Slap a word!

I was searching for fun games for learning sight words and came across one where your kid slaps the words. Here is the original post about it. I wasn’t sure what words I wanted to start Sophia with at first. I looked at word lists from different websites. I ended up going with the “Tricky” words from Sophia’s Teach Your Monster to Read game (read about it here). I like to cross reference and relate things to each other as much as possible for a solid foundation. So this seemed like a great idea to me, at least.

Tricky word list we used for the slap game
Tricky word list we used for the slap game

Materials needed:

  • Sticky notes (I bought sticky notes in a multi-color pack, because more colors means more fun 😉
  • Pen
  • A list of words

First, pick out a list of words you want to use. These could be lists from school, favorite books, tv shows (like Wally Kazaam), games, or a list you found online, anything really.

When I told Sophia I had a slapping word game in mind for her, she was all excited. She set off to cleaning up her toys and books from the table so we’d have room to play (win-win situation 😀 ). She wanted to be the one to write out the words. So I showed the picture with the words and she wrote them first and then I wrote the word on the paper after her.

Writing out words
Writing out words

We started the game with 4 words. (Keep them spaced out so there room for slapping 😉 ) I called the word and she had to find it, slap it with her hand, and call it out. After she found all 4 she called them out for me to find, slap, and call out. 😀 Then we added 2 more words, played again, and so on until we had all 11 of them. 11 was pushing Sophia’s limit (she is after all still 3 for a few more months anyway). I honestly think she was enjoying writing the words out the most 🙂

Our game words
Our game words

After we played out the 11 words Sophia wanted to go play more of the monster game to get more “Trickies” so we could add more words.

New list of Tricky words. She caught more after we played the slap game
New list of Tricky words. She caught more after we played the slap game

A Graduation Present Signed Book

the wonderful things you will be
the wonderful things you will be

A few years ago I saw a post on Facebook about having all your kids teachers sign and write little notes for your child from kindergarten through high school. I fell in love with this idea. I however didn’t want to use the Dr Seuss book they did, since Sophia isn’t a big Dr Seuss fan. I’ve been looking for alternatives to use the last few months since Sophia’s first preschool prep class ends soon. I finally found her the perfect high school graduation present, The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin.

At first I wasn’t sure if it would be big enough with enough space to write on for the next 15 years for all her teachers. I ordered it to see it in person. I read it and it made me cry. It is the perfect one for us.

Here is a video of me reading it so you can see for yourself if this is the one for you 🙂

Product Review: Leapfrog LeapReader for a toddler?

I get asked about the Leapreader a lot by parents of toddlers. I do want to make it clear that I don’t get any kind of endorsement from Leapfrog.
1.5 Year old playing with the LeapReader
1.5 Year old playing with the LeapReader

Sophia has the Leapreader. She received it for Christmas last year when she was 1.5 years old. It was from her grandparents so I knew nothing about it when she got it. The package said 4-8 years and I was a bit nervous that Sophia would break it. It came with a demo book and the pen and Sophia was having a blast with it right away, everything she poked at said something or played a short tune.

Trying out headphones with it for our up coming  plane ride
Trying out headphones with it for our up coming plane ride
I went to buy a few books for it and found I had a lot to learn. I was all excited when I found Minnie Mouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates books until I realized they were for the Leapreader Jr and wouldn’t work. I considered purchasing the Jr but decided that Sophia would out grow it soon and got some Disney Princess books instead. I would still make the same decision a year later.
Princess Rapunzel doing a bit of Leap Reading :)
Princess Rapunzel doing a bit of Leap Reading 🙂
How it works:
You will need to download and set up Leapfrog Connect to your computer. When you get a new book you will need to plug the Reader into your computer and download the audio file for that book. The downloads take maybe 30 seconds per book, depending on your internet speed of course. Unplug and it’s ready to go, pretty simple if you follow the instructions it comes with.
LeapReading first thing in the morning
LeapReading first thing in the morning
LeapReader VS LeapReader JR
  • LeapReader and Leapreader Jr books are not interchangeable.
  • The LeapReader holds a ton of books, music, and trivia. I’m told that the Leapreader JR only holds the audio for up to 4 books at a time. 
  • The JR reader pen is shaped like a puppy
United States Interactive map
United States Interactive map
LeapReader VS Tag
  • Tag and LeapReader are not the same thing.
  • Some of the Tag books will work with the LeapReader. If you see the audio file for it in the Leapfrog Connect then the Tag book will work with the LeapReader for that book.
Tag and Tag Jr are the older outdated versions. All the LeapReader books I’ve seen being sold say “works with Tag” and I’m not sure when they plan on not adding the audio of the new books to the older version. I’ve considered getting a Tag reader when it’s been bundled with other books I’ve been looking at getting on ebay or craigslist but so far I haven’t done so. Most books I’ve wanted to get for Sophia are available for the LeapReader.
Monster math
Monster math
LeapReader for a toddler?
It depends on the toddler since it is for older kids it’s more delicate and definitely needs supervision a lot in the beginning.
If your child is good at handling paper pages with out ripping them then I would say they are a good candidate for the regular LeapReader.
Most toddlers won’t be doing the games and understanding all the concepts in the books. Sophia loves them for the stories and the character interactions. We do have the Get Ready for Kindergarten book and she does like playing with the alphabet and counting things. Other than new vocabulary I feel that she hasn’t specifically learned anything from them so far. Mostly they just help reinforce previously learned things, like the alphabet and letter sounds. She really mostly uses it for entertainment.
If you want something that they can do by themselves with out supervision then the Leapreader JR would be the better choice.
Learning the letter sounds
Learning the letter sounds
We have not tested out any of the writing books (you use the pen on special tracing paper). I don’t think Sophia is ready for those yet.
TIP: ToysRUs has Black Friday 2014 sale for the regular LeapReader. They have the reading system with the pen for $29.99 and $7.49 for all the books.

UPDATE:
Incase anyone is looking Walmart has the LeapReader on their pre-black-friday sale for $29.00 now through next Thursday. Get the sales prices with out the crowds of Black Friday!