I received the below product from Mom Select and LeapFrog to keep in order to complete this review. All opinions are my own.
I am a HUGE LeapFrog fan for their high quality educational products and we have all fallen in love with their Read With Me Scout toy (There is also a Violet version too)!! My son has another plush Scout from when he was little so when this new Scout arrived he was thrilled!! In preschool he has been working very hard to learn his letters and letter sounds so anything to do with reading right now is a big hit in our house. He’s at that “I want to learn” stage on the brink of reading and we’re soaking it up for all it’s worth!! LeapFrog’s Read With Me Scout comes with 5 board books that Scout actually reads to your child – but it’s completely interactive. You have to pat Scout’s head before he’ll begin reading a new page, and if your child begins to lose interest in reading and starts playing with Scout he’ll respond with kisses or hugs, but then says “Let’s get back to the story”! I love how it draws the child’s attention back to reading the book. My son has had no problems making Scout work perfectly on his own.
Although, we also found that if my son is hugging onto Scout while he’s reading it keeps setting him off to kiss or hug and then he stops reading the book so we found it best while reading stories to place Scout next to us! If your child can recognize numbers 1-5 (OR knows their colors) and can follow simple directions than he/she can use Scout all by himself/herself.
At the top of each book there is a colored “stripe” as you can see above – green, purple, orange, red, blue – across the top of the books. In addition to that there is a number on each of the colored stripes. Each number AND color corresponds with the number/color on Scout’s collar – see below!
It’s SO simple and rather ingenius really – just about any preschooler should be able to at the least recognize basic colors and really know those numbers. I LOVE that my son can completely set up his Scout to read the books all by himself and he is not dependant on me to do it for him. Although I LOVE reading with him this encourages him to actively have reading time by himself – even if he can’t read yet. He loves “patting” Scout on the head to get him to read the next page which also means he can work at his own pace. It gives him the time to look at the pictures on the page as long as he wants before he continues.
Honestly I absolutely LOVE this product. In my opinion it is the best EARLY reader “toy” I’ve seen. We’ve used the TAG reading system for years but this Read With Me Scout is MUCH more simple for the younger kiddos as young as 2 years old!
During the reading time sometimes Scout will ask your kid to do something like shake his paw or pet his back and has over 70 questions that he can interact with. But Scout isn’t JUST for reading – although that’s personally my favorite part of it – Scout also plays music and plays with your kiddo too. Kids read the same thing OVER AND OVER AND OVER again until you get so tired of the books – and then they ask you again! I think 5 books is a nice number that’s included with Scout. It’s easy enough for my son to carry and keep all of his books together and it gives him some variety to choose from during reading time.
Aside from the learning aspect of course, reading with my son and his Scout is such a precious time for me. My son WANTS to learn and I get to snuggle with him while he feels independent enough to “read” the book on his own!
If you’re really trying to encourage your younger children to love books and be independent with them I would check out the LeapFrog Read With Me Scout (or Violet). This is a great move from beginner board books to independent book time and learning to listen and follow simple directions. My son is 4 years old and I wish we’d had this 2 years ago. But even at 4 years old he especially LOVES it because he feels like a “big boy” reader like his older brother. Even though he can’t physically read the words off of the page he sure can sit down with his books and listen to the entire story all by himself. The execution of this early literacy “toy” and simplicity of it is perfect for ages 2-4 years old.