I have recently had the privilege to review a phonics game, Hot Dots Jr. from Learning Resources. The game comes in a handy carry case thatmy three and a half year old likes to carry around with him. Inside, a set of cards carries five different types of phonics games, from recognising the first letter of an object and recognising other objects that begin with the first letter to rhyme games and matching the end sounds of words.
I have separated the cards and have begun with recognising letters, because this is something Cub has started to do and I wanted to build his confidence with this before introducing new concepts like end sounds and rhyme. Accompanying the game is a cute funny little dog pen. Next to the multiple choice answers are small black dots. If the child presses this pen onto the wrong answer dot, a red light and negative sound will occur and if the correct dot is selected, a green light and positive noise is made.
Cub has demonstrated the use of the game here:
From the day that it arrived, this learning game has been played with every day. I am eager to encourage literacy as soon as possible, because of my own love of reading and learning and because I have worked with adults who struggle to read, which hammered home to me how great the gift of reading is. This game provides immediate and recognisable feedback to your child and is so much more fun than pointing at and reciting letters. The handy carry case means we can take it out with us easily.
I tested the dog pen and the yellow stick pen and the dog is more durable – the yellow pens have a rubbery bit that comes out and Cub and his Grandad had accidentally broken it trying to fix it within the first day.
It seems quite expensive when you take into consideration that the pen has to be bought separately, but it would make a great birthday or Christmas present. If the pen survives the first few years it can also be used for an array of other Hot Dots games, covering subjects like science and maths. You can also make your own games, with a set of correct and incorrect dots.
I give this product a big thumbs up, and will definitely be returning to buy further products from the Hot Dots range.
If you’d like to get your Christmas presents in early, the code BLOGGER13 entered at checkout will get you free delivery until 31st December 2013.