Did anyone else have kids who went through that period when they wouldn't sit still for reading a book? I hope I'm not the only one!
When Hollis was between 1 and 2 1/2 it was really hard to get him to sit down and read with us. We mostly ended up reading him books while he jumped around on the floor or played with other toys, only occasionally popping up to look at a picture. Interaction? Sure, for about 10 seconds.
Then we discovered Leapfrog. Hollis got a Leapfrog book for Christmas when he was 14 months old and loved it. For once, he would sit and engage for 5 minutes at a time instead of 5 seconds. The only problem was carting our huge leap pad around. It was great for at home or in the car, but I couldn't put it in my purse for a wait in the doctor's office.
Now, Hollis loves books and, thankfully, so does his little brother. We never have to fight to get them to read, they look forward to it and ask for us to read their favorites. 15 times in a row if they can sucker us into it! But still, we're always looking for great educational books that will engage our kids and teach them something.
The new TAG is a nifty "pen" that fits nicely in a child's hand. It employs some nifty technology I don't understand that allows the pen to "read" the book. It works in much the same way as the bulky LeapFrog book pads did, but nothing other than the book and pen are needed. Pretty cool, huh?
LeapFrog sent us the TAG reader and 3 books: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (always a favorite), Kung Fu Panda, and Ozzie and Mack. Ozzie and Mack comes with the reader. You'll need to connect the TAG reader to your computer to upload the other books, but it takes no time at all. The kids were reading along with the books in no time. Not only does the TAG reader tell the story, but it can also play games and give sound effects to every character and object in the book. I cannot tell you how much that thrilled my kids.
Aside from the reading and game playing, the TAG reader is designed to help you, the parent, follow your child's developmental path. You see, the reader remembers your child's responses to game and quiz questions. You can then connect the TAG reader to your computer and see where your child is on the Learning Path.
Along with the LeapFrog TAG, I had the chance to review something a little different: the Savvy Source Quiz website. Do you see that Savvy Source Quiz, sponsored by LeapFrog, over on the Sidebar? Go ahead and take the quiz. In much the same way as the TAG reader, the Savvy Source Quiz page can tell you where your child is on the developmental learning path and suggest activities to help improve or reinforce skills in the areas of visual arts, language, math, science, social skills, movement, and music.
I took the language Savvy Quiz for Hollis. Here are his results:
Savvy Source then provides you with a Learning Guide, suggesting activities, books and toys geared to your child's learning level. Savvy Source gave me 35 free activities to try with Hollis. Some of them were downloads, some were suggestions for fun things to just help Hollis improve his letter recognition and language skills.
I tried the "What's your middle name" activity with Hollis. We take Gary N----- (Hollis's kitten) and give him a different middle initial each time. Gary A. N-----. Then we name everything we can think of that starts with the letter A. We move on to other letters and keep the game going day by day. It's a great game for the car and Holden gets in on the action too.
I love the Savvy Source website. They have similar quizzes and activities in every area of learning and I'm sure I'll be consulting their site before we take any long trips or need some fun and educational activities for the weekend. Of course, we'll be packing the LeapFrog TAG too!