Bub is completely and utterly obsessed with books. I'm not complaining either, I'm actually really excited that she loves them this much. I often find her sitting on her playmat quietly reading one of her books by herself. Of course she can't actually read yet (she'd be a genius if she could read at 18 months), but she does love flicking the pages and studying the pictures.
She's recently decided she wants to know more about the stories so she'll bring a book up to me and point to a picture and get me to tell her the names of the characters. Her favourite book is In the Night Garden as she recognises all the characters from tv. After a few weeks of me telling her the names, I can now ask her where Upsy Daisy or Iggle Piggle are and she confidently points to them. Seeing how much shes interested in actually trying to understand books now rather than just look at them, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce the Leap Frog LeapReader Junior to her.
The LeapReader Junior is an interactive system that helps children aged 1 - 3 build reading fundamentals. It incorporates a board book and a handheld Scout or Violet which reads the book to the child. Its designed specifically for toddlers to help build hand and motor skills whilst learning early vocabulary skills to prepare them for preschool. It makes reading an interactive and fun process whilst helping teach new skills.
The LeapReader Junior is $59.99 and comes with the Lets Read Together sample board book. The sample book contains excerpts from eight different LeapReader Junior board books that are available separately. It also comes with a usb cable to download the audio documents for the other books and it can also personalise Scout (or Violet) to remember your child's name.
Using the LeapReader Junior is super easy. Bub simply holds Scout and then puts him over the words and he says the story. He can also be used on pictures which make other noises or sayings. At first she was tapping Scout onto the book really quickly which is a bit hit and miss as he really needs to touch the page for at least a second to sense the image or words. She was getting frustrated when he wasn't talking, but after some coaching from me and practice she's got a lot better at holding him over the words or pictures for longer. I did a little demo video below so you can see Scout in action properly (please ignore my nasal voice - sinus sucks!).
What I really love about the LeapReader Junior is that it involves physically interacting with the book, rather than being a computer based app. Bub has a similar thing in her Playschool app on the ipad. It lets her read a letter, but it doesn't help her develop hand and motor skills as all she does is tap the words. I much prefer her interacting with the board books as she still gets to turn the pages and further develop her appreciation for real books (even though she's using computer technology at the same time).
I also really love the selection of books available to go with the LeapReader Junior. There are over 20 board books that can be purchased separately, some of which come as sets. I particularly love the toddler milestones book set that includes 4 books to help toddlers deal with events like a new baby coming into the family and toilet training. I'm definitely getting this set for bub. I'm also thinking she'll probably need the Winnie the Pooh book. There's just too many great options and they're all educational because they teach vocabulary, numbers and reading skills (that'll be my excuse when T gets annoyed at me for buying so many).