Monday, July 21, 2008

Tag! You're it! (And Savvy too)

When Seth was almost three he still wasn't talking. Nor sleeping through the night. Nor able to self soothe. He seemed a bit clumsy and would freak out over the slightest thing, then scream for at least 25 minutes a stretch (many, many times a day). He was highly sensitive to temperatures. And water? And hair cuts? Nightmare.
When I brought some of these issues up to seasoned parents, they'd sort of blow me off and tell me it was normal behavior. A part of me felt like something was askew. I wasn't around kids much so I wasn't sure what was normal behavior versus the something to be alarmed over.

The point? I was totally lost on whether certain behaviors were normal toddler-type behavior or whether they warranted some intervention. It would have been a HUGE help (and comfort) having a website like SavvyQuiz around years ago.

Savvy Quiz is simple and direct. That tan box you see in my sidebar? That's it. You can take quick quizzes, answering various questions to gauge your child's progress. And they are questions I don't remember ever being asked or addressed by the books I'd check. They can measure your child's language development not just only by the vocabulary but by HOW your child communicates. (Example, can you child whisper? Does he or she emphasize certain words when speaking?) And its not just a test for language - there are tests for mathematics, science, social skills, time & space and movement! Oh and you can always save your results and get back to the site when you need to.

If I would have had this resource years ago, I would have been able to print out his answers to various questions within the eight categories. I think this would have been a huge help to the speech therapist and occupational therapists as they would have had a "yard stick" of where Seth was and could have skipped some of the more mundane testing.

But I'm not here just to sing the praises of the Savvy Quiz, (although I'd be happy to devote another thousand words to doing so.) I'm also here to tell you about the Leapfrog TAG website.

The Leapfrog Tag system is so cool, I don't even know where to begin. We were given a "pen" that "reads" the special books, two very popular stories as well as the software. The software (used so you can download stories into your pen) was a snap to install. No issues. Once the information regarding the story is downloaded, your child can point away. And its not just about this little pen reading the story. This little wonder pen, based on what icon your child grazes over, can ask varied questions too, thus checking on your kiddo's comprehension.

Seth loved this project. Since the voice reads once word at a time, he enjoyed not just reading the books and answering questions, but making up his own little sentences or repeating words over and over. He also was able to recognize his site words within the books and was really excited to point those out.

One of the many conversations we had centered around the product, "Hey mom! The computer said, "but." (And then he'd laugh hysterically and swipe over the word again and again and again.)

With all "buts" aside, this is one of those toys he's used quite a bit. But (there's that word again!) that's no surprise because we've cultivated quite a collection of Leap Frog toys over the years. The product definitely earned a "best products reviewed in '08" stamp in our book.

This review was written on behalf of the Parent Bloggers Network. To see more reviews, visit their site.

1 comment:

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