We’ve been busy learning to read for sometime in our house. Littlelish turned 3 in the summer and is therefore a pretty early reader. She picked up her phonics very quickly and was soon ready to move onto the trickier stuff like blending and segmenting. Unfortunately I’m not a teacher which has meant I haven’t always been able to know how to support her in her learning besides reading lots and lots of books! I went looking for online games to support her learning but often they were poor quality, not using the phonics system, very American or expensive!

And then the lovely people at Teach Your Monster to Read told me about their brand new, FREE, online game developed for the Usborne Foundation, a charity set up by Peter Usborne (who also founded The Usborne Publishing company).

The game has already won gold in both the Practical Preschool and Primary Teacher Update awards. It’s what we’ve been waiting for – a fantastic, educational, engaging way of teaching little ones to read… and what’s more it is free!

The game’s primary aim is to develop children’s speed and accuracy of grapheme (letter) recognition. Children work through each grapheme (in the same order as Letters and Sounds) practicing each one using one of four minigames. Complete the minigame and you will receive a letter and a prize reward for your hard work. Along the way, there are opportunities for the child to practice aspects of reading like blending or segmenting.

Littlelish particularly enjoyed customising her monster and selecting her reward for completing each section (interestingly her choice of prize was 9 time out of 10 food related!!). I was pleased that there were 4 minigames to choose from as this added variety and also meant the game could be geared to the level of the child. Littlelish got bored quickly of the first level games so it was good that there were more complicated games for her to play too.

Teach your monster to read is unlike any free online game available. The illustrations are superb, contemporary, amusing and they create a spark of imagination in the child so the adventure really comes alive. The game play is also brilliant, we didn’t encounter any glitches and the game didn’t freeze up on us like many online reading games I know!

I’d definitely recommend you pay Teach your monster to read a visit…While you are there why not check out their blog as they also have a cool Draw a Monster competition running until the 9th of November http://blog.teachyourmonstertoread.com.

The prize is a fantastic ¬£150 worth of Usborne books! I’ve been checking out the entire set of first level reading books for Littlelish¬† http://www.usborne.com/veryfirstreading/books/books.aspx. They look FAB and we would love to add them to our library so Littlelish is going to get to work creating her monster! Why not enter a monstrous creation too! :)