Read With Me Scout from LeapFrog - A Review

16:22 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We're huge fans of LeapFrog toys in our house. Ever since Bud was a baby we've been regular purchasers and the children have received several LeapFrog gifts too. Both Bud and Little Miss have a 'My Pal Scout' and they have been cherished toys. Recently we spotted 'Read With Me Scout' in a toy shop and we discussed getting it for LM's second birthday so, when LeapFrog contacted us to see if we would like to review him we jumped at the chance.

Read with Me Scout from LeapFrog

Read With Me Scout is a toy aimed at children aged two to five. He arrives with five accompanying books and aims to inspire and entertain young readers. He's an interactive toy which 'reads' the chosen book alongside your child. He has two modes, 'Story Time' where Scout reads the book and requires your child to interact with him - by patting his head at the end of each page - and 'Sleepy Time' which will read the story straight through and then play eight minutes of lullaby music. The perfect way to soothe your child off to sleep. You select the mode you require using the sliding switch on Scout's collar, then choose your book using one of the five numbered buttons, Each of these is coloured according to the colour of the title band on the same number book. A great way of promoting number recognition in the younger end of the intended age range.

Close up Read with Me Scout from LeapFrog

The five books all promote a particular area of learning, as follows:
Book 1 - Green - Let's Go Camping! - The Pattern Book, with rhymes, refrains and repetitions
Book 2 - Purple - Let's Find Scout's Toy! - The Narrative Book, with sequences, characters and settings
Book 3 - Blue - Let's Have a Party! - The Concept Book, with concepts to classify and label new information
Book 4 - Orange - Let's Cheer Up Eli! - The Rhyming Book, learning about the sounds of language and building phonlogical awareness
Book 5 - Red - Let's Learn About the Weather! - The Learn-About Book, revealing the word through reading and reinforcing that print carries meaning.

Read with Me Scout from LeapFrog Accompanying Books

The books are really lovely. We have the LeapFrog Tag Junior at home already and Bud is quite familiar with the concept and appearance of LeapFrog books, he took to them straight away and has been asking me to read them to him as well as Scout. The more active Story Time mode is great as he can follow Scout's instructions and really feels like he is reading the book alongside Scout. Scout constantly asks questions of him and it is really funny to listen to him chatting away to the little green dog. Bud has also discovered that he and Scout can 'read' to Little Miss with Scout and 'you sit there and I tell you a story with Scout' has become a regular occurrence in our house.

In addition to the controls on Scout's collar he has five other sensors - the star on his head, a heart on his cheek, a musical note and a bone on his paws and a spot on his back to pat. When in Story Time mode these all generate interactive comments, or music from Scout. I really loved the songs, all of them have some educational content, whether it's learning the colours of the books or talking about feelings, your child can learn while being entertained. In Sleepy Time mode only the paws work, one says goodnight and the other plays lullabies.

If I could find any fault with Read With Me Scout it is that you are limited to the five books that are supplied with the toy, it would be great if he was PC compatible like many of LeapFrog's range, enabling you to download extra content. That said, the five books supplied are great and I think they will keep children, especially those at the younger end of the intended age range, entertained for a long time.

Bud and Little Miss Playing With Read with Me Scout from LeapFrog

I really like LeapFrog's attention to promoting early literacy and I feel that Read With Me Scout sits really well in their range. It's great for two and three year olds, who might be ready to move on from My Pal Scout, and provides a really effective bridge between those younger toys and the more advanced options like the LeapReader and the LeapPad. Bud is loving this toy at the moment, I was quite surprised by this as I wondered if it might be slightly young for him, at nearly four, but the novelty of being able to go and entertain himself, or his sister, with a book is great. I'm really hoping to foster a passion for reading in my children and I can completely find a place for this toy in promoting those aims. Little Miss, at eighteen months, is already very interested in Read With Me Scout and I'm sure she will enjoy playing with him, and reading with him for a long time to come.  Scout enables a child to take ownership of their decision to sit and read a book, and to understand that it is a way to entertain themselves without relying on an adult to make sense of the words, I think that's a very valuable thing for children to learn as they start their literacy journey.

With an RRP of £29:99 I think that Read With Me Scout (or Read With Me Violet, his purple friend) is an excellent toy, especially if you were considering it for a child at the younger end of the age range. We are really enjoying it and I think both of my children will continue to do so.

Disclosure: We received this in exchange for an honest review.
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