Toddler works with letters to understand soundsWhat is Souns?

Letter-sound associations are effortlessly learned by a child if the timing is right, the experience is fun, and the child’s hands are involved.

Learning letter-sound associations early and through informal, hands-on activities is the natural and timely way to make a measurable difference in reading readiness for preschool children.

Souns places specifically designed and sequenced letters of the Latin alphabet into the hands of young children at their most language and shape-sensitive period, between 5 months and 36 months. The hand reaches out to hold, play with, and explore the letters, providing an alternate way of learning: a concrete, touchable concept of printed language rather than an abstract one.

What the hand experiences, the mind remembers.

Souns is used in homes, schools, and libraries in Georgia, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois and Texas in the United States and in Puerto Rico and South Africa globally.

Upper School students at Counterpane use Souns to teach refugees–young and old–to read and write in English at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Atlanta. Counterpane also offers the Souns Play Workshop for children 0-36 months and their caregivers.

If you would like to support Souns work or use the program in your home or school, please visit for more information. Follow our work on Twitter (@Counterpane), Facebook (, and Pinterest (@SounsTalk).

Your help with this literacy outreach project is invited.