Product Added : November 18th, 2012
Category : Toys & Games
"This Best Selling LeapFrog TAG Reading System – Green Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
Now Holds Up to 10 Books. Learn to read, love to read with Tag – the amazing touch reading system that brings stories to life like never before. Now the #1 best-selling reading system, the Tag Reader is loved around the world with more than 28 awards in 6 countries. As children touch the Tag Reader to the pages of specially printed storybooks, words talk, pictures sing and stories live out loud, engaging children's senses to make reading a rich, fulfilling experience. And, with more than 40 books and games based on favorite TV, movie and classic tales, the Tag library has something for every reader. The Tag Reader now holds audio for up to 10 books at a time. Simply connect the Tag Reader to your computer with the included USB cable, download the audio for your Tag books and drag-and-drop up to 10 of your child's favorite stories onto your Tag Reader. While online, you can also discover your children's favorite books and activities, learn about the skills they are exploring and share in their accomplishments by creating a free LeapFrogandreg, Learning Path at leapfrog official website. Based on a 2010 survey conducted by LeapFrog of teachers participating in its Tag Kindergarten Program who received Tag Reading Systems from LeapFrog for use in their classrooms.
I acquired the LeapFrog TAG reading system for my 7 year-old granddaughter in an effort to help improve her lagging reading skills. I gave the Leapfrog TAG device to her father (my son)for a test drive. He has used the Leapster 2 gaming system with his little girl for several years, so positive brand awareness influenced his interest in the LeapFrog TAG system. I asked him for some comments about the device. Here is what he said:
“On the parental side, software installation was quite simple. The device was in use less than ten minutes after opening the box. Managing the LeapFrog TAG’s media library at the desktop is also quite easy. The UI can be personalized to and utilized by the child with minimal instruction.
While my overall opinion of the system is positive, I found the materials included with the device to be decidedly minimalist. Unlike the Leapster 2, no protective case was included. Considering the TAG’s size, this increases the likelihood of misplacement. Batteries were not included, a rarity these days. Finally, the ‘sample’ book included was comprised of snippets from multiple available titles. The Leapster 2 had come with a complete game included. No additional purchase was required for the child to enjoy full immediate use of the device.
After purchasing a copy of ‘Walter the Far—g Dog Goes on a Cruise’ on sale for $10 at a local big box retailer, LeapFrog TAG’s potential was realized. It’s entertaining, versatile, and certainly more than just a talking book. The child can have the entire story read to him/her or point to specific words for assistance with pronunciation. Illustrations feature puzzles and quizzes to elicit interest beyond the story itself.
In addition, sound effects are employed to entertain which was of particular interest with the above noted title. Upon first receiving the TAG device and additional book, my child spent roughly a half hour with it (uninterrupted), then revisited frequently throughout the rest of the day. The device was used multiple times every day since receiving it, but my child is already requesting more titles after fully exploring the one(s) we have.
In just a short time, I have witnessed my girl’s ability to learn and speak more complex words. Long term viability of the LeapFrog TAG will likely be a function of available titles. I have noticed more of the newer ones to involve mostly games and puzzles. We will be sampling one of those soon.
Even if the LeapFrog TAG turns out to be only a transitional learning tool that doesn’t provide years of use like the Leapster 2, I’ve already found it to be a valuable help improving my child’s reading skills.”
I hope my son’s remarks were helpful. I can tell you that he was very satisfied with the TAG system and even more important so was my granddaughter.
THE QUICK TAKE: The Leapfrog Tag Reader is a terrific toy, one that every parent with children from ages 3 or 4 to 6 or so should consider purchasing. Just plan on spending another $30-60 a year on books, so that you’ll have age-appropriate books as your child grows. Also, to download the audio for a book, you need a computer with an internet connection.
FULL REVIEW: There are several ways to use the Tag Reader with the Tag books. In a storybook, the Reader will read the text for a page if the child taps a symbol. Or, a child can tap individual words to have them read aloud, or tap one of many characters or images on a page to get dialogue or a sound effect – so each page has more to explore. Some pages have letter or number activities. And some pages have games. The content on some pages is a little thin, but overall the entire system – the Reader and the books – is thoughtfully designed and works well.
I’m always a little skeptical about the claims about toys that will make my child smarter, while they are having fun. But the Tag Reader delivers on that promise:
- It’s interactive and self directed, which keeps our child engaged.
- The games and activities are fairly well-designed and engaging, though a child may need some help getting started.
- All of that encourages exploration, and gets the child to go through the educational content.
- Our child also uses the audiobook mode to play an entire book at times.
The system works well for us, and provides an activity that’s both enjoyable and educational. Since our 4 year old gave up naps, the Tag Reader has been a great activity for the “quiet time” in the afternoon when she used to sleep.
Every child is different, and develops in their own way, so you may need to try re-introducing the Tag Reader more than once to get your child started. It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of children had to try the Tag Reader a few times before they really got going with it.
Note that the Reader is actually detecting special encoding hidden in the books, and that triggers a programmed sound – it’s not actually reading the letters, etc. So the Tag Reader and only be used with the specially designed books.
WELL DESIGNED: The Reader seems well designed and durable. The electronics are all inside the case – the little point at the end has a switch built in, but it isn’t fragile. And the eye of the reader is inside the nearby hole. It took a little while for our child to get the hang of how to use the Reader, but overall it works well.
BOOK SELECTION: Leapfrog currently offers about 40 books. But keep in mind that those span the entire age range, so there may only be a handful of books for your child’s age and tastes. There are also some other products the Reader works on, such as National Geographic Activity Cards – Land Animals and some maps.
SETUP IS STRAIGHTFORWARD: To use a book, you need to first download the audio to the Reader, then activate that book by touching the Reader on something inside the book. The software needed for the downloads installed quickly and worked well enough for me. The Tag Reader was recognized quickly when connected using the included USB cable. The audio files are not large, so adding a book is a reasonably quick process. And you only need to do it once per book. The reader holds about 10-12 books in the 32 MB of memory, so most parents should be able to keep all the books a child is currently using on the Tag Reader. It’s easy to imagine going for months without needing to update books on the Reader.
MORE INFORMATION: If you want more information, read the product description and some of the reviews for the previous version of the product: LeapFrog Tag Reading System (32 MB). Amazon has a much better description of the product there.
NOT QUITE PERFECT (BUT CLOSE): The Tag Reader has been around a while, so it’s been refined. But I do have a few minor quibbles:
- The included “Let’s Play Tag” sampler book isn’t really much use, even as a demonstration of what the Reader can do. We never used it after the first day. I’d much rather have had a real book, or a better, expanded version of the sampler with more content.
- The instructions could be improved a little. For example, there is a diagram that points out the audiobook button, but as far as I could see there are no instructions on how to use it or what it was for. Although like most things with the Tag Reader, it’s not hard to figure out.
- The USB cable that comes with the reader is a little short.
- After being used for a while, the Reader starts to talk about getting rewards online when you turn it on. I’d rather that wasn’t on by default, and want to disable it.
- The software is a little bloated and rough, but works well enough.
And, while we’re dreaming, it would be great if there was a way to locate the darn thing! We’ve lost it (in the house) a few times already.
The Tag Reader and the books go on sale from time to time, which may help make it all more affordable if you can wait.
My nephew got the Tag reader several years ago, so I’ve been eyeing it for my daughter for a while. She just turned 4 so I got it for her for her birthday. I love the updated look – it feels more sleek and cool. My nephew’s earlier version came with a paperback book, but this one comes with a sampler book that lets you try out lots of different pages from other Tag books. It’s really helpful to see what else is out there and for her to figure out which ones she would play with most. And I have to say I am amazed by the amount of games and activities embedded in each page. Great product – I highly recommend it!
I recently purchased this reader for my 2.5 year old son and so far, we are very impressed. I did some research and although the Tag Junior is geared towards his age group, it can only “read” the Tag Junior books and it has less memory. I chose to go with the regular Tag Reader because it works with both the Tag Junior books as well as the Tag books, plus it can hold more books. I was hesitant to make the purchase at first between the price and the other reviews about the lengthy set up process. I did some shopping around and found the price on these Tag Readers is about the same everywhere you look, even online compared to local stores. The difference was only a couple dollars from place to place. Even the books are about the same everywhere you look. As far as the setup, I don’t think it could be any easier or straight forward, From start to finish, it took about 10 minutes to load the software on my computer, update the software on the pen and it was ready to go. To upload a book that has been purchased, the transfer takes less than a minute. Again, it was easy and straight forward.( Maybe if you were in the middle of a birthday party, you might find it a hassle to to open your computer and follow the directions to set up) I like that its easy enough for my 2 year old to use and he can point to different objects and words on the page for music, sounds and reading aloud. The books are pricy but I think they will be a good thing to ask for for Christmas and Birthdays in the future. I’d love to see more books as presents vs toys anyways.
My 4 yo likes this Tag pen. You should plan on getting some books when you get the pen because the included introduction book is really just a demo book with limited content. At first my boy just poked around with the pen to hear different sounds but later started working on the educational stuff and seems to enjoy the immediate feeling of success when he gets stuff right. The books are definitely overpriced at around $10+ each. Sort of the shaving razor selling strategy. You can get the pen (razor) cheap but, if you want to use it you need to pay a lot for the books (blades). Even though the kids want the movie/TV themed books I think the educational value is better in the leap character ones. They are also cheaper. If your kid really gets in to this thing plan on spending an easy $100 for all the books they are going to want.