|Brand Name||Learning Resources|
|Item Weight||14.8 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||2.5 x 7 x 11 inches|
|Item model number||LER0589|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
|Number of Items||1|
|Manufacturer Part Number||LER0589|
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Learning Resources Phonics Cubes Class Set, Set of 18
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- Foam cubes are quiet and easy for little hands to use
- Learn letter recognition and start building simple words
- Set of 18 cubes includes lower alphabet cubes (4 blue consonant cubes and 2 red vowel cubes)
- Also includes yellow word families cubes (3 each of two and three-letter word families) and green blends cubes (4 beginning blends and 2 ending blends)
- Ages 3+
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Kids reinforce letter recognition and learn to build simple words by tossing these soft and quiet alphabet cubes. Complete set of 18 cubes includes lower alphabet cubes (4 blue consonant cubes and 2 red vowel cubes), yellow word families cubes (3 each of two and three-letter word families) and green blends cubes (4 beginning blends and 2 ending blends).
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The good: this set is reasonably priced, and a pretty good deal over buying them separately (at the time that I bought them, each 6-cube set was about $13, and the combined set was $27, so one dollar more than buying 2 of the 3 sets). You can use them to make simple words with preschool/pre-k kids using the alphabet or 2-letter word families cubes, or you could use them with much older kids to prompt rhyming or alliterative activities with the blend and word families cubes. The size is easy to use without being a choking hazard like smaller hard dice, and the material is such that smaller kids won't hurt each other rolling them--and they can be easily cleaned with soapy water at the end of the day. With a little creativity, these could be used in any class from pre-k through middle grades language arts classes (6th or 7th, in my opinion). These things make them a worthwhile investment for schools, teachers (even those who may have to shift between grades), and homeschoolers.
It'd be nice to have more variety in the word families cubes, or to have a second set for further word-building. Or some blank cubes I could use to make my own. I'll probably wind up doing just that, but it's a shame they won't match. The letters are just printed on, but I'm not sure how to take them off without damaging the finish on the cubes, so I won't just buy another set and paint on those. Likewise, the blend cubes could do with some variation, and I'd appreciate a second set of these as well. I also found myself wanting to make 3-letter words with the alphabet cubes only to find that the letter I was looking for to end the word was on another face of the cube I'd used to begin. A second set would solve the problem, which would make buying another Class Set worthwhile, if I could figure out how to remove the paint without damaging the cubes. I'm going to get some Goo-Gone the next time I go to the store, and I'll report back with results. Finally, they have an odd smell when you first unpack them; like many synthetic products. Let them air a day or two and it should be fine.
Of all of these sets, I'm most disappointed in the blends set. There are 3 duplicated sounds on the ending cubes, meaning that instead of 12 final blends you get only 9, and one of the cubes actually has the same blend twice, which is pretty pathetic. You get ft, lk, lt, mp, nd, nk, nt, sk, & st. A cursory Google search offers sp, lp, ld, ct, pt, lf, rt, rk, ng, rd, tch, sh, th. Which brings me to the initial blends--obviously there's a bit of overlap, but I feel the omission of the ch/sh/th/wh is a gross oversight. There are 2 duplicates on the initial cubes, or 3 if you count the fact that st is on the final blend cubes twice and on the initial blend cubes once.
For a total of 36 cube faces in the blend set, you only get 30 different blends. If it were up to me, there'd be 2 final blend cubes, a shared cube that could be used for all 6 sides in either final or initial position, and 3 more initial blend cubes. I'd make the final cubes ft/mp/nd/ng/nk/nt and ld/lk/lt/rd/rk/rt, the shared cube ch/sh/sk/sp/st/th, and the initial cubes bl/cl/fl/gl/pl/sl, br/cr/dr/fr/gr/pr, and sc/sm/sn/sw/tr/wh. Strangely enough, this setup would cover all of the most common blends, omitting only a few that already weren't in the set to begin with for final blends (lp, ct, pt, lf; you'd have to use a t from the alphabet set to make tch), and dropping the tw in the set for the more useful wh.
Despite my complaints, the Class Set is still a very worthwhile purchase, and although I've only had them a short time, I already feel like they're money well spent. I'd highly recommend picking a set up if you teach young children (at home or at school), if you need a homework aid to help reinforce phonetics, or if you're a middle-grade language arts teacher. For now, I'll give this 4 stars: it's a solid product with only minor flaws, and it provides a fun way to practice various phonetic skills.
Lowercase alphabet cubes (blue for consonants, red for vowels)--4 consonant cubes with some repeating letters, 2 identical vowel cubes: b/c/df/g/h; j/kl/m/n/p; q/r/s/t/v/w; x/y/z/s/t/d; a/e/i/o/u/y; a/e/i/o/u/y
Word Family (yellow) set--2 cubes with 2-letter families, 3 cubes with 3-letter families: ar/at/ow/ug/ig/ip; en/ed/op/am/ug/un; ag/ap/ot/ay/an/ad; and/one/eat/ace/ave/ink; ine/ame/ail/ake/ate/ear; ack/ing/ain/are/ick/ore
Blend [or consonant cluster] (green) set--4 cubes with initial blends, 2 cubes with final blends, some sounds overlap between cubes: bl/cl/fl/gl/pl/gr; tw/cr/st/sp/sm/bl; sc/sw/sn/sk/sl/sp; br/fr/dr/pr/cr/tr; nd/ft/mp/st/nt/nk; ft/sk/st/lk/lt/lk