Designing for Kids, Getting Kids Reading, The Tidy Books Story

The A-Z of alphabet learning

Do you remember learning the alphabet? I do. At school we got to know the letters by singing them to our teacher. It was such a fun way to learn and really helped me to become familiar with all the different letters of the alphabet.

When it came to my daughter’s turn to learn the alphabet, she had a bit of extra help thanks to my Tidy Books bookcase.

I designed the front-facing bookcase to make it easier for Adele – and other kids – to find the books they wanted. It also struck me that having colourful A to Z letters on the bookcase would help kids to learn their letters at the same time, so I added those as an option if customers wanted them.

kids bookcase, kids book storage, front facing book display, alphabet bookcase, learning the alphabet

Every opportunity to explore the alphabet: credit: Maman Floutch

As a mum, it was lovely to watch Adele with her alphabet bookcase. She was able to build up her vocabulary gradually and casually by pointing to the bright wooden 3D letters and saying them out loud.

When I designed the bookcase in 2004 it was an instant hit with Adele – and today it’s one of our best sellers. I did make one adjustment along the way, though. To begin with, the letters were in capitals but then I got chatting to a schoolteacher who told me that kids start by learning lower case letters. If you think about, with books that’s the letters kids see most and are the ones they become familiar with – so of course it made perfect sense for me to change the bookcase letters to lowercase.  

Learning the alphabet is so important for the development of children’s reading and literacy. Once they’ve mastered the different letters and their sounds then they have the building blocks of language – and the wonderful world of books awaits them!

I like the idea of making learning fun, so my bookcase can also be personalised. It’s a great way to get kids into the alphabet when they can learn how to recognise the letters of their name. And it ties in beautifully with my ethos of growing children’s independence and giving them their own domain in which to learn. I mean, what could be better than your own personal mini-library with your name on it?

How do you help your kids learn the alphabet?

Gèraldine Grandidier

About Gèraldine Grandidier

Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile. She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids. Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

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