Saturday, July 25, 2020

Learning Through Meaningful Play with the Russian Alphabet Puzzle

As a disclaimer here, I am not following any tried and true advice regarding bilingual education or any experts on linguistics. I am simply following my child. And for now that is enough of a fun and enriching journey.

I understand that there is so much to a language than the written words themselves. There are contexts, subtexts, intonations, etc. My focus now is to enable my child to read books that he might find interesting. We are a long way from that in any language, but I think finding a fun way to introduce specific letters might be the way to go for my child.

My child is no stranger to alphabet puzzles and had received an English alphabet puzzle for a birthday gift. I wanted him to find both the English and the Russian alphabets familiar because he enjoys being read to in these two languages already. And so my search began.

After window shopping on Etsy, I came across this puzzle from BabyGiftBusyBoards. I loved the fun colors and decided to order it. The puzzle looked like it was made with a toddler or preschooler in mind. The letters are easy to handle for hands that might have fine motor control and dexterity, but still have undeveloped control required for writing.

I was very happy to find a Russian alphabet puzzle with carefully designed letters that were easy to read while also easy for small children to handle. This is easier said than done. The Ё and the Й letters are fundamentally challenging due to the level of detail. I loved the way that the artist incorporated these details into the puzzle.

So far, my child has enjoyed learning about the different sounds that each letter makes. He has completed the majority of the puzzle and I hope that he soon learns that he too can read connected letters that comprise words. But that will have to be a story for another day.

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