Oli is at the age now where school isn’t just about fun and games anymore. Now that he is in year one it is all about learning, with English and maths being the core subjects. Between the two English is his favourite subject and at home, we encourage this love of letters and writing with various methods. One method being his LeapFrog products and his collection of activity and reading books. This month’s Leapfrog ‘book of the month’ is Learn To Write Letters With Mr.Pencil which we were kindly sent to review. As we already own a LeapTag we were also sent a LeapReader.
We are already huge LeapFrog fans and own LeapFrog tablets with both the boys owning one suitable for their ages. I showed him how to get started with the LeapReader and Learn To Write Letter With Mr.Pencil and gave him an example of what to do on the practice paper, the copy and learn method which in theory is what the LeapReader is all about. He was quick to grasp what I was showing him and took off by himself to have a play. I did catch a quick video of him in action before sitting down to go through the interactive book with him.
The LeapReader activity book starts with some simple instructions on how to hold the pen and what the different symbols on the pages represent. It’s quite simple to pick up thanks to the easy symbols ‘read the page’, ‘read the story’, ‘repeat’, ‘stop’ & ‘game’ even a 5-year-old who can’t quite read and understand the words can grasp these. You then start the story ‘Mr.Pencil presents Doodleburg Rocks’ which sees the children forming a band with Dot & Dash to give a letter perfect performance at the Doodleburg Fun Fair. It automatically reads the story out for the children and gives a prompt for them to turn the page.
As they turn each page, they are faced with new activates to do. For example, on the very first page, the children are asked to try out the magic writing paper by writing or something they like. This is what Oli came up with.
On the next page, they practice straight lines by following the arrow. Simple enough task but Oli did very much enjoy playing the piano.
Continuing through the book, it follows this theme with plenty of activities and things to do to coincide with the storyline. We could tell our son was enjoying this and he goes back and forth to do it in his own time. It is one of those activities the kids could happily play by themselves, and we have noticed he favours doing it after school when he is rather tired and just wants some chill time sitting at the table. I don’t think he has quite caught on that what he is doing is exactly what he is doing at school. It’s just another way of teaching them reading and writing. It’s like the literary version of hiding vegetables in their mash potato.
It’s an ideal travelling companion and could be used in the car or while out and about; it has a handy earphone slot, so it doesn’t have to disturb the people around you. It needs no other pens or tools other than the actual LeapReader itself and the mess-free writing paper/interactive book.
We are far from finishing off all the letters, but once they have filled in the sheets, you can buy more writing sheets for them or just let them have fun with the games in the book. Definitely one LeapReader book we would recommend and suggest to fellow parents looking for aids to help their children read and write at home.