Books, my kids can never get enough of them and I can’t wait to watch them as they learn to read for themselves in a little while. For as long as I can remember I have loved books and as a child I was lucky enough to have shelves full of books to choose from. My kids have plenty of books too and not a week goes by without me adding a new book to the growing collection. To help children learn to read LeapFrog has developed Tag, a fantastic learning system that uses fun and interesting technology to teach children how to read.
The Tag reading system is designed for children aged 4 to 8 and the product range is based around the Tag Stylus, a pen shaped tool that turns plain words, pictures and stories into an exciting adventure. Children hold the Tag Stylus in their hand and as they touch words and pictures in special Tag books the Tag Stylus reads, talks and spells them out loud.
To start at the basics, the Tag Stylus itself is compact and works with 2 AAA batteries. You can connect the Tag Stylus to your computer with a USB cable and load the content of up to ten different books and games onto the reader. Everything is stored onto the Stylus so there are no cartridges to be lost or adapter and games to drag along. This makes the Tag system great entertainment for long car trips and holidays. You can adjust the volume and use head phones if you like. With just a few buttons (volume, power and audio book button) the Stylus is easy to control for little hands. As soon as the reader tip touches the words and pictures the magic world of Tag opens up.
The Tag books contain high gloss pages with exciting stories and activities featuring many well known and loved characters. Not visible to the naked eye is the Tag technology, hidden under words and images, which is brought to life by touching the pages with the Tag Stylus. You can hear stories read out loud, listen to the pronunciation and spelling of individual words and letters and play games, a great way to make the learning-to-read process fun and interesting.
In the Tag range you’ll find more than 25 Storybooks and Game Books with more titles being added all the time. Aside from these individual Tag books there are two ‘Learn to Read’ series containing six books each. These newly released sets focus especially on teaching children consonant sounds and blends, short and long vowels and silent ‘e’ and ‘y’.
All Tag books feature the same simple touch-and-go symbols on every page, there are 7 symbols to read, say, sound and spell words and letters as well as repeat, stop or play a game if applicable to that page. This easy concept allows children to learn and play at their own speed and focus on the area’s that need more attention or ones they really enjoy (unlike listen/read cd sets which leave no room for repetition or individual learning area’s). They can read independently and hassle free without having to ask a parent to change settings, which means they will enjoy the experience much more.
My favourite member of the Tag family is the Tag Interactive World Map. This large, fold out map is like an interactive atlas except that it does not only teaches kids the names of countries and continents, it also shares informative, interesting and fun facts about the different countries and the people (and even animals) that live in them.
Imagine how much more fun it is to practise your geography when you can find out what children in other countries eat for breakfast, or learn how to say ‘hello’ in a different language. You can even find out the distances between countries, something that is just mind boggling for little minds! When kids have learnt all their facts they can enjoy some games to test their knowledge. The Tag Interactive World Map is not only fun for kids, I had a great time learning new things myself.
Of course the fact that I love the Tag system doesn’t mean much, in the end what matters is that kids enjoy, understand and are able to use it and are learning things along the way. My twins are just a little bit too young for Tag but my 4-year old tester has assured me she loved it. According to my review family the Tag system was easy and simple to use for younger children without much technology knowledge, you don’t have to know all about games consoles and mobile phones to be able to use this. Once the child gets the hang of how to control the Tag Stylus and how to hear words and letters, repeat things and play games a whole world opens up and he/she can start exploring the fun world of reading.
The Tag Reading System (RRP $59.99), Tag Learn to Read sets (RRP $49.99) and Tag Interactive World Map (RRP $29.99) are available at leading retailers all over Australia, click here to find out where to buy your favourite LeapFrog products.
For more information about the LeapFrog Tag reading system, to watch a demonstration of this award winning concept and to check out the complete range of LeapFrog Tag products visit www.leapfrog.com.au.