Friday, January 30, 2015

Learning to love reading (LeapFrog LeapReader Junior review)

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).


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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).
     



The Leap Frog LeapReader Junior is a perfect educational present for any toddler and there's a board book to suit any personality. I can't wait to add more books to our collection.

Do/did your kids love books?

Toni x

Disclosure - We were gifted a Leap Frog LeapReader Junior for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own based on our experience with the product. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Kaz, Ann, Bel & Eva

12 comments:

  1. My friends who have leap frog have loved them. I think they look great. #helpi'mstuck

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    1. We have heaps of their toys, bub loves them and I love them because they're all really educational.

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  2. I had an older leap frog system with my older kids where the book sat in a holder and the pen made sounds as it connected with the pages. They loved it and are now advanced readers for their respective ages. Anything to help kids develop an early love of reading is a very valuable thing and will help them later on in life.

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    1. That's awesome that they're advanced readers now Kirsty

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  3. My daughter loves books and is getting to that stage where she is just absorbing everything and wants to know everything. This looks great!!! Is it expensive?

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    1. They're $59.99 Caroline, you can get them from Big W, Target, Myer or DJ's. Bub uses hers everyday so I think they're a worthwhile investment and there's so many books that can be added so they won't get bored with it.

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  4. All my kids have been book lovers, although not so much Mr 8 at the moment - he's rather be on his skateboard!! I've seen those leap books before but never really looked into them. I think my Miss Lexi would just love one - what a great idea xx

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    1. Lexi would be the perfect age. Bub is obsessed with it already at 18 months and uses it at least once a day.

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  5. I work in a library and we have noticed over the years that families who value reading and read a lot to their children have kids that tend to love reading.This little gadget would be a helpful addition and I like that it is interactive. Thanks for linking with Mummy Mondays #Team MM

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    1. I loved reading so much when I was younger so I'm really happy that she loves it too :)

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  6. We love Leap Frog toys. The laptops were our favourites. Spot the dog brings back lovely toddler memories :)

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  7. They are great toys aren't they!
    Thanks for contributing this post to The Sunday Brunch Magazine!
    All the best, Bel

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