Tuesday, 30 April 2013

New LeapReader electronic pen for learning to read and write

LeapFrog have announced the LeapReader, a new electronic pen to help kids learn to read and write. You might be familiar with the LeapFrog Tag pen, the LeapReader is an upgrade of that concept.

Kids use the LeapReader with special books and other resources that you buy separately.

You can get the LeapReader to read the books or just sound out words that kids are finding tricky.

Update: Now available to pre-order

I'm Mum to a 4.5 year old who is learning to read. At first it can be hard going and I can see why. When you are learning to read you're having to sound out lots of words and it's slow going. Electronic gadgets do make things more fun.

At the moment my son is reading an Ultra eBook on his LeapPad 2 which also sounds words out and has interactive features and he's really enjoying it.
It does look like there will be a good library of content for the LeapReader. In particular we spotted that there will be maps and titles from the Magic Tree House series. My older son is a big fan of the Magic Tree House series.

One issue I do have is that once my younger son has read through a book once he tends to remember it well, so he begins to recite the story from memory rather than properly reading it. This means that the books have a limited lifespan for actually learning to read which makes the system rather expensive. Kids do love to hear audio books over and over though so you do get value there.

As well as supporting reading, the LeapReader has a cool new feature to help with writing. You can get books with special ink that appears when kids write. No mess!

I do like this idea. My son definitely needs to practice his letter formation and handwriting worksheets are not very exciting so we've avoided those.

So far, we've always been impressed by the build quality and educational value of LeapFrog products. The LeapReader looks like a good tool both for kids who need a bit of extra encouragement and for kids who just love to spend lots of time reading and writing. 

The LeapReader has a RRP of $49 and will be available to pre-order in the US from June 12 with retail availability from July 2013.

Source: Press release
Official site: LeapFrog LeapReader

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