Opinions on these reading wands? (or whatever they are called) - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You know I see one for leap frog advertised on the Tv. The child runs the hand held wand over the words & the words are read out loud from the wand. KWIM?

My SIL got my 15mo one called Poingo.

I am so not into it. It seems like what is the point of 'reading' a book that way, when I can take him to story time at the library or I can read him a book out loud my self. Also he is young for that kind of stuff IMO.

Am I missing something??

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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I think my DS might like it, but he's almost 5...at 15 months he wouldn't have gotten anything out of it. DS would love it because he's at the stage now where he WANTS to read the book himself but can only read a few words.

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:16 AM
 
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It looks like it goes with certain books. I don't think they can use just any books with it. In the ad it looked liked they had Sponge Bob and Disney princesses, Dora and Diego, Pixar characters...ect

I don't see it as something I would purchase.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:13 AM
 
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We had the Leapfrog Jr. or something like that - it was a gift. It worked OK, but you had to have a special cartridge and a special book, and it wasn't all that easy to use. I think the newer models are better.

But, I'm not a fan of electronic things like this, especially for very young children. My kids are 5 and 8 and do play on the computer. Today, they spent a fair amount of time typing in a story that we wrote together last night. That is productive use of electronics, IMO. The other kind of stuff wasn't all that great, as far as I was concerned.

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Old 11-18-2009, 06:12 AM
 
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I think they're goofy. Why not just read to your child? Seriously...I don't see why parents are so willing to put themselves out of a job with technology.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:23 AM
 
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My middle child had a Leapfrog and loved it. We found it at a consignment store, along with some books and found other books at yard sales, etc.

He has Autism and it seemed to help him with his reading.

I say to each their own. It never stopped us from reading to him, or his brothers.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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I don't really like them. So much of what makes a story good is about the flow of how the words fit together to crate the world of the story in your head. With a recorded voice reading one word at a time you lose the flow. Even stuff as simple as Dr. Seuss would be missing something without it's rhythm and flow. I don't see how the wands could mimic that.

I can see how they might help a kid with sight words or, even stretching the point, might help a kid decode words. But I think it might inhibit or even damage the fluency of their reading.

ETA: If the wand reads whole sentences or paragraphs it would be slightly better. There is research that shows that listening to a fluent reader while following along with the text can improve both fluency and comprehension. Of course none of this would apply to a 15 month old.

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Old 11-18-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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I'm not a fan. I see my son looking at his books and turning pages while babbling along. Then he sees something he recognizes (a CAT!! a DOG!!) and says the word aloud. He doesn't need some disembodied voice doing his thinking for him.

I know I also read recently that they are finding these types of products actually hurt a kid's creativity. I am off to try and dig up that article.

I also figure my kid is going to be exposed to enough electronic technology in his life that he and I can read books together the old fashioned way.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Sounds like a useless gadget that will eventually end up in a land fill. I would rather my kid have real books.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure you have to use certain books which are sure to be more expensive & out of budget for us, so I don't see how it'd be that usefull... If it could read *any* book then yeah, it might be cool, but I don't think thats how they work, so...
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Not really a fan. DS and DD both got one for xmas last year. They seem to like it because it reads for them ut I'd much rather read to my kid myself. Though sometimes I am just not able to (like when driving). You can get classic books with the leap frog one. DS like it at he is just learning to read. We took it for driving 60+ hours cross country and it helped stave off the boredom. Otherwise it hasn't gotten much more use. I wouldn't have bought them myself that's for sure.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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Though sometimes I am just not able to (like when driving). You can get classic books with the leap frog one. DS like it at he is just learning to read. We took it for driving 60+ hours cross country and it helped stave off the boredom.
I was thinking the same thing. These hadn't been invented when my kids were small, but they had the first version of LeadFrog and it was a GREAT car toy. We do uber long trips to visit family, and goofy gadgets that we wouldn't bother with at home were super for little kids strapped into car seats.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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I think they're goofy. Why not just read to your child? Seriously...I don't see why parents are so willing to put themselves out of a job with technology.
So I can take a shower

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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I think the one for older kids (the actual wand, not the chunky block for toddlers) is good. My niece has one, and she can check out LeapFrog materials from the library to use it with. It's nice because you can wand over each word individually, unlike with the toddler one, which just does a whole page - and THAT seems like mostly a waste. I could just read DS a book and have some quality quiet time with him, kwim?

I might get him a wand when he's older, but I won't get that toddler one.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:22 PM
 
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I think they're goofy. Why not just read to your child? Seriously...I don't see why parents are so willing to put themselves out of a job with technology.
What I do when I read a story (which we LOVE doing) and what the book does are totally different. The book is more of a game than a story. We just bought DD the Bugsby version yesterday for Christmas (made by V-Tech). She tried it at the store and loved it. Not so much because it reads a story. Actually, the story is just a small part of it. There's little activities on each page, like matching colours, or dressing the characters. My daughter loved how she could control how the story went, and liked doing the activities. It's not at all like listening to a real person read a story, nor do I think it's supposed to replace that (and I wouldn't want it to).

I bought it because, bottom line, it looked FUN (and isn't that what Christmas and childhood and wonderment are all about?). Sometimes people over think things too much. It's something I would have wanted when I was kid, she thoroughly enjoyed it when she tried it out, so why not? It's a game. Not some super serious piece of academic robot parent replacement technology.

ETA: DD is 3.5, and I think at 15 months it would have gone way over her head. In fact, the cartridges for the games all started at Pre-K.

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Old 11-18-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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I think they're goofy. Why not just read to your child? Seriously...I don't see why parents are so willing to put themselves out of a job with technology.
That's how I felt about all that Baby Einstein stuff. I mean... who doesn't have time to interact with their own child.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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I don't like them, but it doesn't have anything to do with interacting/not interacting with your kids...(I don't personally think that most parents on here would use it as a 1:1 substitute for interacting, any more than any other toy)

It just seems kinda...boring...and counterintuitive to the reading process. It's like giving a kid a calculator. Why bother trying to do math in your head or count things out on fingers when the gadget does it for you?

I could be wrong...but it isn't for me.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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I mean... who doesn't have time to interact with their own child.
LOL Seriously? So the only time your kids play and do fun stuff is when you're directing it? Do you people really think a talking play book can REPLACE a parent? Anymore than any other toy or game that encouarages indipendent play? My 3.5 year old loves being indipendent, that, in and of self is a "game". One that can't be compared to the activities that people do together. Which is different.

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Old 11-18-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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I think your kid is a little young.

I think they look neat and in a year or so my DD would probably love to have one. She's very independent and likes to have a way to check what she does. I can see that as part of what she pays with, she'd have fun reading along with the thing.

I don't think they replace a parent reading to a kid. They are just another kind of game in addition to parent time.

If you don't like it very much, then put it away and save it for long car trips or that week when you're sick with the flu.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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LOL Seriously? So the only time your kids play and do fun stuff is when you're directing it? Do you people really think a talking play book can REPLACE a parent? Anymore than any other toy or game that encouarages indipendent play? My 3.5 year old loves being indipendent, that, in and of self is a "game". One that can't be compared to the activities that people do together. Which is different.
Thanks for posting this. The idea of a toy replacing one on one interaction is a little dramatic. There are many toys out there that don't require parental interaction. These reading wands are no different. My kids have one and quite frankly, hardly ever use it. But when they do, it's all in fun and certainly not something I consider "educational". And definitely not a replacement for me reading to them or with them.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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Thanks for posting this. The idea of a toy replacing one on one interaction is a little dramatic. There are many toys out there that don't require parental interaction. These reading wands are no different. My kids have one and quite frankly, hardly ever use it. But when they do, it's all in fun and certainly not something I consider "educational". And definitely not a replacement for me reading to them or with them.
Maybe I should put away my DD's wooden dollhouse because when she plays with it she has one doll be the 'mama' and another doll be her and I am completely replaced!
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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That's how I felt about all that Baby Einstein stuff. I mean... who doesn't have time to interact with their own child.
No body interacts with their child every minute that their child is awake. We shower, potty, cook dinner, etc. Most of us drive cars. Heck, some times we even surf the net or read a book, care for our other children, etc.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 11-18-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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Maybe I should put away my DD's wooden dollhouse because when she plays with it she has one doll be the 'mama' and another doll be her and I am completely replaced!
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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Thanks for posting this. The idea of a toy replacing one on one interaction is a little dramatic. There are many toys out there that don't require parental interaction. These reading wands are no different. My kids have one and quite frankly, hardly ever use it. But when they do, it's all in fun and certainly not something I consider "educational". And definitely not a replacement for me reading to them or with them.
Yeah, totally. Some things are just FUN. A "reading" wand being one of them. Some people totally over think FUN, to the point that it morphs into some big ugly beast and the magic of being a kid playing with a FUN toy is lost because there's some political/ethical/moral baggage that goes along with it.

It's a TOY people. And you know, I'm all for some parents hating certain toys (I certainly have my "I wouldn't be heart broken if I accidentally stepped on it" list), but seriously, the whole line about nobody having time for their kids anymore because some families choose to have the odd toy that takes a battery and can be used independently is so

As I type my daughter is happily playing on the floor with her wooden, American made, vegetable dyed, building blocks. Alone. And I have no intention of playing with her. Because I'm going to make dinner. But a nice set of wooden blocks as a babysitter is so much better than a battery operated book, right?

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Old 11-18-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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My SIL got my 15mo one called Poingo.

I am so not into it. It seems like what is the point of 'reading' a book that way, when I can take him to story time at the library or I can read him a book out loud my self. Also he is young for that kind of stuff IMO.

Am I missing something??
It's for 3 to 7 year olds, so yes, your little one is way too young to get anything out of it. It might be worth packing it away and bringing back out when he's older. You could at least wait until then to make the decision to get rid of it or not.

That said, it's not something I would buy for my kids. It just seems silly and not particularly fun, and I don't like all the books that go with it. But if someone gave it to them, I'd probably let them play with it as long as they were old enough.

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Old 11-18-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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One of these Tag readers came into our possesion as well, and frankly, it doesn't seem that fun, but it's not evil by any means. DS1 (age 5) will play with it occasionally, and really really likes one book about Star Wars (but then, anything Star Wars goes over big here).

It's nice for a sort of strange situation we've found ourselves in this year - DS is in public kindergarten in the afternoon, but when the district calls a half-day (for holidays, teacher training, whatnot) both the morning and afternoon classes go in for the morning session. One class is in the regular class with the teacher, and the other is in the library with a sub (they switch off who goes where). When his class is in the library, they can do the work that they'd normally do in their classroom, but they don't have any of the toys for centers/free play -- so they're allowed to bring in one 'quiet' toy from home. DS1 has brought his Tag reader and books, and it was a hit and had his classmates asking to borrow it as well.

That said -- I wouldn't pay a lot of money for it, I've gotten a couple of extra books for him with a coupon but it's not the Best Toy Ever. On the other hand, it hasn't kept him from reading lots of other books on his own, or having books read to him by mom or dad. There are lots of hours in the day for all kinds of activities (esp. when you wake up at 6 and refuse to go to bed till after 8! )

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Old 11-18-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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There was some study that came out a year or two ago that said that the kids who were "learning to read" from Leap Frog type toys were actually not learning as well or as fast as kids who were being read to by adults. I got the impression that this was about kids whose parents mostly turned over reading to the technology, though. I can't imagine that it would be a detriment to kids whose parents also read to them often.

Grrr. Googled it and can't find it.

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Old 11-18-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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There was some study that came out a year or two ago that said that the kids who were "learning to read" from Leap Frog type toys were actually not learning as well or as fast as kids who were being read to by adults. I got the impression that this was about kids whose parents mostly turned over reading to the technology, though. I can't imagine that it would be a detriment to kids whose parents also read to them often.

Grrr. Googled it and can't find it.
You can find experts and research to back up most positions.

John Holt, for example, recommends not using "children's" books in any form, but simply reading text only adult books. But, I'd wager that many parents on this thread read their kids children's books.
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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I asked for one for DD for christmas - she is 3.5. I figure better that than some other junky toy my dad would buy her instead. I see us using it in the car and perhaps for some quiet time when DD2 comes along in April.

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Old 11-19-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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There was some study that came out a year or two ago that said that the kids who were "learning to read" from Leap Frog type toys were actually not learning as well or as fast as kids who were being read to by adults.
Does that really surprise anyone?

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