2015 – Top Award for Best Baby Toy Under 12 Months!
LeapFrog’s Read with Me Scout and Violet is a colourful, cheerful toy that is both fun and educational. The teddy is lovely and cuddly but has an ulterior motive; to encourage the enjoyment of books by giving little ones the confidence to read on their own as well as think about what they are listening to – it’s brilliant!
The product includes a nice range of books, covering a variety of themes and concepts although it would be nice if expansion packs could be purchased as the included stories are sure to get repetitive over time. Scout and Violet have an English accent (yay!) and address age appropriate, though provoking questions to children during the stories. The length of each story is suited to the concentration span of a small child and the interactive buttons are fab – if a child presses Scout or Violet’s paws mid-story, the toy will respond with a corresponding action but then say “let's get back to the story”– so clever.
There is, however, no volume control for night time mode, which is quite loud. The toy also has an issue when a number is pressed mid-story, which initiates the automatic selection of the story that corresponds with the (often accidentally) chosen number, before concluding the current option. Picking up Scout or Violet for a cuddle during a story (as tots are inclined to do) will also cause an interruption, which can become frustrating for little listeners. A less sensitive teddy would be an ironic improvement!
An argument posed against the product is that a story-reading toy might exclude parents from the reading process – from being included in the ‘learning’ and ‘quality time’ aspects of story telling. There is , of course, a choice involved in every action and purchase and opinion aside; the toy, as an objective entity, is good quality and good value for money (in spite of its glitches).
2014 – Shortlisted for 'Best Toddler Toy 24 months +' Award!
LeapFrog’s Read with Me Scout and Violet is fun and educational. It inspires independent reading as well as independent play and is a great learning tool; teaching children about feelings, numbers, patterns, colours and even the weather.
The toy is interactive; encouraging toddlers to answer questions and follow commands, keeping them occupied for ages. Instructions are easy to understand and the speaking voice emanating from the toy is pleasant and clear. The buttons are easily accessible and perfectly sized for little hands, and the toy is also tactile – soft, cuddly and a good size for tots to carry around.
Scout only comes with five story books, which is quite limiting for children on the older end of the age spectrum but probably OK for littlies. The toy doesn’t have a volume switch and it is quite loud, even on the bedtime setting. Not only that; when little ones hug Scout mid-story the teddy has a tendency to interject with random expressions as buttons are unintentionally squeezed by eager cuddling, which inadvertently slows the story down and can be confusing for tots.
This toy can’t be personalised like some of the other Scout/Violet products but it is easy to operate. The colours might also not be to everyone’s taste but a small thing in relation to the overall quality of the product.