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2009 Awards
LeapFrog Tag Junior
( LeapFrog $35 Score: )

Tag Junior is really a well designed platform for the 2-4 crowd. The books are all printed on sturdy cardboard stock. Pre-readers can use the Tag device to make the books speak more than the apparent text on the page. There are more than 100 interactions in each book that invite children to find objects on the page, as well as simply reading what the page says. Unlike the original Tag toy that reads true storybooks along with interactive touch features, this junior version explores ideas that do not have to be "read" in sequence. For younger children who may dip into a book without regard to its sequence, this makes sense. The toy comes loaded with one book, If I Were, a book full of animal sounds. There are 8 other titles available and a total of 13 that will be released this year. You buy the extra books in the store and then you download the interactions into the Tag Junior device with your computer. There is an ABC Orchestra book, another with action words. One of the best for this age group is a color concept book featuring Curious George. Dora the Explorer is also the star of a bilingual counting book that goes from 1-10 (although for most 2-4's learning to count to five in one language is probably enough.) You'll want to share these books with your child before handing off the device that they can then use independently. A carrying case ($14.99) that holds the Tag Jr. and five books will come in handy for storage as the library grows. 2-4

 The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP ADAPTATION: The chunky sensor is easier than most to grasp. If it needs to be futher adapted, a glove with velcro in the mitt and a strip of velcro on the sensor may do the trick. Unlike simply reading along with a recording, this learning tool enables beginning readers to follow along and get the sense of how the text moves from left to right. It encourages readers to learn the "mechanics" of how a book works from front to back, from left page to right. Add to this the fun of exploring the pages and art to make things happen and this goes a few steps beyond any other read aloud story system with real books!

 

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.


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