Poingo is a fun activity for preschoolers and kindergarteners just starting to read.  The starter kit ($35 at Target) comes with two books (Cars and Finding Nemo) and the Poingo reader, a big pen-like instrument that “reads” paragraphs of text and activities implanted into the pages.  It’s a lot like the Leapfrog Tag reader that I reviewed on this site a few months ago*. Each book is fine to read as a stand-alone, but it really comes to life when the pen is pressed on special spots on the page.  Cars speak, horns honk, signs are identified, and a game starts up on every page.

I prefer the old fashioned way to read (and to teach reading), but this is a fun activity book that can take the place of screen time in my house.

Or in my car.

I love Poingo and Tag for car activities.  Since we don’t use a DVD player, those cross-country trips can get a little long.  Toys like this help to break up the hours of talking, singing, playing games, and looking out the window for big construction vehicles.  It’s a nice break.

* The  major difference between the two systems is that Poingo reads the text as a paragraph; it doesn’t have an option to read the text a word at a time. Leapfrog’s Tag will read the text as a paragraph or as single words.

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