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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
First, I taught PreK through 3rd grade for 10 years prior to being a mom... with that said: DO NOT BUY THIS TOY if you want your child to learn good writing habits! Seriously, please read this before you consider buying it!

I mistakenly bought this for my own 2-3year old son without thoroughly checking out its full features. Although he really does like it, it's going back! The positibve benefits do not outweigh the negatives in terms of educational/instructional value.

PROS:
-encourages tracing with a pen stylus or finger touch on the screen
-includes a three sided, triangular pen, which is helpful to help start a correct early pen/pencil grasp
-easy to see screen, step by step instructions to form shapes, lower case and upper case letters (NOTE: SEE CONS BELOW regarding odd letter formation directions and modeling!)
-does engage my son (he keeps it in the bathroom as a special potty toy while he's busy "working", never gets old, will cry when it's gone)
-so far durable over several months of use and some accidental drops on hard tile floor and grabbing it by the stylus string
-has a free draw feature & a "make the picture dance/wiggle/jump" feature that moves your creation up and down a bit after drawing
--continuously positive praise for all attempts of writing/scribbling/drawing
-encourages shape and letter identification, plus beginning words that start with the corresponding letter

CONS:
-terrible letter formation modeling (make two lines down, then connect them in the middle to make a capital M!? NO way! Just one example. Several more!)
-child will have to unlearn bad habits and relearn properly when faced with school instruction, no matter what printing method is taught--every teacher from every district I've talked about this with agrees!
-loud volume, even when adjusted to lowest setting
-includes shapes, upper & lower case letters, no numbers (do they need to keep it separate to make more $ and force you to buy a different game toy?!)
-no tracking or way to self check w/ only positive praise (my son can color the entire screen dark and it says "great job!")
-absolutely no correlation connecting the lower case letters with the upper case letters, even though they are the same button, the two functions are entirely different and do not come together to help build this matchup for young learners.

Not recommended. Still looking for a better substitute! Do let me know if you happen to know of one, please. Thanks!!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
My son is 3 1/2. He has no attention span and likes things that involve running, jumping, etc. It is difficult to get him to do anything that involves little physical movement. However, he seems to like this toy. We have had it about a 3 days and this is my take on it.

Pros:

* It has both capital and lower case letters
* The writing surface is easy to use and accurate
* It tell my son he has done a great job when he actually traces the letter correctly. If he does a poor job on the letter and hits the check to say his is done, it asks him to retry tracing the letter.
* It seems durable and has already taken a tumble out of the van door into a puddle. It is working fine.
* It has a shape tracing and free draw activity. There is also a hiding letter game which is good.
* you can turn down the volume.

Cons: Just a few...
* I wish that it started in the capital letter activity instead of requiring the child to select it.
* I wish that they had the same device but added a number activity to it
* The little pen is a bit thick for my son
* I wish that it did not say "see ya" when it was turned off. My son has started saying that which is annoying and he keeps turning it on and off just to hear the "see ya." It really is not the game's fault he knows how to push my buttons ;) However, I do not like slang so I would have preferred something like "I'll see you later" or "until next time"
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2012
I purchased the leap frog letter learning tablet before purchasing this one and was very disappointed. This letter tablet is far superior. The leap frog tablet uses a series of lights under the screen that light up and the child traces the dots, leaving a irregular pattern on many letters. In my opinion this teaches the child to make the shape of the letter wrong. This vtech tablet has the letters shaped correctly, so the child learns to write the letter correctly. This one fact was so important that I got rid of the leap frog and gave my daughter the vtech for Christmas. She loves it, spends so much time learning her letters. There are some child game systems out there that offer letter tracing as a part of the system, but I found this a better option for my daughter because I wanted her to focus on the letter writing and not be distracted by the other games.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2011
i just bought this yesterday at walmart and my son 2 1/2 loves it he quickly learned to trace the letters he just recently learned most of his alphabet so he gets excited that he recognizes them and holds his attention for a long time, which is very hard at this age another idea to add are tracing workbooks or free printables online.I will say i was already going to buy the leapfrog version but saw this one and saw no reviews so i went to walmart to try both of them out im so glad i did this one is far better in my opinion, sometimes its better to try at store and specially if its approved from your loved one :). Remember if your son/daughter are not interested wait a couple months and he/she will surprise you and start using it, speak for everything in general I know how hard we as parents want our children to learn but they know when they are ready.
By the way rated in durability 4 stars because i've had it for two days only so we'll see but if you've had or have any vtech toys you know that are long lasting!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2011
My son played with this at his cousins house and seemed to really like it. His aunt highly recommended it as her girls loved it. So we bought it and my 3 year old and 5 year old use it a lot. I'd say 3 years is about the age for this toy. I find it above average in the educational department as well, it really is very good at teaching him how to write his letters. There are quite a few different play modes, but we have only used one. It's very well constructed and should last a long time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2011
My 3.5 y.o. loves this. He can spend a long time practicing how to draw his letters and shapes. I could get him to trace letters w/just a pen and paper so I bought this and he took to it right away. He also has recently started enjoying the game on there that has you guess which letter is hiding behind the animal. Problem is that it's cheaply made. A few months after purchasing, many of the buttons don't won't (and no, it's not a battery issue).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
Got this for my 3 year old. She likes the games, and they are educational...BUT, she likes to play it in the car, but since the screen doesn't light up she can't play it in the dark and gets frustrated and cries. We have the Vtech tablet and that DOES light up...really wish this one did too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
One of the best toys i have purchase for my 4 year old in a long time. i had a choice between this and the Leapfrog version but after reading several reviews from different websites i choose the VTech. Its durable and engaging for a child like mine that is rough and can't sit still. It is the first toy he reaches for when he comes through the door.

There are two things though that they can improve on:
1) the size of the screen; the leapfrog version has a much larger screen
2) contrast on the screen; it is hard to see in some lighting situations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2013
This toy is simple, sturdy and enjoyable. My daughter would pick it up for five or ten minutes at a time and practice her writing. She can write most of the letters of the alphabet in large part to the toy (She lives in a non-English speaking environment) and it helped her writing. It's not high tech, and it doesn't have to be. Sure, the graphics suck, the sound is bad and the screen is small. But it's just a simple writing practice device and not a TV.

And about letter formation. I've taught the alphabet to many kids, and I've used many different workbooks. Every book has different ways to write. So really, I don't see how anyone can say that it's writing the letters the 'wrong way.'

+5 stars because it does what it says it will do. It's durable, and can help make writing fun for your kids. Obviously not a replacement for parenting, nor is it a "sit here and play for 3 hours in the car cuz I don't want to talk to you" toy. (That seems like a reason some parents buy toys?)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2013
I like this toy but my 3 yr old isn't occupied by it for long so I think I bought it just a little bit earlier than I should of. but I think its a really neat toy!
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