How Does Leapfrog Tag Work?

By Marisa Swanson

Leap Frog Tag is an interactive learning tool meant to help children from ages 4 to 8 learn the fundamentals of reading. The Tag is an electronic stylus, designed to look like a pen, that children can use with books in the Tag system to hear words, sounds and phrases sounded out for them. Software also comes with the game, which parents can use to view what their child learned as he read the book. Parents can also track the progress of a child's learning through the software. This game is especially suitable to children who are just beginning to learn the alphabet and starting to read.

How it Works

Children will hold the pen as they read through a Tag book, one that is designed to work with the pen. Inside of the pen is an infrared camera that can take up to 50 pictures per second and store 16MB of information. The camera reads the series of dots that are printed in the book when the child touches down on part of the page. You can press down on characters to activate audio dialogue (that comes from the pen) between them. You can also touch letters to hear the sound of the letter, or words to hear a word pronounced. You can also choose to have the entire book read out loud from start to finish.

Reveiws and Pricing

According to Kids Tech Review, this game is an editor's pick and gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. The pros listed include excellent reporting for parents, ease of use for children and the diversity of options with each book. Cons include a lack of memory for audio book files and that the book is most effective with a single user. As of 2010, the system prices at around $50 and each additional book costs approximately $14. Tag systems also come in 32MB capacity. These are sold for the price of the original system, while the 16MB system has been discounted by the official Leap Frog website.

Tag Books

The official Leap Frog website offered 34 books compatible with the tag system as of 2010. These books include stories from popular children's characters and subject matter, such as the classics "Green Eggs and Ham" and "The Little Engine That Could." There are also books about dinosaurs and pirates. Children who are fans of comic books and Disney characters could be satisfied with the Spiderman book and "Tinkerbell's True Talent."

Accessories and Gift Packs

Two varieties of carrying cases are available with the Tag system. Both are plastic, one is clear and see-through while the other is pink. You can also buy headphones. Gift packs are sold through the Leap Frog website and are centered around the theme of their stories. Choose from the "Up! Adventure Gift Pack," "Princess & Fairies Storybook Pack," "Dr. Seuss Gift Pack" and the "Learn to Read Series Gift Pack" among others.

Benefits

The Leap Frog Tag reading system helps facilitate children's understanding of English, reading comprehension and speech. Through listening to words and letters being sounded out correctly they can visually attach the letter to its proper place in the alphabet, in the word and eventually in the sentence. Interactive games help children learn through a visual and audio experience, providing entertainment aimed to prevent boredom and disinterest.