If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I am a worrier. I always have been, but since having T and his issues, I am always worrying about something to do with his development.
When he was 18 months old I worried he would never walk.
From the ages of 2 to 5 I worried he would never talk.
He does both now.
So what am I worried about …. Well it’s his ability to read and write. He can read some words, recognises names, symbols, and knows numbers and quite a few letters. So reading is coming slowly. But his writing….. It only in the last few months that he’s attempting to draw something other than scrawling. Most of the time it’s difficult to see what he’s drawn but watching him you can see he is now purposeful.
T struggles to hold a pen or pencil. I am not sure why but he holds it at the very top which makes it difficult for him to control. I’ve tried to spend time encouraging him to write or draw but he’s never interested. So I decided to think outside of the box….
Or inside the box as it turns out. We decided to try something built for children but educational at the same time. Also something a little but technological to keep T on side and interested for more than 30 seconds. This is what we got for him…
It’s a Leapfrog scribble and write learning tool. Basically it is a hand held devise with a stylus where there is an electronic keypad with numbers and letters and a screen below it. The child selects the letter or number they want to write and it appears on the screen in lights. The voice from the device then tells the child to put the stylus attached to the device on the screen where it is flashing red. It then proceeds to show the child how to write the letter. Very simple. And for those of us in the UK it’s an English voice!
So how did T get on with it? Not bad. He was very excited to get a parcel to open and even more excited once he realised it was a toy. He was straight onto it pressing buttons and flipping the switches to increase the volume and change the level from 1 to 2 and back again. Once he’d had his fill of this – I then sat down and showed him what to do to write the letters and numbers.
He had no problems attempting to write the letters or numbers but he had some issues holding the stylus well. He just couldn’t seem to be able to hold it comfortably. However, he did attempt to write and was happy to play for a while. His writing on the screen was never pressed hard enough to show up on the screen, so I think he was slightly disappointed and to be fair I had to press hard with the stylus to get it to show up for me.
So for a couple of days this was his toy to play with. But then he forgot all about it and he’s not given it a second thought since. However, T is very routine driven and so being back at school this week has meant he has his morning routine before school consisting of trains and his after school routine consisting of iPad. This hasn’t found it was way into either routine, but I haven’t pushed it.
However, last Sunday, T wrote a letter to Santa with my help. I wrote the letter using his words and he traced over the top with my help of steadying the pen. Like I said earlier, he really struggles to hold it correctly. It was the longest thing he’s ever written and he was very pleased with himself for doing it. I was very happy too.
So I don’t think it was a waste getting the toy, although I guess we were trying to us it when it was school holidays and perhaps there were too many other exciting things to do instead. I am going to persevere with it because I think it’s a fun way of engaging T into writing. And every little help etc ….
In the UK you can purchase this from a number of places, we got ours from Argos, where I think it’s part of their Dream Toy list.