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Review: LeapFrog Tag Reading System

If you've read any of my Kindergartner-in-Training articles, then you know that my son, who is about to enter kindergarten this fall, can read on a 1st grade level. I must give LeapFrog products much of the credit for this . . . especially the Fridge Phonics and the LeapFrog Learning DVDs.

So you can see why I jumped at the chance for my son to review the Tag Reading System. I felt like my son was ready for this toy because he could sound out syllables, could recognize many words, and had begun to learn what sounds two consonants put together create.

What I thought about the Tag Reader as a Parent:

1) We own another learning toy that just reads books out loud to the child, but my son outgrew that quickly. The Tag Reader does so much more than just reads to your child. It allows my son to attempt reading books on his own. Then when he is stumped by a particular word, he needs only to touch the Tag pen to the word to hear what it is.

2) That the Tag Reader also includes learning games and activities in each book to practice skills, such as rhyming and phonics, makes this product an even better value to me because it saves me from needing to buy an additional product.

3) I like that there are 3 levels of learning in each book so that one book can be used again and again to challenge your child.

4) The books are very user-friendly. There is a legend at the front of the book which the Tag goes through with your child to make sure he or she understands what each one means. This allows the child to tell the Tag Reader that they would like to put it in storytelling mode or if they would like to play a game.

5) To load stories onto your Tag, you just plug it into your computer and log onto the LeapFrog website. The Tag Reader we own only has 16MB of memory, which holds up to 5 books. I am glad to see LeapFrog has come out with a new 32MB version for the same retail price that is capable of holding twice as many.

6) The website tracks your child's progress every time you plug the Tag into your computer. The site offers you printable rewards for you child after they've achieved a certain level. Although this is a nice feature, my son did not seem too interested in it, so we just save the paper and give him verbal praise instead which he seems to respond to more.

What my son thought about the Tag Reading System:

1) My son definitely thinks that Level 1 is too easy for him. He still sticks to Level 1 sometimes because it is safe, but my husband and I encourage him to attempt the more challenging reading activities in Level 2.

2) He seems to enjoy the Tag Reader, not only for the stories, but it allows him to read independently and without the pressure of someone sitting next to him waiting for him to sound out a word.

3) My son is a book hound, so he is looking forward to adding more Tag Storybooks to his collection.

4) Aside from the games, one of my son's favorite parts of using the Tag is hearing it tell him "Good work reader" when he completes a level.

This toy successfully lives up to the LeapFrog reputation of producing effective fun learning toys. I do highly recommend that you opt for the newer 32MB version if you can, but you can mostly likely find the older version still available at reduced prices locally and online where LeapFrog products are sold. To learn more about the Tag Reader and to see what Tag books are available, visit .

Thank you to LeapFrog for providing us with a review product free of charge.