Reading Eggs – A Reading Tool for Children

Reading Eggs is a website that endeavours to help children to read quickly, in a fun and engaging way.

I’m sure that most parents, of a primary school aged child, will appreciate the pressure that is on children to learn to read.  My son, J, started reception in September, unable to read and barely able to write. However, by July, he will be expected to read well and be able to write a sentence or two. Frankly, to me anyway, this is scary stuff.

Now I am a complete bookworm and very keen for my boys to discover how fantastic reading can be. As a result, I had been curious about Reading Eggs but had never gone as far as to try it. I was excited to be given a years free access to the site and the Mega Book Pack to really explore and see what it was all about.

I will be completely honest. J is knackered, and still getting to grips with his full days at school. I will admit to being a little hesitant at giving him more school type things to do in the evening. However, in the name of research, I was willing to give it a go, as long as he wasn’t too tired or resistant.

On browsing the Reading Eggs site, I was very keen to get J on there to see his first impressions. The site itself is very engaging, bright and friendly. As his computer skills are just emerging, it was nice to see that everything is very user friendly and self explanatory. He only needed a little adult guidance in the beginning. Each of the initial levels concentrate on one letter at a time. These letters, and the sounds they make, are studied thoroughly, but not to the point of tedium, before moving onto the next level.

Reading Eggs J1Reading Eggs J2

J really enjoyed his time on the Reading Eggs site. He was giggling when the marshmallow mouse came out,  at the end of the first level, and at various other things. In the end, we spent a lot longer than we had planned to spend on there. J was very put out when I insisted it was very much time for bed!

After bed time, I came down to find an email from Reading Eggs with suggested homework. The homework focuses on the most recent lessons learnt, and easy ways that this can be supplemented at home.

Two weeks on and he is still hooked. I love the fact that J also has his own personal Avatar for the site. This is something that he really enjoyed making, and he gets excited to see, every time he switches on. J loves Reading Eggs, most days asking ‘can I do my eggs Mummy’ whilst his little brother goes to bed. It’s really nice to spend this time together, knowing that he is learning in a way that is fun to him.

Reading eggs are currently offering a four week free trial to the online subscription. Please click here if you would like to register. Offer is available until the 31st March 2017.

Toy Story Mania – Game Time

Toy Story Mania is a game designed for the whole family (from 3+ years) and is based on the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attractions.

Toy Story Mania for XBOX 360

The games have a fairground feel to them and involve short challenges such as hitting targets, catching eggs in a basket and sheep with a staff. Each of these games centres around one or more of the characters from the movies.

At first I decided to play Toy Story Mania on my own. The game was amusing enough at first and I liked the fact that as you played you unlocked different games and levels but I have to admit I found the games a little repetitive and lost my interest after a while. However, all this changed when I had some friends over one evening and we decided to play together, this is where the game came into its own, we had a blast! The shortness of the games meant that those who weren’t playing (there were four of us and we were playing two at a time) weren’t sitting around for long and we all felt involved. Also, the challenges themselves lead to a lot of shouts of encouragement from those not playing, this really added to the excitement!

Toy Story Mania for XBOX 360I think it’s great that Toy Story Mania has been created with the whole family in mind, even the little ones. My only concern is that because such a wide age range is involved older ones might become a little bored after a while. That aside I would totally recommend that anyone looking for a family game consider this one, I love the fact that all the familiar faces from the Toy Story movies are included, even for a big child like me this was quite exciting.

The game is available in the XBOX 360 (plus Kinect) and Wii and I think that this would make the perfect gift for Christmas. I’m spending Christmas day with my parents and am planning to take this game with me as no doubt it will lead to lots of fun!

We were sent a copy of Toy Story Mania to review, all opinions are our own!