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Letters on the Loose -- A Wonderful Learning Resource
on February 10, 2006
What fun and what an excellent learning tool. If you are familiar with Leapfrog's Alphabet Videos, then you should know that "Letters on the Loose" builds upon those experiences. Tad and the gang aren't here, but Professor Quigley is and he directs the action.
**What You Get**
There are two games on the cartridge. The letter hunting and writing game, and another bonus game which is only available when the LMAX is hooked up to the television.
Bonus Game -- In the bonus game, Professor Quigley puts on a robotized suit and shoots through a vertical maze. You are told to gather either capital or lower case letters. It's fun but requires quick decision making.
Letter Learning Game -- This game teaches uppercase and lowercase letters, their sounds, and it allows children to practice their letter writing.
Note: Others have commented on how `perfect' you have to write the letters and how annoying this requirement is-well LEAPFROG must have heard them because we have not found this to be the case. My daughter's handwriting is anything but perfect (though it's improving) and the LMAX accepted any `decent' attempt of hers to follow the dotted lines.
Plus, and I would never tell this to my kindergartener, you can actually practice writing using your finger on the writing screen. Now I don't want her doing that, but it *is* great practice for my younger preschooler son. [In fact, this is something that is used by some teach-at-home writing systems that have young children use sand to practice.]
--The letter writing portion of these games is just awesome. My daughter now loves to practice her letters (had to drag her screaming to a piece of paper-LOL), and likes adding them to her book of letters.
--For reasons which are not clear to me, when the LMAX is connected to the TV you have to use the button on the pen to make the pen work. [Without the TV you just have to touch the pen to the screen to enter a choice.] This means that for some young children (I'm thinking of my 3.5 year old son at the moment) they won't be able to use the LMAX's TV feature until later.
--There are really only two educational actions. You practice writing or you identify letters. I personally wish there was more to the game; but having said that the writing practice is worth the cost of the game!
--Graphics are okay (could be better) on the small screen but really suffer when transferred to the television. (I guess we are spoiled.)
-- Identifying letters is not really challenging for children that already know their letters. (Still they will play with it.)
Five Stars. Children can learn their letters, the letters sounds, and practice writing. I wish their was more for the money, but considering that both my preschooler and kindergartener can use this smartridge I really shouldn't complain.