Product Type: LeapFrog Child Development
Newest Review: ... 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 int... more
Leaping into Reading
LeapFrog Tag Reading System
Member Name: houseofberries
LeapFrog Tag Reading System
Date: 15/05/13, updated on 30/08/13 (71 review reads)
Advantages: Portable, makes reading, writing and numeracy fun, easy to use
Disadvantages: Needs to be set up on a PC, limit to 10 books uploaded on to the pen
**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.
Summary: A fun educational piece of tech that enhances 4-8 year olds' reading experience
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