We had great plans to meet friends at the park this morning – the kids excited to splash in the fountains and play freeze tag with their friends, I excited to have coffe time with the girls. Unfortunately, we awoke to pouring rain. I’m not normally deterred by a little rain, but the thunder was pretty ominous . . . better to stay inside today.
Fortunately, the kids have rediscovered their Leapfrog TAG readers, and have spent all morning reading to themselves and playing games! Have you seen these TAG readers and books? I think it is such a fabulous idea – they have dozens of storybooks, some classics like The Little Engine That Could, and some new ones that must have been written specifically for Leapfrog. And they look just like regular books with nice hard covers and paper pages that you turn to read the story. BUT, touch any word on the page with the TAG reader pen and it says the word out loud! Touch the pictures for sound effects! The reader can read the entire story, with a special sound to let children know when to turn the page, and it plays games to reinforce reading comprehension. Fletcher especially loves the games and collecting “rewards” online.
They have played all morning and have not even asked once to turn on the television! The only down side has been that they keep asking me to switch the books on their readers, since their version only holds a few books at a time (newer versions hold a lot more I think.)
Lola Gray was perhaps a bit young when she first got her TAG for Christmas last year. At barely 3 she had a hard time understanding what to do with the pen and holding it properly to make the reader work. Leapfrog has since come out with a TAG Junior version for 2-4 year olds that looks a lot easier for little ones, though we haven’t actually seen it in action.
The books cost a little more than regular books, but not much, and they are coming out with new titles all the time. It is such a brilliant marriage of technology and tradition – one I feel much better about allowing my children to play for hours on end than other more “digital” games. Not that digital is all bad. Fletcher has learned a tremendous amount playing his Leapster and now Lola Gray is asking for her very own pink Leapster so she can play the princess games and Dora games that Fletcher will not allow on his. Perhaps for Christmas . . . or the next rainy day!