For Chickie's birthday, her friend Coqui gave her this toy:
It's the Leap Frog Scribble and Write, and it is so cool. It has little lights that light up, in order, showing kids how to write letters and numbers, even how to draw shapes. Then the child takes the little stylus/pen thingy and traces the letter, number, or shape. Their tracing shows up on the screen--a lot like those little magnetic drawing gadgets kids play with. When they push a button saying they're done, the lights go away, and the child only sees what they've written. With a swipe of the blue bar at the bottom, the drawing is gone and the child can move on to learning another character or shape.
Within a week or two of getting this gift, Chickie was learning to write her brother's name and her own. She has an independent spirit and likes to learn things on her own. (I'm pretty darn sure I know where she got that from!) So she'd been hesitant for me to teach her how to write letters. But I think this toy may have piqued her desire to learn. Now she can use it to practice, and when she's using real paper to write on, sometimes she even lets me help her do the letters.
Now, it's not a magic toy that keeps her attention for weeks on end; right now it's not her favorite. But I think it's one she...and then Zoodle...will keep coming back to. Chickie has been able to recognize letters, numbers and shapes for a long time, but this toy is helping bridge the gap between recognition and creation. Awesome!
(By the way, if you're thinking of using Amazon to purchase this, be sure to check out the different sellers, here. As of right now, Amazon itself doesn't sell the toy, and there's a lot of variation in prices and shipping cost among the different sellers.)
Disclaimer: This review is 100% non-compensated. I just think it's a rockin' toy.