Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alphabet Alley

I’ve always wanted my children to have a faith that was as alive and real on a week day as on Sundays. It have found it difficult over the years, especially when they are little, to incorporate Biblical teaching other than night time prayers into their daily lives. So many things call for their attention; computer games, television shows, videos, outside activities, flashy toys that shine and sing. Most of these kid-friendly products support contemporary culture in a wholesome way, but not very often in a God centered way. Weeks sometimes turn into months and I realize that I have done very little deliberate teaching to aid my little ones in developing a living breathing faith.

Alphabet Alley, “smart fun for little souls”, is a Christian company designed to help parents of little ones create play oriented experiences that aid in spiritual training. Their toys, designed for ages 6 months to 7 years, are nearly all Biblically based providing a natural springboard for Bible teaching as you play along. With Easter just around the corner and the perennial Easter basket begging to be filled, Alphabet Alley offers a wonderful alternative for parents seeking meaningful play time.

Alphabet Alley was founded in 2004, by Marilyn Fontana, her mother Linda Bloss and Marilyn’s Aunt Mimi. The family owned and operated company is dedicated to providing consumers with “fun and educational faith-based toys for early childhood”. You can purchase the toys on their website,, The Old Schoolhouse Store, and many other retailers listed on the Alphabet Alley website.

All toys are reasonably priced and designed to provide hours of fun with a multitude of uses. Selections include Noah’s ABC Stacking Blocks for $21.99, a wooden ABC Bible Memory game in a wooden storage box for $16.99 and Bible based wooden puzzles with little peg lifters for small hands for $9.99. Bible references and a short synopsis of stories are printed on the back board of the puzzles to aid parents in facilitating discussion and story telling while playing.

A Noah’s Ark Go Fish game offered by the company is priced at $5.99 and consists of 40 matching card pairs with 10 different designs. The 4 x 6 cards have a heavy smooth finish and are perfectly sized for little hands. Each card is colored with a number in the top left corner, a clip art image in the center and printed word describing the clip art centered at the bottom. The cards can be used to play traditional “go fish” or as flashcards for number and reading practice. Noah's Ark Go Fish would make a terrific component for any Easter basket.

Alphabet Alley's Two By Two Matching Game comes in a sturdy cardboard box for storage and consists of 24 colorful playing tiles which create 12 matching pairs. The tiles are 2” square and ¼” thick making them the sturdiest and best designed matching game that has come through our house to date. After nearly 10+ rounds of play our game still looks brand new; a true test of its sturdiness. My four year old son loves not only finding the matches during game play, but also lining up his winning pairs in perfect squares as the game progresses. The Two By Two Matching Game retails for $10.99

After 19 years of childhood, and still counting, our house is just about saturated with every type of toy imaginable. Items have come and gone many times due to quality issues and durability. I love that Alphabet Alley products are classically designed and sturdy enough to stand up to years of play.

While playing the matching game four year old Aidan explained to me why he loved it. “You’ve got to see something, then you just flip it over, then you look and if you find something that matches you win!”

I noted his enthusiasm during the game as he turned over an ark tile and a zebra tile for one of his turns. Looking at the tiles and holding them in his hands his thoughts turned to something in his memory. He said, “Mommy! This is like the story when the animals climbed on the big boat and they sailed away!” “Yes”, I said as I prayed a simple prayer of gratitude for a Biblically based game that could help my little boy draw closer to God.

*Good News Stickers, only $2.99 at Alphabet Alley!

No comments: