When the chance to review I Can Build Lower Case Letters by Fundanoodle arrived, I was super excited.
Fundanoodle strives to help parents and teachers achieve educational readiness for their children. They offer a variety of fun learning systems to aid your students in motor coordination, eye/hand coordination, problem solving, and more.
We received the I Can Build Lower Case Letters learning system. The system included a magnetic white board with dry erase marker, set of 17 Magnastix magnetic pieces, six gross motor cards, six-sided die, and the I Can Write Lower Case! writing tablet.
I cannot speak highly enough about the quality of these products. Every last item was sturdy and extremely well made. They will last for years. These items might just be the sturdiest product for children that I've ever owned. I'm am not the slightest bit concerned that the board will come apart or the magnets will peel off the backing anytime soon. They are phenomenally made.
The company recommends starting the lessons with a gross motor activity to help prepare the student for writing. Kayleigh has a grand old time playing a game with the gross motor cards. Each card is numbered and has a different animal for the student to act like. Kayleigh rolls the dice and that acts out the card with the corresponding number. With only six cards it can get repetitive. I wouldn't mind seeing the company expand the cards to include more. But you can even make additional cards with your computer if your student doesn't like that much repetition. Lots of fun!
Next Kayleigh and I would work on forming the letters with the Magnastix on the white board. The top and the bottom of the white board are painted green and red, respectively. The green is a reminder to "Go" for letters that start at the top of the green line. The red means "Stop" since most letters will stop at the red line.
We followed the order set forth in the writing tablet, which are sequenced according to a child's development of visual and motor skills. I'd first build the letter on the board for her, using the instructions from the writing tablet, then I'd have Kayleigh build it herself. Max the Monkey has specific terminology on how to form each letter. Things like: zip (straight line) down/across/up, zoom (diagonal) up/down/in, buzz (curve) up/around, etc. These instructions were really fun for Kayleigh to learn and they really helped her remember how to form the letters.
After working on the white board, we'd work in the writing tablet. The writing tablet features the characters Max and Alphie who demonstrate and encourage the student to write the letters correctly. Each page offers the "Go/Stop" visual cues and a spot to put a reward sticker upon completion. My only issue with the writing tablet is that it is a lot of writing on each page, five lines worth, which can intimidate young learners. It did overwhelm Kayleigh.
I tried to have Kayleigh just work on one line per day but she really wanted that sticker ASAP so she insisted on doing the whole thing at once. I also told her she only needed to complete two lines to earn the sticker but she then insisted on doing them all anyway because she didn't want to "cheat." lol I guess those stickers are doing a great job at motivating her.
All-in-all Kayleigh really likes it. On days when we didn't do handwriting, she would ask about it. That rarely happens with Kayleigh so that is high praise. It's definitely a quality product and fun way to learn to write letters.
Age Range: K-1st