With Amelia turning three next month and starting nursery soon I have been making a conscious effort to sit down with her more often and get to her to read out words, spell them and also sounding them out. I've always felt that Amelia was behind on her reading which is mainly down to us not reading as often as we probably should have done. However since we started reading every night before she goes to sleep she is starting to enjoy books more, and more recently has come on leaps and bounds with her speech and reading.
As LeapFrog testers we were recently sent the LeapReader Junior to put through it's paces which we have been using for the past couple of weeks and I thought it was a good time to share our thoughts with you. The LeapReader Junior is really easy to set up and requires you to hook up to the laptop with a USB cable to download the software to enable it to work. You don't need a screwdriver to undo the back to insert the batteries you can use your nail or a 1p coin. You can also select to have your child's name set up too which we did for Amelia as it has the same voice as all of her other LeapFrog toys.
The LeapReader junior book pal is designed to encourage toddlers natural desire to explore. Allowing parents to download up to five audio books onto the book pal which introduce reading basics, different preschool skills such as numbers, letters and early vocabulary. It's a great introduction to reading for your little one and will help encourage them to be excited about reading as well.
The book which came with the Leap reader Junior is a sampler board book called "Let's read together" and a mix of different stories which gives you an idea of what to expect which is good to see if your child will like it first and which ones they are most interested in before buying. Since Amelia has really enjoyed sitting down and reading it I've decided to buy her a few other books for her birthday. I would suggest buying a few of the books to get you started as the sampler book isn't actually a story.
Not only does the book pal read the words in the books it also plays music and sound effect when you put him on objects in the book. Amelia loves doing this and making him sing songs. I can definitely notice an improvement in Amelia's reading and speech and she will now pick up the book pal and sit down and read the book.
Scout is very easy to hold in little hands and measures approx 10cm high. He has been cleverly designed to fit in your toddlers hand. He also has a volume button and main power button on his body. To active him all you need to do is press the power button and hold him above or tap any of the writing or objects on the page and he will begin to speak or play music.
One negative that I must share is that the memory storage on the book pal isn't that great, so if you were to buy a few of the books and download them you would only be able to download 4 or 5 books at a time. This isn't so much of a problem for us at the moment but if I were to buy more I would have to remove the others to make space for the news ones. Hopefully that is something LeapFrog can look into and increase the memory in the future?
Another suggestion although not a big deal would be to make the book pal USB chargeable instead of battery operated as the book pal requires 2 AAA batteries in order for it to work. For example charge it up via USB on the computer. This would be so much easier in my opinion instead of having to change batteries all the time.
If you are considering purchasing one of these for your little one then I would highly recommend it for encouraging your child to read from an early age however do bear in mind that you will have to delete and load books quite often which can be rather annoying unless you child doesn't mind listening to the same ones.
The LeapReader is available to buy in either purple or green and is aimed for toddlers aged 1-3. You can buy the LeapFrog LeapReader from the LeapFrog Store here or from Amazon, Argos, Tesco, ToysRus and many other high street retailers. The LeapReader has a RRP of £24.99 and the books are available for pretty cheap on Amazon.
To find out more about helping your child to read with LeapFrog take a look at this free pdf guide here.
* We were sent the LeapReader Junior as part of our role with LeapFrog and their blogger panel.
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