When I was a kid, I was in 4-H. Throughout my 4-H years, I recited that pledge so many times that it became ingrained into my subconscious. To this day, I can still spit it out without missing a single beat. There are a lot of things in our lives that we hear so much that our brains can process them in their original form. Singing 867-5309, hearing the little old lady’s voice squeaking “Where’s the beef?” or even some educational tidbit that one of our teachers pushed at us every single class… I had an economics professor in college who insisted we know who the chairman of the Federal Reserve was so it was a daily question and showed up on every quiz or test.
When I became a mom, that process took an entirely different turn. My brain found itself cluttered with children’s songs and stories ad infinitum. It’s fun to be able to sing along with the kids, but when you read the same book for the thousandth time, you just want to scream. “Sorry, honey. I’m not sure where that book went. Are you sure you put it back on the shelf last night?” Knowing good and well that I’ve accidentally misplaced it in a really good hiding spot. Don’t shake your head at me… you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to try out Poingo, a new product from Publications International, LTD. Our last excursion into this type of reader gadget was with the LittleTouch LeapPad that I thought we would use more than we really did. It was hard enough to keep track of the booklet, but worrying about the cartridge and the booklet was a pain. (Which would explain why it was the last time we purchased something like this.) Anyway, the girls are older and needing things that encourage independent play and the Poingo fits this to a T. Their motto is “Fun right out of the box” and it’s very accurate. When the package arrived, Miss K was on hand to check it out.
I literally opened it up and sat down on the couch with her to show her how it worked. From the very first time I turned it on, she impatiently awaited her turn repeatedly stating “I can do it, Mom.” and “I can do it myself.” So I handed it over to her and the rest is history. At least it was until Miss M showed up and wanted to try it too. Then it became a battle of “My turn!” comments.
Oh, I haven’t told you what it does. It’s a book and a pen. NOT CONNECTED to each other. There are a variety of books, including Cars and Finding Nemo that come with the box set. Other titles sold independently are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and soon to be released High School Musical and Hannah Montana. The pen already has several programs in it’s memory so once you purchase a new book, you can just open it and go. For newer stuff, there’s a download feature, doing away with the concerns of keeping track of related cartridges. The pen uses a mini-scanner to “read” microscopic symbols on the pages of the Poingo-enabled books. Touch the box containing the story and it recites the story. Touch the underlined words and it gives a definition of them. Tap the pictures of the page and be surprised by music, trivia related to what was just recited, general trivia related to items or characters in the story and even interactive games.To be completely balanced, I need to explain that this IS NOT a word recognition program. It tells the story out loud, but isn’t actually reading the specific words on the page. You can’t click on a word and it tell you what it is – unless it’s underlined. So for beginning reader, Miss M, she kept resetting it while following along. Whenever the pen would near an underlined word or a sound box, it would start over at the beginning of that story box. She finally got the hang of it and now manages to follow along without bumping those. And she really enjoys the interactive question/answer sections.
Poingo can be purchased for around $34.99 and is currently being sold at Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Toys R’ Us, Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Clubs. Individual books are available for $9.99 each. But if you really, really want to try it out… here’s your chance to win one!
One Poingo Reading System-2-book Set (approx value $34.99).
…must provide an email in the first comment, email me directly with an email address or have email accessible from their profile. Winner has 72 hours from posting/notification to respond. If winner cannot be contacted, I will move on to the second random selection. Seriously, I hate having to move on to the runner-up and since I haven’t gotten the PrizeyWinners thing to work, please make sure that you provide an email somehow.
Sometime on November 25th, a winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) from all comments left. Although I would love to say that I’ll be using PRIZEYWinners, I can’t be sure since I haven’t been able to figure out how to do it yet! (Honestly, I’m about to throw in the towel.)
How to enter: (CONTEST CLOSED)