Parents' Guide to

Montessori Early Reading - Phonics & Rhyme games

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Simple, early reader matching games sparse but solid.

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This digital phonetic object box gives kids easy access to a Montessori reading tool but has a few drawbacks. For kids who know letter sounds, these simple words and images that provide context and cues can help kids put it all together; there is definite value in the idea behind this approach. However, there are a couple of issues: For example, the distinction between the first game -- with its fixed set of only five words -- and the nearly identical but more varied second game isn't clear. Also, kids don't have enough time to hear images' names before being interrupted by a persistent tag begging to be unfolded. Because the words are spoken on the tags, kids never really need to read; it would be nice to have a level or feature where the tag narration could be turned off. For kids who need practice with one-syllable words and would benefit from few distractions, this straightforward approach might be just right.

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