* Prices may differ from that shown
My youngest boy loves books, I'll easily read him 10+ per day. When I first saw this reading system I dismissed it seeing it as a book replacement. It was only when another child bought this reading system into his Preschool that the teachers reported back that he sat with it for over an hour, carefully placing the pen on each word that it sparked interest. I wouldn't ever want it to replace his traditional books, but felt it would compliment them. So the order was placed.
**What's in the box?**
It arrived well packed, with the pen included - the pen is the reading system itself. A short lead to connect it to your computer. A book of samples from the Tag Reading System range to try out.
The box has a big hole in the front so if you want to keep all the bits together this doesn't work particularly well, but there is a branded case you can purchase.
The pen requires 2 AAA batteries which aren't included.
**Getting up and running**
My one gripe was the amount of time it took to get it up and running. My little boy had seen his new toy arrive via Amazon and couldn't wait to use it. To get going you have to plug the pen into the computer and download software to use with the pen. I had ordered an extra couple of books with the pen, this was then time consuming loading the books onto the pen. This needs to be done each time you purchase a new book. It took around 25 minutes for this process to happen, the excitement had worn off by the time the pen was ready to use.
Setting it up was actually very straight forward and very clear instructions stuck to the pen on where to go to download the software.
**Using the reading system**
My 4 year old was quite happy thumbing through the books and pressing the pen on the characters, hearing them say phrases and noises. There are symbols that can be pressed at the beginning of each book and on the pen that sets it either to a game or reading. You can them opt to read the words individually or the whole page. The pen has a built in speaker and not only speaks the words but also makes animated noises and even sings when different pictures in the books are pressed.
When in 'reading mode' you press the pen against each word to read it, my only annoyance is that you can't run the pen along the words without the previous word being cut off, you have to dot on each one individually to stop it cutting off what it was previously saying.
There's a sample in the book that comes with the pen on practicing writing which I thought was excellent. The pen guides you to draw the letter in the correct way.
The manufacturers recommended age is 4 - 8 years. Although I've seen my eight year old happily sitting with it on occasion 'helping' his younger brother.
It's certainly a great learning aid that can be used independently or with adult support. My little one tends to use his imagination more when using it on his own. He's a little young for some of the games and benefits from some help with those.
**Range of books**
There's a huge selection of books that you can buy with this system, some that focus on reading, numeracy and some that are just for fun with a huge ranges of characters like Scooby Doo, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Toy Story and classics like The Cat in the Hat. There's even an large interactive World Map Poster. The books come in different levels, so it will grow with your child.
The Tag pen can store up to 10 books at a time. It's great that you can just go from one book to another without needing to click or press anything.
**Pricing and availability**
The system is widely available in good toy shops such as Toys R Us, ELC and general retailers such as Amazon. RRP is £39.99 I've seen it frequently reduced however.
The standard 32mb version comes with a green and white pen, there is however a pink version available.
Additional books vary in price from around £8.99 - £20.00
I'd definitely recommend it as an educational toy. It doesn't replace a good story book, but it certainly sits alongside them quite well. It's lightweight and easily portable and great fun.
For Christmas this year we bought my little girl the Leapfrog tag reading system which basically consists of a pen or reader as they call it which allows a child to listen to or read a special Leapfrog book whilst touching the pages to hear the word read out loud. According to the paperwork that comes with the pen, "The TAG reading system engages children's senses to make reading a rich, fulfilling experience. It allows children to learn at their own pace, building confidence. Well-loved characters and engaging stories inspire children to read and develop a lifelong love of reading."
My little girl just turned three and whilst she is still a bit too young to fully grasp the concept and everything you can do with this reading system, my philosophy is that you are never too young to start enjoying books and looking at them. She has got to grips with the pen reader very well and know how to turn it on and off and also where to press on a page for the reader to start reading her the whole book so she is definitely utilising it well.
The pack we bought came with a TAG reader, a Sampler book and a USB cable.
The reader looks like a big pen and has a little nib/tip on the end that you press on your book to activate it. It takes 2 AAA batteries and we have not had to change these yet. The reader has an On/off switch on the side and volume control which is nice as this can get quite loud and noisy. There is a slot for a headphone jack and I think if we were to take this in the car or on an aeroplane for my little girl this is a great feature.
The reader has a USB port which is how you download the books onto your pen/reader.
It's extremely easy to use and simple to download the books. Once you have gone onto the leapfrog webpage and found the book you have you follows the instillation instructions and then the book is downloaded onto your reader. I think its quite amazing and I am still amazed at how it knows what it is touching and reading.
The pack also came with a paperback book to allow you to practise at reading with the pen and shows you how to do it and gives you samples of some of the books you can purchase.
When you are ready to read a book with your pen its very simple. There are different symbols throughout the book that you touch the pen on to do different things. For example, a book symbol means read the page. You touch this button with the reader to hear a single story page. Then when the page is over the reader will play a little tune which indicates that you should turn the page.
A little diamond symbols mean Say it/Sound it/Spell it which are self explanatory really. A star symbol means game and you touch this button to play a game. Two arrows in a circle symbol means repeat and a square symbol means stop.
I find the voice that reads each book is clear and simple to understand and it's nice to hear a story brought to life.
If you don't touch the reader for a few minutes after turning it on it will play three little notes to let you know it is still on and then a few minutes after that it will turn itself off.
I think this is a brilliant reading system and we are looking forward to getting way more out of it in the coming years.
Birthdays are always a struggle when it comes to my 4 year old daughter.
She already has an ample size box of toys, that she rarely ventures through. She is currently an only child, but she prefers to sit and play with her toys with other children, so it's a real task finding something that can keep her occupied when she is playing by herself.
Lydia has just completed her first year in nursery at a foundation school, where she has been introduced to the world of phonics, more and more, over the last year. She has taken a great interest in this subject, which is brilliant, as it is going to be such an important tool in her learning to read and write.
When I came across the 'Tag reading System', in pink, in toys-r-us, I thought it the perfect gift for Lydia to help improve her learning and phonics skills, whilst keeping her entertained.
The Tag reading system comes with an interactive pen, which is available in pink or green, to suits your child's personality. The pen works alongside various 'Tag' interactive books and maps and writing books, when linked with to them via the computer and using internet connection.
There are various types of interactive 'Tag' books available, including 'storybooks', which allow children to read a full story from the interactive book, either word by word, by hovering the 'Tag' pen over each word in turn, or a page at a time.
These books also include various activities on each page, which the children can choose to play and take part in by a list of symbols at the bottom of each page.
There are learn to write books, which allows the child to get used to pencil control, using the 'Tag' pen, and become familiar with tracing various letters. It will also tell them if they are doing it correctly, so they know when to try and improve.
There are 'early readers' books, which are really bring the phonics side of things into play. Allowing the child to segment the sounds in each word, to help them learn how to sound out words and essentially, learn to read. The 'early readers' books, have an English accent, as oppose to an American accent, which is very important when it comes to English spoken children learning letters and words phonetically.
I did think the linking of the books to the 'Tag' pen, via the computer, would be a little tricky, But it was really quite simple. The 'Tag' reading system comes with a USB cable which you simply attach to the pen in one end and into a computer with internet connection, at the other end. This then brings up a step by step guide to linking your 'Tag' to your computer and being able to link the various interactive books you have bought, to the pen.
You can also use the USB to plug the 'Tag' pen into the computer and see your child's progress and skills they are developing through play, by viewing their learning path, online.
Obviously, from what I have already mentioned, this product requires you to have internet connection for set up, and it's a good idea to link the product to the computer before giving it to the child as a gift, so they can start using it immediately. But once that is done initially, you can take it everywhere with you, to keep your child entertained.
'Tag' reading system is available in pink or green to suit your child or they're gender.
'Tag's RRP is £29.99 but it is available on Amazon for £22.49. The coordinating books RRP at £12.99 each but at Argos there is a deal of buy one get one half price.
When I was looking for idea's for my 3 year old son's Christmas I was drawn to the Leapfrog Tag and Tag junior reading system, I swithered for a while over which system to go for given my son's age. He was getting a little old for the junior system but a little small for the Tag system according to the recommended ages, however I then discovered that the Leapfrog Tag can also be used with the Junior books and so I decided to go for the Tag system instead as I knew I could use both sets of books depending on how he reacted to them.
*~* PRICE AND AVAILABILITY *~*
This system is available from many outlets from department stores such as John Lewis to on-line retailers such as Amazon and Ebay as well as places like Asda and Tesco so there is wide availability. The regular selling price of the system is around the £30 mark, however it can be found on offer regularly, I paid just £15 for my son's system which was a great bargain especially when they have good resale value.
*~* PACKAGING *~*
The system comes packaged in a bright green box that contains the instructions and cable to attach the PC to allow you to load the books onto the pen. There is also a sample book included but I found this just gave you a taster of what the Tag system can do, it was more a promotional type of book but none the less it comes included.
*~* ACCESSORIES *~*
The pen is available in 2 colours, green or pink. I went for the green and I think even if I had a girl I would go for the green, it definitely seems to be the more popular option and when looking I have always found this is the colour that goes out of stock extremely quickly. There is the option to buy a case to store the Tag system in for around £7 however I haven't bought this as we only use it in the house.
There are a variety of various books you can buy to accompany the Tag system from educational books to stories about iconic cartoon characters. At the moment we have a set of 7 books that introduce sounds and words for learning to read. This set cost £24 and was a gift which for 7 books isn't too bad considering some of the others tend to range between the £10 - £13 mark. There are various offers available from different outlets as well as the option of Ebay where books can be purchased. I will say it is worth checking prices as these books seem to be highly popular on Ebay and prices do go close to what you could buy the book for brand new so worth keeping an eye out.
*~* SETTING UP THE SYSTEM *~*
The Tag takes 2 AAA batteries that are inserted into the top of the reader, it is exceptionally easy to do and takes seconds to complete. Before using the pen you have to attach it to the computer using the cable provided. The instruction manual gives you the web address that you access and download the relevant software. I am rubbish with things like that but I managed to do it pretty easily so even for those who aren't the most tech savvy it is an easy thing to do. Once installed the Tag system simply hooks up to the platform which allows you to view which books are stored in the reader and download further books to add, this is where the Tag Junior and the Tag books can be used as the platform is the same for both reading systems. I simply added the pack of books my son has onto the reader and we were ready to go. In total it took about 10 - 20 minutes for the initial set up and adding the books. You have the ability to store up to 10 books on the reader at any one time, this doesn't include packs of books such as the one we have which is classed as one book so there is quite a lot of memory there. In honesty I don't think we would buy 10 books just those I know he would really love and enjoy.
*~* THE TAG PEN *~*
The pen is chunky and thick at the top and becomes narrower as you get down towards the nib. To use you simply hold it like a regular pen, I found it very comfortable to hold and my son seems to find it easier to hold his pens and pencils for drawing and writing after using this pen first which seems like a very good feature of the pen. There are a few buttons on the reader, the side has an on/off button but it is embedded slightly below the plastic casing, it isn't difficult to push but by having it a little lower it prevents the button from being accidentally pressed halfway through a story. There is also a headphone jack that holds a regular set of headphones that you can buy in the £1 store if you wished that it was quiet. Personally we have never used the earphone jack I just tested it for review purposes and it works well, I suppose the level of volume would depend on the type of earphones being used but I had a set from Poundland and they were plenty loud enough to hear what the pen was saying. A green light shows when the pen is active and switched on, I like this feature as it means if my son sets it down and goes off to find something else to do I can turn it off saving the batteries a little, whilst the long button gives the ability to turn the volume up and down. I find this a pain as my son just likes to push the buttons and so generally it is always up full blast, I would have liked if there was a limit you could set whilst in the platform on the computer to avoid having it up full as it is exceptionally loud, definitely more than what I can imagine you would ever need. The slot for popping the cable in to attach to the computer is covered by a silicone style rubber cover which is attached to the pen so you never loose it. I like this feature as it means it is protected whilst at the same time not being fiddly and loosing the cover when using the pen being connected to the computer.
*~* USING THE READER WITH THE BOOKS *~*
Using the reader on the books is the easy part, each book has various pictures, words, sounds and games that can be accessed simply by tapping the pen on the part of the book required. There is also an option to just read the story which you do by tapping the little symbol on each page. I like this part as it means the pen is not just going through the story and the child is lost the page is read and when all becomes quiet and the pen is no longer reading the page can be turned to continue on. Of course you can also choose to hear the story word by word which may be good for children learning to read and trying to read the words. My son is a little small for this and he tends to get bored with having to tap each individual word. I have found that for him reading the story page by page has been the best. On the books he has they are learning different sounds and words of just 2 and 3 letters there are however songs and by tapping for example the bus in one of the books plays the story in song form which aids the learning of the words. This is definitely one of my son's favourite parts of the books it does tend to get on my nerves after a while hearing the same song over and over again about getting on a bus!
*~* A CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE *~*
I asked my son 'Do you like your pen?' as he was reading a story and his reply was, 'it's great!'. He plays with this a lot by his own choosing. We read a lot of stories and books but he likes to sit and learn on his own with this reader. I can often find him sat on his bed giggling at a story so he really enjoys the stories and the games. The pen is interactive which is great and he has really taken to this, chatting away and generally having fun with it. He seems to find holding his pencil in the correct way easier now he has started using this system. Before he was struggling but it seems he has no problem with this anymore and I would say that it is partly down to the use of this chunky pen which has made a lot of the difference.
*~* A PARENT'S VIEW *~*
I really like this system, as much as we spend a lot of time reading together sometimes being a parent you just don't have the option of sitting and reading all day (as much as I would like to!) and that's where I find this system comes in handy. It is great for letting him read stories and play games on his own and even though he is only 3 and the recommended age for the system is 4-8 he can more than easily enough use the pen to effectively get as much out of the books as possible. I also like that the books are bright colours and that they have the option of fun or education. I do have a couple of niggles such as the volume, I feel if a child was using earphones and had it turned up full blast there could be some damage to the eardrums but having a limit on the volume while setting up the Tag would be a nice feature. Apart from that I don't think I have any problems with this toy at all. It can get expensive buying the books especially at full price so they are reserved for receiving at Birthdays and Christmas but it is nice to be able to add on to what we already have for him. At £7 for the case I feel it is a bit expensive but it seems that everything relating to this toy is in the higher price bracket.
I like that I can leave my son to play alone and be safe in the knowledge that he is learning even while using the fun, character books and that I don't have to guide him every step of the way. I would definitely recommend this system. I do have to take away 1 star for the volume flaw but an excellent choice for both parents and children.
I'm not usually keen on electronic reading aids for children, preferring good old-fashioned story books, but my son had seen the Tag reader advertised and it was the only thing he asked for as a present for his fourth birthday last year.
The Leapfrog Tag reading system consists of a wireless chunky pen-like device that is used to 'read' special books in the range which are available to buy separately for around £8-£12 each. The unisex green reader itself cost me £29.99 from Amazon, with a pink version also available for a similar price.
Setting up the system prior to first use proved to be relatively straightforward. Whilst the original version included a CD to download the necessary software to a PC or laptop, the latest version (32 meg) which I own simply includes a lead to connect the reader to a USB port. The software is then transferred automatically, following the pop-up prompts on screen. The process was fairly idiot-proof, requiring no advanced technical knowledge or ability, but did take a lot longer than I'd anticipated. I'd certainly recommend setting this well in advance of giving it to an eager child. In addition, the audio software also needs to be loaded on to the reader separately for each book purchased. Again, this is simple to do but does take several minutes per book, certainly on my laptop. I generally add the audio well in advance of giving my son any new Tag books but, on the odd occasion when I've forgotten, I've had a very frustrated four year old waiting impatiently! This new model comes with a larger memory than the original and can store the audio for up to ten books at any one time. It also comes complete with an introductory 'book' although this is, to all intents and purposes, simply a thinly disguised advert for all the other books in the range and not a book that will actually be read and enjoyed.
Once set up, the Tag reader is a pretty impressive tool. Given its target age range, the handheld device is perfectly proportioned and very easy to use. Controls have been kept to an absolute minimum, featuring just an on/off button, volume buttons and a play button. There are also rubbery covers over the USB and headphone ports which are a little fiddly to open and close but do keep everything clean and safe. The reader feels very light, almost flimsy in adult hands, but it has proven to be more robust and resilient than it initially appears - withstanding numerous drops and regular mauling by an inquisitive toddler without any ill effects. Despite being used regularly for over nine months, the only signs of wear and tear are that the symbols have started to wear away from the volume keys. The Tag requires two AAA batteries (not supplied) and I find that the reader can eat through batteries very quickly if played with frequently. The Tag does feature a useful auto shut-off to help preserve battery life as well as a warning when the batteries are running low, helping to avoid a meltdown midway through a story.
===Ease of Use and Entertainment Value===
Using the reader is very simple and easily mastered by my four year old. It simply involves holding the tip of the 'pen' over individual words, pictures or symbols in the books and these are read aloud. Each book uses a consistent series of symbols so that a child can soon get to grips with using them independently, which is one of the major advantages of this kind of device for children who aren't yet able to read. As well as reading the story (or individual words or pages) out loud, the books also include various entertaining sound effects, with each picture or image making a noise when pressed with the reader. This is probably the feature that my four year old enjoys the most. Within each book there tends to be a particular image that he loves pressing repeatedly to create some silly sound effect. (The Cat in the Hat has a goldfish flying out of its bowl screaming, for example, whereas some pictures result in songs being played.)
There are several tasks or games on most of the pages (dependent on the individual books) which my son particularly enjoys playing. I was a little surprise that each book has a fairly broad recommended age range (generally 4-6 or 5-7), considering how rapidly reading ability progresses at these ages. Despite this, the activities do have different levels of difficulty so each book has the potential to grow with a child. I think the upper age limit of eight years is a little optimistic, as most eight years old would be competent readers and consider themselves too 'grown up' for this kind of product. Having said that, my oldest son (aged nine) does still play with his younger brother's Tag and enjoys the various games and activities. There are a number of books and activities within the range that should appeal to older children. (My oldest has been subtly trying to manipulate his brother into asking for the Star Wars book for his fifth birthday!) I probably wouldn't recommend buying a reader for a child over about six or seven (unless they have some difficulties with reading or other special needs) but do feel that it has the potential to be played with and enjoyed past this age, provided the parent is willing to invest in more books regularly to maintain interest.
I think the minimum age range of four years is probably a fairly accurate feature. A younger child would still, no doubt, enjoy using the reader and exploring the books and fun sound effects but they would get the best use out of this once they have started an element of formal literacy teaching. It is certainly easy enough for a much younger child to play with and enjoy - my twenty month old knows how this works and is able to create the sounds independently! There is a Junior version of the Tag available which is a slightly chunkier version with a range of books specially created for children from two upwards.
===Product Range and Versatility===
I am particularly impressed by the number and diversity of the products available for use with the Tag reader. The range includes several classic story books (such as Paddington and the Cat in the Hat), branded books based on TV or film characters (such as Cars, Toy Story and Spongebob), activity and puzzle books as well as collections of more generic story books which claim to build on reading skills through phonics based methods. New products continue to be added regularly, helping to reassure me that the system isn't likely to become obsolete in the near future. As well as books, Leapfrog have even created a map which works with the Tag reader. My most recent purchase has been the 'Learn to Write' set which utilises the Tag as a way of encouraging young children to practice letter formation, proving just how versatile the Tag actually is. This set even includes stickers which also produce fun sound effects when touched by the Tag reader which my four year old adores!
I do think the books themselves could be a little more robust, particularly considering the full RRP of around £12.99 per book. The books are pretty much like any other hardbacked story, resembling the Grolier books. The interior pages are quite glossy but can mark and tear easily, particularly if well-loved, which is a little disappointing. I have spent a small fortune on books for this system as we now have the maximum of ten books. (It is possible to swap the audio around for the books stored on the reader, if you own more than ten, but this seems a time-consuming and irritating task to me.)
The only other minor irritant with the books themselves is that they all feature advertising for other books in the series on the back cover, some of which aren't even available in this country. (My boys were gutted that 'Walter and his Farting Dog' isn't available in the UK!)
I've found the Tag an excellent means of encouraging my son to enjoy books and want to read independently although I'm not totally convinced that the reading system is particularly useful in terms of teaching the actual mechanics of reading. My son usually chooses the option for the Tag to read the entire story aloud with a single press of the Tag reader, so isn't particularly focusing on individual words himself, although he does enjoy the stories and the activities at the end do test his comprehension and understanding. On the rare occasion that he does try to use this to read word by word, he tends to press each word several times resulting in an annoying constant repetition of the same word over and over! I suspect this is because he is used to reading words by picking out individual letters and sounds, rather than reading entire words from memory so this is the method he follows, even with his Tag reader.
The reader does offer parents a means of monitoring their child's use and progress with the Tag, using an online 'Learning Path.' This isn't a feature that particular appeals to me and I find it a little annoying when the reader tells my son to 'connect to a computer and claim your reward', especially when he's using this at bedtime. It's all the more irritating because the online 'rewards' that a child earns by completing the activities and tasks within the books aren't all that exciting - generally just a certificate to be printed out. My son does like the verbal encouragement that the Tag offers whenever he achieves a high score on a game or completes an activity for the first time, so I'm not convinced that this online rewards system is altogether necessary.
I think the main benefit of this system is that it helps to reinforce a general love of reading with a wide range of fun and accessible reading material. The main advantage of this over traditional stories is that it gives even pre-school children or those who are not yet confident readers, the opportunity to 'read' independently without any adult assistance. I do find that the reader and the books have reinforced the learning that my son is doing through his Reception year at school, making this a great accompaniment to more traditional teaching methods.
I wasn't expecting to like the Tag reader quite as much as I actually do but this has certainly proved to be a toy that continues to entertain and educate my son, making learning fun just as it should be. I feel this was worth every penny that I paid so I'm not even resentful that the Tag is currently available for half price, at just £14.99, from both Toys R Us and Amazon (from Amazon themselves, not their preferred merchant.) At that price, it did even cross my mind to buy a second one as it seems such a bargain! I'd certainly highly recommend this to any parents with a child due to start their Reception year, providing they are willing to invest in a number of different books to maintain variety and their child's interest.
I bought this for my daughter two Christmas' ago when she was four years old, after initially worrying that it would get any use. I was very impressed when I sat down to set everything up in the run up to Christmas (as you have to connect the reader to a computer to load the books onto it), and have to say that I was surprised it actually did what it claimed it would!
The reader works by using a hidden camera in the nib to 'read' what it is pointing at, and can read full pages, single words or play games and quizzes on each page. This makes it a fantastic tool to allow children to read a book without constant parental supervision, and has seen a lot of use, particularly during car journeys. The books are available in different difficulties, and as such, she is still using the product over two years on!
The product is as sturdy as you would expect and it can also be connected to the leapfrog world function which allows you to keep track of your child's progress, and which can be used in conjunction with other leapfrog products.
My daughter had the Tag Junior system but had got bored of the books and as it was coming up to her fourth birthday I thought that I would prefer to get her the more advanced system rather than buy her new books for the old one. I don't like to pay full price for things especially when you can't be certain that your child won't just put it on a shelf and never play with it so I started to look on ebay. I managed to get the system for £19.51 and it was new which is a bargain considering the system is supposed to cost £30 from Argos.
The tag system is available in either green or pink and you can also get a case to keep it in, there are numerous different books for it most of which are character books that your child will recognise. The books seem to range from about £10 to £13 with no obvious reason for the differing prices but I managed to pick up both the Dora book and the Cars book on ebay for around £7 each new and delivered so you can find them much cheaper. The system is aimed at children aged from 4 to 8 years and is very easy to use although keeping in a straight line to make sure the child doesn't mix the words can be a little more difficult.
The systems comes packaged in a bright green box and has the the hand held reader, a book called Ozzie and Mack, an instruction manual and the wires to connect to the computer. You have to hook the reader up to a computer to upload the books that you have bought so that the reader knows which books to read, 5 different books can be stored on the reader at any one time so to be honest we don't have more than 5 books to stop her wanting the reader changing at inappropriate times. The system is very easy to set up and when we set it up originally we uploaded 3 books and it only took about 10 minutes to complete and then it was ready to go.
The reader is rounded and narrower towards the bottom that the top, it is made so that the child can easily hold it like a pencil to use it and makes it comfortable to use. On the reader there is an on off button on the side which my daughter does sometimes manage to catch by accident and a little hole where you are able to connect headphones so not everyone has to listen when your child wants to play. On the front there is a light which shows when the reader is turned on and a long button with two buttons within it at either end to turn the volume up or down. On the other side there is the bit that plugs into the computer which has a little cover over it so shouldn't be able to accidentally get damaged and it has a little picture on it to show a computer. There is a play button at the top of this side and when pressed it asked if you would like to hear stories and if you press it again it will read through any of the books you have got stored on the reader, to change the story you want it to read you simply press the play button until it states the required books name.
The reader requires 2 x AAA batteries and these are not supplied, this is something I always think about as I hate it when you end up with an upset child as they have the new toy but not he batteries. The battery compartment is on the back of the reader and is very easy to change, it is held by a sort of screw lock but is made of plastic and will open with a coin or the side of a knife rather than always needing to find a screwdriver.
In the front of Ozzie and Mack you are given a few options rather than it simply being put the pen on pictures and words like the junior version although you can still do this to. There are symbols on the pages and you can press them to do different things such as read the pagwe, read the story, repeat, stop, game and levels 1, 2 and 3. At the beginning of the story there is the alphabet although you do have to press each letter individually which confused my daughter a little as she didn't understand why she couldn't just move across the letters and it read the line out like it does on the story. On most of the pages you have got the read the page symbol or you can slowly move from left to right over the line of words and it will read them that way, you are also able to press on the pictures and it will say different things such as introducing the character.
There are numerous games throughout the books such as asking question about the characters that have just been spoken about in the text on the page or even in the whole book to make it that little bit harder. At the end of the book are four pages with letters and words and there are three different levels af games to play with these such as finding letters and pictures.
This reader is very easy to use and my daughter doesn't seem to have many problems which I am happy with as she is at the lower end of the age range, the reader works better if you use it slowly as if you rush across words and pictures it ends up playing very broken sentences as it is unable to keep up. The books are great and they cater for the different stages of the childs development and encourages reading, my daughter actually loves reading anyway but this allows her to read independently which she enjoys. I would recommend this reader to any mother and think you get a lot more for your money with this than alot of other childrens toys just make sure you shop around as the bookd are much cheaper over the internet.
I purshased my leapfrog pen last week , whilst thinking in the back of my mind itmight be one of those products I'd be sending back because it does do as good job as it says on the 'tin'. Well when it finally arrived, I was extremely impressed. I am a home schooling mum to 3 kids , 9, 7 and 5 so was hoping the five year old would benefit in his reading.
With the pen you get a free book, which is more or less an interactive guide to what books you can get. Im planning on getting the learning to read sets, the map and Dr Seuss books.
The pen itself if of excellent quality. It comes with a USB cable which you need as the 'audio' for the books you purshase need to be downloaded to the pen via your pc. It is very simple to do so don't let that side of things hold you back. Think of the pen as a kind of memory stick. You can store up to 5 books.
Over all a great product from leap frog!!!! All the kids love it and that is what counts!!!
I purchased the pink version of the Leapfrog Tag reading system for my 4 year olds birthday. I thought it would be a great purchase as she was due to start school so it would get her familiar with books before she started. I must admit I was very pleased with this purchase and so was my little one. She plays with it very regularly and loves her books that came with it.
There are a lot of different features on the books that she can interact with which helps her to understand the words and the nature of the books. For instance if you press on different icons with the tag reader you have many different levels of play. This includes listening to the story on its own, playing games at different levels relating to the story that is being read. There are also lots of great sound effects that are unique to each tag book. Another great feature is that you can track your childs learning path as he or she progresses through the books. This is very simple to do by registering the product online and it goes through the method online with you on how to do this. You can also go into the rewards section of your childs learning path and there you will find reward charts that you can download and keep a note of your childs progress and also there are some games in this section your child can play. So if you have access to a computer it definately adds to the overall fun and learning experience that the tag reader has to offer. One more feature I found helpful on the tag reader is that you can download few tag books into the tag reader and your child can take it with them and listen to their stories on the go. This is great for long journeys to keep the children occupied.
The only issue I have found is that the batteries need replacing regularly and also I feel that the range of books available for girls is slightly limited. There does seem to be a bigger range for boys. However this is just my personal experience and I suppose it would depend on what interests your child. Overall though I would definately say that the Leapfrog Tag Reading System does provide an all round interactive learning experience and our family think it's great.
I have to be honest I am a fan of Leapfrog products but I was unsure as to why a Tag reader would be of any use. I was wrong this is a brilliant learning tool and a great time giver.
What is it?
A Tag reading system is a pen which when touched onto the words reads them aloud; it also makes the characters in the story talk and has additional games as well. This system is interactive and you need to have access to the internet which allows you to down load information and also check on your child's progress
There is a library of books to choose from a lot of these are television characters such as Disney Princess currently my Daughters favourite, the books vary in price at about £10.00 but they do seem to last well as with the games and activities the shelf life is elongated. My daughter loves completing the activities and gaining a reward.
You can only store 5 books at a time on the pen and each book does have to be set up before you can use the pen, this is a little time consuming but not to difficult and as the books are pricey we only tend to have a new one at Christmas or Birthday!
I think this is what makes Leapfrog products so good basically the learning path works by telling what toy you have and it shows all the skills this helps your child learn to register you simply go to www.leapfrog.co.uk/learningpath .
One of my particular favourite elements of this toy is the fact that it teaches phonics something I really struggle with I mean what's wrong with kicking K and Curly C?
This product is available direct from leapfrog, from most toy retailers including Early Learning Centre and naturally Amazon, the cost does vary so it is worth looking around I got it on sale at £11 which in comparison to the £29.99 price tag is an excellent deal.
I have two children who have separate Bedrooms and who both want a Bedtime story so whilst I read to the youngest the eldest reads to herself with her Tag and then she tells me about what she has done and then I read to her which means no more tantrums and also that she feels grown up as she is allowed to stay up a bit longer than her sister!
We have also taken this on holiday keeping her amused in the car just do not forget the headphones!
I really believe this is aiding her learning and increasing her love of books but it really isn't a substitute for reading to your child.
The Pen uses 2 AAA batteries so ensure you have some to hand. We ran out one bedtime very unhappy child untill Daddy returned from Tesco!
I would also not tell your little Girl it comes in pink as I have never seen that on offer!
My son had got to that age that all he wanted to do was read and sometimes you dont have the time to sit and read with them more than once a day due to the day to day chores that have to be done.
Looking through the argos catalogue I came accross this pen you put it against a book and it read it to you. I had a few resevations about how it would work and if it would even help my son read.
My grandmother decided she would buy it with a book as his christmas presant. I went to woolworths as it was at the time and bought another book that I thought he would like he had cars, kungfoo panda and the book that came with pen oggy. We wrapped it up ready for christmas. Everytime I saw the advert I would ask him if he wanted that toy.
When the day came he opened it and thought it was great but I hadnt realised that I had to download the package from the book into the pen so that it would work which was a bit of a pain because I didnt own a computer at the time luckly my sister did so I was able to use hers.
You can only store upto 3 books on this piece of equipment which I dont think is very good because they do do a range of books for them and they are a bit expensive to buy 3 of them to be able to have all the books. You can delete the memory but you never know what book they are going to want to read. Also the battery life is not very good if the child is using it on a daily basis the battery will only last 2 weeks.
There are alot of upsides though that will weigh out the down sides. It is an easy to hold pen that has a metal tip and a speaker at the top. It is easy for a child to understand how to switch it on there is just one button and there is also a button for the volume.
I am not sure how it knows what book you are reading but it does when you press the page. At first my son wasnt taken by it and I would still have to sit with him to get him to read it. As he got a bit more comfortable with reading I found he just fetches it now and reads the book on his own usually he gets up first thing in the morning and reads it in bed.
There is an opition in the book that you can press that will read the whole page to them rarther than every word if they just want the book read it speaks clearly so the child can understand.
We still read other books together because there are only about 9 books that I can find for this and he likes to have a good choice and we also have school reading books that have to be read.
This was a very good investment he is just coming out of reception now and he is the top of his class with reading the teachers are amazed. I cant give this pen all the credit but it did definatley help him with his reading if your child is struggling or not it will give them the confidence to read and learn in a way that they think is fun.
I remember seeing an advert for the Leapfrog Tag Reader when it first came out and thinking that it seemed a rather pointless toy to buy a child. Surely you can encourage children's reading without the need to buy yet another expensive gadget? However, I will now eat my words as we have just purchased a Tag Reader for our eldest daughter!
So what is a Tag Reader? Basically it's a a battery operated pen shaped object with a few buttons. The Tag reader works specifically and only with Tag books - when the Reader is pointed at the pages of the books it speaks to the child e.g. it will read the story, tell you what objects are, play music, etc depending on what it is directed at. The books vary but all have a main story along with various activities and games that you can play too. You can also then plug the Tag Reader into your PC which then allows parents to see what sort of activities the child has been doing and how well they are progressing. Tag is suitable for 4+ years, however our daughter is 3 1/2 and already has the hang of it so I would say it will suit younger children if they are showing an interest in reading.
Good points? This is a very fun toy for children and makes books come alive which is obviously encouraging and keeps them interested. There are lots of activities within each book so there is lots to do - hopefully making the life of the Tag Reader a long one! I really love that we can chart our daughter's progress by plugging the Reader into the computer and it allows our daughter some independence with books - rather than always having to be read to, she can now have more control over the stories and go it alone without mummy or daddy having to help!
Bad points? The most obvious downside, and the one which probably put me off the Tag Reader the first time I saw it, is that I feel it could end up being used instead of reading WITH your child. I really don't think that anything is quite as good or beneficial to your child, or their reading abilities, than actually sitting down together to read a story so I really would hope that nobody would buy the Tag Reader as a replacement to that. However, if used alongside family reading then I think it's fantastic! The Tag Reader is also quite expensive at around £30-£40 (usually with at least 1 book included). Additional books are also around £12 each so this isn't a cheap toy by any means.
Opinion? We love the Tag Reader! Yes, it's expensive but it should (in theory!) last our daughter (and her little sister when she gets to that stage!) well into the primary school years. Our daughter loves that she now has some independence with her reading and has definitely progressed with her letters and words while still enjoying story time with mummy and daddy too.
Overall it's a great little gadget but definitely shop around for the best price as there seems to be a huge difference depending on where you go and loads of deals on Leapfrog toys!
The leapfrog tag system was another great Christmas gift my 4 year old daughter received this year. I was rather impressed when I say this out on display in our local early learning centre. My sister decided to buy it her for Christmas as she loved books and this looked rather good.
The leapfrog tag is a handheld pen that your child can use to read books etc...It is very impressive as the tag is able to read the words out load when a world is touched. I found this amazing as the paper in the books look normal so I'm not sure if there must be some sort of magnet in it. I like the fact that on each page it has various pictures that your child can press on and they all make different noises. There is also an option where you can allow the tag to read each page without pressing on the words. I think this option is better for children as the story doesn't make sense as when my daughter does it she sometimes misses out some of the words.
There are also different activities and games in the books which have different level depending on your child's capabilities.
A book does come with the tag but you can buy others separate. My daughter is a massive Sponge bob fan so we got her that. In order for your tag to recognise additional books you have to upload the book onto your tag. In order to do this you have to download the soft wear to your computer ( you get a cd with the tag) and then follow the instructions to download the book. This reminds me a lot of itunes as you have to name your tag and also sync things onto it.
I really like the sponge bob book. I think its great that the tag recognises all the characters from the show and talks in all their different voices.
When my sister bought the tag it was rather expensive. She paid £40 for it and the additional books were around £12 but I was shocked to see that the tag was selling for a mere £15 in Asda just before Christmas so at this price you would defiantly be getting your moneys worth.
With every touch of the Tag Reader, words talk, pictures sing and stories live out loud! The Tag reading system has a small camera in the tip that 'reads' the pages aloud, giving your child the real storybook experience. With the specially printed books, characters and stories engage children and encourage a love of reading and learning.