45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Kid O A to Z Magnatab (Toy)
Unfortunately this toy does not help children to learn to write letters.
I bought this for my 4-year-old son because he is interested in learning to write. I thought this toy looked like a nice way to work with him on this and I liked that it was not electronic (no batteries, lights, etc.) like some others I looked at. It arrived in a really badly damaged box but the toy was still intact. However the toy itself (despite being intact and undamaged) is close to useless.
The magnets work in such a way that my son just uses the stylus to tap around in random spots on the letters in order to bring up the magnets. You don't in any way need to keep the "pen" on the surface in order for the magnets to pop up. While it is vaguely entertaining to have the magnets come up and then to push them down, there is really nothing accomplished in doing this. Moreover, the toy comes with "instructions" in the form of numbers with arrows that show you which direction to move your stylus in order to make the letters. These orders are very strange. For example, for an "M" the numbers suggest that you first make one vertical line, then make the other vertical line, and then make two diagonal lines that join in the middle. This is definitely not how most people would write the letter M. Luckily (or not) my son completely ignores these numbers as he randomly taps his pen around.
My complaint is not only that this toy will not help my son learn to write letters, however; it is also boring for a child his age. It does appear to be sturdy: but we will probably give it away quite quickly. This is definitely a disappointment and I am confused about why the other reviews were so positive. Maybe we are missing something? This is a rare miss for us as I have almost always been satisfied with toys purchased on Amazon.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 29, 2011 5:59:23 PM PST
Jack's Mommy says:
I think that this toy is a useful tool when you are sitting with your child teaching them the way to write the letters together while using it. The toy won't do the teaching by itself.
Posted on Jan 3, 2012 12:17:12 PM PST
kathryn westbrook says:
The numbers show the correct formation of letters.
Posted on Feb 14, 2012 3:36:21 PM PST
554 mom says:
I think the main benefit is to help the child establish a grip and strengthen small hand muscles in order to help with fine motor skills. It is not the perfect answer for learning to write letters, but it just makes it a little more fun than a pen and paper. My son was getting very frustrated that he couldn't write perfectly with a pen on paper so he didn't even want to try. This allowed him practice and now he wants to try to use pen and paper more often. Even though he was "cheating" by picking up more balls than one at a time the directions on how to write letters sunk in while he was doing it.
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