Tag reading system

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 September, 2011, 12:00am


Do you find yourself constantly obsessing over your child's English skills? Are you worried that your child's vocabulary is smaller than that of their peers?

If your answer is yes, you are not alone. But one product that can ease some of that stress is LeapFrog's Tag Reading System.

Aimed at four- to eight-year-olds, the system claims to help children build English skills such as vocabulary, phonics and reading comprehension. The Tag Reader is a great way to make learning fun because in the LeapFrog world, 'words talk, pictures sing and stories live out loud'.

As today's children become increasingly tech-savvy, Hong Kong parents are always on the lookout for ways of combining their child's love for gadgets with teaching educational skills. LeapFrog's amazing touch reading system does just that.

The pack consists of a Tag Reader, a hardcover storybook, an USB cable, the LeapFrog Connect CD and batteries.

Getting started is quite simple. First, download and install the software from the CD onto your personal computer. Then connect the Tag Reader to your computer with the USB cable and download the audio for your Tag book. Once you've followed all the instructions given in the user guide, just pick up the Tag Reader and storybook and you're ready to roll.

The Tag Reader is a 'pen' that reads aloud any word you place it on in the storybook, helping children learn the sound of the word while correlating that word to its written form. A child can either have the entire story read aloud or point to specific words for help with pronunciation. The book offers different options, such as 'read the [whole] story', 'read the page', 'repeat' and 'stop'.

The Tag Reading System has two modes - 'read' and 'game'. If you think your child has done his share of reading for the day, you can let him switch to interactive learning 'games' by placing the 'pen' on the option given at the corner of a page.

The Tag Reader, which comes with one book in the box, works with a library of 40 Tag-enabled books and learning aids such as flash cards. The books are based on classic tales, children's television shows and animation films, such as The Cat in the Hat and Toy Story. Each time you buy a book, however, you need to download the audio to the Tag Reader.

Parents will appreciate the system's Learning Path program, which lets them track their child's progress. Children, on the other hand, will appreciate the 'rewards' they earn for a job well done.

If you are looking to give your child an edge in English, the Tag Reading System is a good place to start.

Verdict: A friend's seven-year-old son took only about 10 minutes to figure out how the Tag Reader worked. He spent the next half an hour with it, playing games and reading. So, it's easy to use and can hold a child's attention. But at 32MB, the Tag Reader's memory is on the lower side and can hold only 10 books at a time. Buying the books, which cost HK$90 each, can add a lot to the total price tag.

LeapFrog Tag Reading System, HK$400, from Toys 'R' Us