This whole parenthood/ fatherhood/ motherhood gig has been quite the rollercoaster for my husband and myself. The seemingly never-ending list of chores, duties and responsibilities that have come all tied to this gurgling, chuckling package of our daughter. Above all else, we have felt, first hand, the weight of stewarding her well. That she is first and foremost God's child that He has blessed us to steward and we are learning every single day how to set her environment so that she can encounter God and form good, Godly habits even at a tender age.
Merging learning from play/learning/ development experts, Montessori/Reggio methods and wanting to also have toys that were timeless and pleasing to the eye. I sought out to start a toy collection for our child. Only to realise, there were not many options for christian toys. Which was how we decided to design our wooden alphabet discs: A-Z of His goodness.
Seemingly simple, the possibilities of these discs are endless for open-ended play.
Pull up whatever alphabet mat/ flashcards / books you may have, and get your little one to match the disc to the alphabet. For a more advanced option, get them to match the image side to the alphabet! (eg. Matching angel to A etc.)
2. Letter of the Day
Taking a leaf out of Sesame Street: Pick a letter, and challenge your child to seek out items or words they hear that start with the same letter. Take for example, the letter "C". The corresponding image is a cloud, you could spark conversation by asking questions like,
" Can you see the clouds in the sky? "
"What colour are the clouds today?"
"Who made the clouds?"
Point out objects, words that start with C everywhere you go. Eg. Cars, curtains, caring, cat, careful, chorus etc. Find ways to weave your conversation back to the Creator.
3. Give space for imagination
It is completely normal for children to not engage in the toys in the way you imagine them to. Perhaps they would like to play pretend using these as cookies in their pretend tea time, as coins in their pretend grocery store, or stones in a castle building project or simply to make shapes and sounds by hitting them against each other! Getting them to be comfortable with using these discs in whatever ways they like will eventually open their minds up to the detail of the alphabet and symbolism to show them that in all things, God is right there.
To help you out, here's a free download of the A-Zs we have chosen. Print them up to hang in your little one's room, use them as memory verses or as first steps to exposing your young one to the bible.