotapes/CDs in the home) demonstrated higher reading knowledge and skills than other children.”
“A, B, Tees” alphabet designs, other clothing and gifts, plus the alphabet and story CDs, can all be found at Baby Bird Productions’ online shop: www.cafepress.com/kidscdsandstuff.