With Riley starting school in September, one area of learning that we’ve really been focussing on improving over the summer holidays is phonics. Riley absolutely loves to learn new things and absorbs information like a sponge, but he has poor concentration and a really short attention span, so it can be really hard for us to get him to sit still and “study”.
He has a tactile/kinesthetic learning style, preferring interactive and hands on activities, so when we were offered the opportunity to review the new Peppa’s Alphaphoniccs Campervan, I immediately said yes as I thought this would be a brilliant learning tool for us to use.
Peppa’s Alphaphonics Campervan is aimed at children aged 3+ years and is designed to help them learn the phonetic sounds of each letter by listening and repeating after Peppa. The boys absolutely love Peppa Pig, so I knew the Alphaphonics Campervan would be a hit and as soon as they saw the packaging, they were all over it like a rash. It was out of the box and being played with in a matter of seconds.
All you have to do is press any button to switch the campervan on and then move the sliding selector in the campervan roof from side to side to choose from eight fun-filled spelling and word games.
- Press a letter button to hear the sound and word in the picture.
- Press a letter button to hear the phonetic letter sound and its name.
- Find a character or object.
- Find the first letter of a word.
- Find a letter.
- Spell a word.
- Copy Peppa.
- Choose a button and listen to the sound.
The Alphaphonics Campervan uses 26 alphabet letter keys that light up and flash during use, to act as a subtle guide for children and helping them learn as they play. The eight games have been designed to offer a variety of educational benefits including: helping with early letter and word recognition, learning letter sounds, building communication skills, stimulating senses, encouraging listening and attention and improving memory and concentration skills.
Some of these games are easier than others, but what I love is that for the harder activities like 3,4,5 & 6 there is a built in system to help your child try and find the correct answer.
For example, in game 4 where Peppa asks your child to find the first letter of a word, it gives them 3 attempts to do so. The first time they get it wrong, it gives them a hint by lighting 5 possible correct buttons. If they get it wrong again, it will light 3 possible correct answers. If after 3 attempts they have not found the letter, then Peppa will tell them the answer and show them the correct button.
There is also an ABC button that can be pressed to play the whole alphabet and a repeat button (2 curved arrows) that can be pressed by your child if they need to hear the question again.
Located near to the repeat button are + and – buttons that can be used to increase or decrease the volume of the sound and a musical note button that can be pressed to hear some fun music.
The boys will happily sit and play any of the games, but I am finding the “Copy Me” game particularly useful in improving Riley’s concentration as he really has to sit, focus and pay attention to be able to copy Peppa’s sequence of buttons.
Peppa’s Alphaphonics Campervan is really well made, sturdy and has a chunky design that is the perfect size for little fingers. The slider and light-up keys are really easy to use and there are enough games to keep children occupied and engaged for long periods of time.
My only criticism is that there is no on/off switch. Don’t get me wrong, there is an automatic shut off which switches the Alphaphonics Campervan off to preserve battery life if left idle for about two minutes… However… this feature is rendered useless (in my opinion) if one of the buttons is accidentally pressed by another toy in the toy box because it switches the campervan straight back on again.
That aside, the Alphaphonics Campervan is a brilliant learning tool for developing your child’s vocabulary and language skills in a fun and exciting way and I will definitely be recommending it to other parents of preschool/EYFS children.
Peppa’s Alphaphonics Campervan has a RRP of £19.99 and is available to purchase from Argos.