Learning to read the high-tech way with LeapReader

I will be the first to admit that while our house is full of books and bookworms who love them, I do not have a clue about how to teach my children to actually read on their own. Some of the things that we’re doing to encourage literacy: read to the girls daily, point out letters/words/numbers on signs or in flyers (this is actually how I discovered that Rowan can identify numbers, she started pointing them out on price signs one day), visit the library so they can pick out their own books, have the girls point out words or letters in the books. I was looking for a fun way for the girls to get some practice in when I wasn’t able to read with them, so I was thrilled when my friends at LeapFrog sent me a LeapReader (SRP $59.99)! Here’s what you get in the box:


  • LeapReader™ reading and writing system
  • Sampler Activity Book
  • Learning Paper Writing Sheet
  • USB Cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Included apps**

  • 1 Audio Book
  • 1 Music Album
  • 1 Fun Facts Trivia Challenge

Of course, there’s only so much fun you can have with the sampler activity book so the next time I went shopping, I picked up LeapReader™ Read & Write Book Set: Ready, Set, Kindergarten which comes with 3 books, 30 activity worksheets and an interactive poster.

Both of my daughters love the LeapReader. Rowan was the first to discover that it plays music, so now we can listen to “Punc-punc, punc-punctuation” on both the LeapPad and the LeapReader. She also loves the audio books that come pre-loaded. The volume control is easy for the girls to use and actually gets quiet, which is key for me; I have a real pet-peeve about kids toys that are too loud! The charge lasts for quite a while and adding the audio files for new books is easy-peasy. Ashlyn tried to use the LeapReader before I’d loaded the new books, and when I hooked the pen up to my computer, it already knew which audio files I would need.

This is Ashlyn after discovering that a song plays if she presses on the musical notes!

I think that we have years of LeapReader use ahead of us! It reminds me of the books on cassette I used to listen to constantly, but so much better: it reads the whole page, or each word, or an individual letter, depending on which mode the child chooses. There is a chime when it’s time to turn the page and everything! Add in the bonus mini games on most pages and the only fight I have with my daughters about the LeapReader is who’s turn it is to use it. File this one away for a holiday gift suggestion for sure!

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