I tried out the LeapFrog Electronic Phonics Writing Desk recently at the shopping center.
Since I’d earned some money from a writing project, I thought I’d get a nice present for my boy as he’s settled into the Chinese preschool so well.
I have to admit that I worry about him a bit especially as I haven’t been giving him any pre-handwriting worksheets to do here.
Also, pre-handwriting workbooks in English are not that easy to find here.
That’s why I thought that a magnetic drawing board would help him develop his fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and creative expression.
Leapfrog Frdige Phonics Alphabet
Since he’s familiar with the Leapfrog Frige Phonics Alphabet (26 Letters), I thought that this Leapfrog Phonics Writing Desk would be useful for him to work on his English handwriting at home.
We love learning with Leapfrog products:
How’s the Leapfrog Phonics Writing Desk?
The Phonics Writing Desk looks like an extension of the Leapfrog Magnetic Alphabet – Complete Set (26 Letters)as it had similar alphabets which vocalized the individual sounds for each letter. This set had the addition of lower case alphabets printed next to each capital letter.
To help the child practice handwriting, a display screen shows a letter (upper or lower case) for the child to print onto the double lines below.
Besides letters, the child will also learn to print words by selecting this function using the sliding button above. Seems like a great tool to practice spelling too 🙂
There is also a “create-a-word” function which enables the child some degree of ‘free writing’.
I had great fun trying to Phonics Writing Desk out and was all ready to buy it but then, I was disappointed by the poor quality of:
a) the display screen – the screen is SMALL and the letters do not appear as bold as it does in the product photo and
b) the handwriting section – I had to apply quite a bit of pressure to write out each letter. I understand that preschoolers may grip pencils quite hard when they’re learning to write. Even so, the letters didn’t appear as clearly as shown on the product photo.
Even the sales assistant who helped me (seeing it used the first time) had to agree with me on this point.
Here are some better alternatives for helping children learn to write:
Leapfrog Mr. Pencil’s Scribble & Write
Kids can draw, write numbers and letters (trace each letter like Montessori) on the touch LCD screen with guided feedback. They can also practice spelling beginning words such as “apple” and “fish”.
Children advance through levels as they learn so it’s like a game!
Free draw mode allows children to scribble anything – be prepared to have squiggles, lines or messy mud pies lol
NextX Magnetic Drawing Board – Writing & Learning Doodle Pad
I’d rather buy the NextX Magnetic Drawing Board – Writing and Learning Doodle Pad for Toddlers Boys Girls Age of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Year Olds – he can use a “pencil” to draw, trace letters, stamp patterns and later, learn to write 🙂