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Win-It Wednesday: Phonics Reading Pup!

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 17, 2010 · 311 comments

Join me every week for Win-It Wednesday, with 24-hour giveaways just for you!

Leap Frog products have always been a part of our family, beginning with our first copy of The Letter Factory that we watched over and over with our first son eight years ago. I say first copy because it became so well worn that we actually had to purchase a new copy to replace it! So when I heard about the new SmartyAnts curriculum that's been developed by the founders of Leap Frog, I was very interested in giving it a try.

The SmartyAnts system consists of an interactive website and a companion SmartyAnts Phonics Reading Pup that reinforces the lessons taught on the website in a fun and engaging way minus the computer, allowing children to practice the reading skills they're currently working on any time, any place.

We received the white SmartyAnts Phonics Reading Pup to give the system a try, and my four-year-old daughter immediately fell in love with him. He's very fluffy and cute and surprisingly cuddly and soft for something that has mechanical parts housed inside. He comes ready for fun, preloaded with 10 songs designed to help teach your child the alphabet, letter sounds, phonics, word building, and rhyming.

I decided to let my daughter just get to know the Reading Pup for several days before introducing the online aspect, and he quickly became a constant companion. But when I showed her the SmartyAnts website and how it complements the dog, that was when the real fun began. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but the site showed me just how much I was underestimating what my daughter was capable of. I was under the impression that she was still working on her lower case letters and sounds, but she breezed through those right into the four-letter words level!

The SmartyAnts website is very cute and really draws your child in with activities that seem like play on the surface but are really teaching them valuable skills all the while. My daughter just devoured all of this and asks to play frequently. And the best part is that you can download new files to the Reading Pup that reinforce these skills during free time.

The SmartyAnts Phonics Reading Pup retails for just $29.99, and I fully expect him to be one of the hottest toys this holiday season. Included in the box is one SmartyAnts Phonics Reading Pup (choose husky or white pup), USB cable, parent guide, and one-month membership to SmartyAnts Web site.

One lucky Deal Seeking Mom reader will win a Phonics Reading Pup with a 1-year subscription to!


If you are reading this in your email or feed reader, please CLICK HERE to visit the original blog post to enter. Email entries will not be counted.

Want to win a one year subscription to Smarty Ants, as well as a Phonics Reading Pup? Just leave me a comment here, before 9pm on November 22nd, telling me about the fun ways you and your little ones have discovered learning how to read.

(1) Phonics Reading Pup and 1-year Subscription

This giveaway ends at 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, 11/22 and is open to all U.S. residents 18 years or older. I’ll use Comment Contest to select the winning comment. Winner will be notified by email and listed on my Giveaway Winners page. Winners must respond within 48 hours of notification to claim their prize. Good luck!

While you’re in a contest entering mood, don’t forget to check out the Giveaway Gathering for a variety of contests being hosted on Deal Seeking Mom readers’ blogs!

Disclosure: I received a Phonics Reading Pup and a one-year subscription to to review for this post.

{ 311 comments… read them below or add one }

1 karina November 17, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I absolutely love watching my children learn how to read. It's so much fun to see them go from not getting it to getting it! My daughter loves opportunities to show what she knows, but she's lazy to try to learn something new, so technology is a great way to help her want to learn.


2 ann November 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

My oldest son and I did a lot of reading together as well as using several leapfrog toys until he was old enough to use the Leapster. He has now moved on to using the Didj to help with higher learning skills. My baby (9 months) is playing with Scout as well as being read to and playing with several other toys. I cannot wait until he learns that we read books, not eat them :)


3 dawn November 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm

my 3 1/2 year old would love this she already has the leap frog books and tag reader!!!


4 Hana November 17, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Ooh, I hadn't seen this cute product before. We recently recently ordered adn received the alphabet book with orchestral instruments played by the cute different animals. we loved that, as I am a musician myself. :o) And we have many musician friends with littles ones who come over and we see every week.

This sounds like it would be wonderful to win! thanks for posting!

Most of the links in this article don't work though.


5 Hana November 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Oh, and another thing I noticed, one of your links to sells it for $69.99, not the $29.99 you noted. :o(


6 JEN C November 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm

My daughter just started showing interest in reading and this will be perfect for her.


7 amanda November 17, 2010 at 8:53 pm

We always read a book before bedtime.


8 Tracey November 17, 2010 at 9:20 pm

My almost 3 year old likes to "read" books to me and her older sister, she also loves to choose books at the library


9 Liz November 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm

We also love leapfrog products. Neither of my children are at the point of reading yet; however, both will sit still as I read.


10 Liz November 17, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I subscribe via email.


11 Lauren November 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm

we read before bed each night


12 Hollie November 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm

We love Leap Frog! We would put this to good use, our 5 yr old is learning how to read now and we are always looking for ways to help since he has speech problems.


13 isa marin November 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm

well my babies 1 and she acts like she can read.. we sit together .. i read to her, ans then she repeats it back to me in her own little way..


14 Amy November 17, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I have 2 boys, 5 and 2. My oldest just started kindergarten this year and is so proud of his beginning reading abilities. He comes home with easy readers from school each week. He sits down with his little brother and reads to him whenever a new book comes home- they both love it! We would adore this puppy in our house- he would get so much use from these 2 boys!


15 Tiffany S November 17, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I have a 1 year old and a 2 year old and neither of them can read, but to help them, we read books together every day as well as signs we pass, items on menus, etc. I like to think it helps ;)


16 Jessica November 17, 2010 at 11:10 pm

we use teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons as well as Bob books.


17 DK November 17, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I read to my 7 month old every day (and have done so since he was a newborn.) I am hoping this will instill in him a love of reading. I can't wait until he can read the books to me :)


18 robyn November 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm

my son had NO interest in conventional in order to get him learning his letters and number we play " i spy" in the car and practice letters and numbers that way! he loves it and can now spell his name and do addition.


19 megan November 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm

We taught them by looking at books of all kinds from a young age, we even got creative in the kitchen by reading them recipes out of cookbooks.


20 megan November 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I get your emails.


21 megan November 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I am a facebook fan.


22 Tara November 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I am dying to get this for my 3 year old - she would be in love. We are big fans of the Leap Frog movies and fridge toys. I think reading lots of books is the best teacher overall.


23 Tara November 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I receive your e-mails.


24 Tara November 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I like you on FB.


25 Jenelle Rush-Leavitt November 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm

We have a bookshelf full of books and my 2 1/2 year old son continuously bring us books to read to him. We have read to him every night before bedtime since he was 4 months old. I was just talking to my husband and saying that we needed to find a reading system to help him become more independent but there are so many out there now that it is hard to decide which is the best.


26 Becky Cole November 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm

My son has developmental delays and a gfit like this would be great practice for him at home to help him catch up to his peers.


27 Erica November 18, 2010 at 12:02 am

My 2 1/2 year old is obsessed with letters - he will sound out any word you put in front of him. We just go with it - even if it means that he's spelling out the words on the cereal box, or pizza menu, etc.


28 Brigitte November 18, 2010 at 12:02 am

I am thinking if I don't win this I will buy it for my 3 year old for Christmas. Phonics is a great way to learn.


29 Claudia November 18, 2010 at 12:08 am

My 5 year old is learning to read and we try making funny faces or signs to make it fun.


30 Jennifer November 18, 2010 at 12:50 am

Sitting together every day!


31 Shannon November 18, 2010 at 12:50 am

I have always been a big reader. I find the more you read the more they want you to read to them.


32 Trisha Kuster November 18, 2010 at 1:17 am

My oldest son (3 years old) and I have been working on his reading. We purchased the "Your Baby Can Read" system, and he loves watching the video. He has picked up a ton of words from the pictures, but still hasn't read any of the words yet. I know it will come eventually, but he loves to devour knowledge and all books that I buy for him. :) Even when he is at preschool, he loves reading books there. When I picked up my boys tonight from preschool/daycare, one of the helpers actually commented on how my oldest son loves to read books on his own looking at the pictures and identifying what is in them. She was very impressed. :) We told him what she said tonight and gave him BIG compliments on his hard work and reading. I already have picked up several books for him for Christmas (and even printed out some Tag coupons tonight from some Target deals that I saw that are coming up soon!). I know my oldest (and youngest!) son would LOVE having this to help him with his learning to read. He loves "helping mommy and daddy" when we are on our computers. LOL


33 KAITIE B November 18, 2010 at 1:24 am

I have found that fun interactive books such as Chika CHika Boom Boom and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie are great ways to get children to come to enjoy reading.


34 M J Knudsen November 18, 2010 at 1:46 am

Reading at bedtime is always loved by children.


35 Stephanie November 18, 2010 at 1:48 am

I do not have any children yet. However, I volunteer one morning a week in a kindergarden classroom. I think children at that age really need hands on learning. The Phonics reading pup would be a great addition to their classroom.


36 D November 18, 2010 at 1:53 am

We read every day and go to a few storytimes a week. They love to repeat the stories to me in their own words. This would be wonderful for them.


37 stacey November 18, 2010 at 2:55 am

Me and my kids gather some stuffed animals and blankets and we either sit on my bed or we lay on the floor and I let them take turns reading to me and each other..When I take them with me out somewhere and if we are like in the doctors office or whatnot my oldest always goes and grabs a book so she can read to my other too while we are waiting..


38 Sue November 18, 2010 at 5:18 am

My oldest is a great reader, my son and I read every day together....strengthening his reading skills. We take turns reading words, helps them keep up!


39 Diana B November 18, 2010 at 5:37 am

I read with my kids before naptime and bedtime.


40 Rebecca November 18, 2010 at 8:56 am

My children and I have been reading since they were really little. Exposure is one of the best tools.


41 Lori November 18, 2010 at 9:23 am

We read together and my 3 year old uses the Hooked on Phonics computer games and loves them.


42 Anita A. November 18, 2010 at 10:19 am

My 3-year-old nephew and I read every day. He loves when i read and change my voice to suit the characters and he acts out some of the actions in his favorite books. He just loves his books.


43 Amber November 18, 2010 at 11:17 am

We've read lots of books, watched PBS kids shows (SuperWhy! is great!), played with the Leap Frog fridge phonics with 3 letters...not one particular method, but it seems to have worked with my daughter. I'm afraid the boys will be harder.


44 Melissa A. November 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

My daughter learned to read from using the leapfrog tag.


45 Carina November 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm

We go to the library a lot so we constantly have new books to pick from.


46 ACMommy November 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm

We're going through the early stages of learning how to read right now! We have fun doing lots of storytimes, "hunts" for alphabet letters, and artwork and fun activitiy pages.


47 julia k November 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Now that its getting cold oldside, we love practicing our reading in a "tent" in the living room, made out of blankets and chairs.


48 Suzanne November 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I read to my son every night. He is only 2, but he is already starting to memorize his books and fill in the blanks when we read to him.


49 Kaylan November 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I try to keep a variety of things to read--if I am excited to read a book, I find they are too!


50 ahande November 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

We use the tag reader with the Cat in the Hat, Princess and the Frog and other tag books with our 5-year old.


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