Saturday, 24 September 2011

Toyologist Review: Scribble & Write

My journey through the LeapFrog product catalogue continues, this time time with the Scribble & Write.

A letter is shown in lights on the screen and the child has to write over it with the pen. An extremely happy voice-over person states what the letter is and how to pronounce it. The S&W does both upper and lower case letters & there's a 'game' mode where lights slowly appear on the screen and the child has to guess which letter it's going to be.

It's a bit like an interactive version of this, but now you actually get to write on the screen - 

Ah, the memories...

I was a little unimpressed when I got this out of the box. How much fun can writing letters be? How is this any better than a pen and piece of paper? Turns out I know nothing, and to a 4 year old it's fantastic! Yes, my little monster will happily sit there writing letters on the screen for hours on end a lot longer than I thought he would. At one stage there were 3 children crowding round it trying to guess the letter.

Unlike a similar (in premise) game we have for the LeapPad (the name of which I can't remember), there's no feedback provided for the letter writing. You could scrawl anything and the S&W won't know if you've done it correctly or not. I haven't found this to be too much of a problem. It's easy for a 4yo monster to see for himself if he's doing it right or not, and a 2yo monster can try his best without being put off by lots of 'that isn't quite right!' cries from the S&W (since his motor control isn't spot-on, he got very frustrated playing the LeapPad game). He was very proud when he managed to write three-quarters of an 'H'.

The biggest flaw (/annoyance) with the S&W is the horribly, HORRIBLY annoying music it insists on playing all the time. It's so annoying that every time it starts up I want to get something pointy, shove it down my ears and destroy my eardrums.

No, I'm not exaggerating. It really is that annoying.

The other problem is that you can't use it outside or anywhere brightly lit as you can't see the lights.

At under £20 (currently reduced to £14.97 on the TRU website) it's reasonably priced and perfect for any child who's just starting to write letters.

Just ensure you stick the children in another room while they're playing with it.

Other Toyology reviews can by found in the Toys R Us Toy Box on Facebook.

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