April 18, 2012

LeapFrog Tag Gets Kids to Eat Veggies?

Many of you are probably familiar with the LeapFrog Tag
. If you aren't then let us explain.

The Tag is a computerized pen that works in conjunction with a variety of LeapFrog items.  It allows a small child to have books read to them by the tag pen, hear specific words on a page and play games relating to the story to test their reading comprehension.

Our Mommy Testers were skeptical at first.  Most of us always thought of reading as something you do alone with your child until they are old enough to read books to you...you know, the old fashioned way.  However, we always try to keep an open mind.

One of our Mommy Testers decided to give it a try with her 3.5 year old son who was struggling for independence in a major way.  She loaded the Tag up with batteries, synced it with some LeapFrog software and put it aside while she read the Tag book The Little Engine That Could to her testy little toddler without the Tag.  They got about half way through the story before he grabbed the book and said "I want to do it by myself."


So she let him, with the Tag.  He needed some direction with the pen, learning to hold it properly to trigger the words on the page so the Tag pen would talk.  After only 2 sentences he looked up and said "I'm doing it!  I'm doing it by myself mom!"

She was pretty impressed.  Her testy toddler now enjoys using the Tag to read books by himself while on car rides and out at restaurants. She reads to him before bed and whenever he will let her.

We still think the Tag is no replacement for spending time with your child and teaching them to read with you.  Leapfrog doesn't advertise it that way either.  We do think it's a fantastic tool to allow kids the independence and control to read partially on their own before they would otherwise be ready to.  This promotes a nice love of reading and self confidence which we think are crucial to have before starting school.

What exactly does this have to do with getting kids to eat their veggies??? 

One of our other Mommy Testers had a different take on how to use her Tag.  She prides herself on discovering quirky, harder to find items.  She stumbled upon the Tag Funny Phrases game and had to bring it home.It was hiding in the hall closet waiting for a rainy day when she figured out the perfect way to use it.

This Mommy Tester has some finicky eaters in her home.  Her 4 and 6 year old girls do not love to eat most vegetables and she had all but given up on even trying to serve most of them.  She set up dinner to have several different kids of vegetables. 

Every time the Kid Testers ate a vegetable they got to choose a word to add to the phrase.  When they had 5 words together in the phrase they got to play it and hear the ridiculous phrase. The Tag instructs you on what color tiles go in what boxes to ensure that while VERY silly,  the sentence is also properly structured. Tag Funny Phrases allowed the kid testers to make phrases like "My cuddly monster dances underwater."  which had them laughing quite hard.

Without being bribed by a dessert or any other treat her kid testers were so focused on getting to play this neat game during dinner and seeing what funny phrases they could make that they both ate quite a few vegetables and even tried ones they otherwise would not have.

The LeapFrog Tag (about $30 and the Tag Funny Phrases (a steal at about $7) are both available at Amazon.com right here: LeapFrog Tag, Tag Funny Phrases 


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