There are millions of kids’ toys out there, and still millions more of kids’ educational products. Yet, I’m surprised at how good this simple puzzle is for my preschooler. We gave 4-year-old Bean the Alphabet Train Floor Puzzle by Melissa & Doug for his birthday. From the picture on the front I anticipated it being more of a puzzle challenge than an alphabet test, but I was wrong.

The puzzle  is one long, straight train. As he puts it together, I can hear him sing the alphabet over and over again. Occasionally, he will be able to start up the alphabet mid-song to figure out the next letter. I love that it is in a very fun way of teaching him concretely that there is one letter attached to each note in this melody he has been singing since he was three. It also helps clear up that whole “elemennopee” confusion smack in the middle of the alphabet.
What a great learning tool! It uses visual, tactile, and verbal learning skills – you can’t beat that.
Apparently my particular puzzle is an older version and is not being sold frequently anymore (at least on But you can order a newer version, in which the concept is exactly the same with different pictures.
And I think I might know what he’s getting for Christmas.

Author Kylee Smith

Kylee is the mom of four amazing kids and provides entertainment design and innovation services at Playful Ventures.

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