Smarty Ants Phonics Reading Pup

from Smarty Ants



Overall Editor's Rating

What It Is

Go on a reading adventure with a trusted sidekick who unlocks learning and makes reading fun. Smarty Ants Phonics Reading Pup is the latest educational and learning tool to help kids read and enjoy reading. Created by Mike Wood, founder of LeapFrog, Smarty Ants is both an online learning world and a take-anywhere, soft and cute reading puppy. Both the online world and the toy can assess a child's skills and tailor a reading program that's just right for them. It doesn't matter if the child is completely new to ABCs, already reading, or somewhere in between. Every kid will learn at his or her own pace, always be challenged and never frustrated.

The Reading Pup comes with 10 learning songs, but you can attach the Reading Pup to the computer with the included USB cable (Mac and PC compatible) to download any of the 300 songs on to the Reading Pup. (The online interface is easy and intuitive to use.) These songs help reinforce basic reading skills through rhyme and repetition, a proven learning technique. Kids can then take the Reading Pup with them wherever they go to listen and learn until they're ready to download new songs.

There is a wealth of educational material online, and the purchase of Smarty Ants Phonics Reading Pup comes with a free 30-day membership to This online educational system is designed to match your child's learning style and personality. For children who grasp reading concepts quickly or have advanced skills, the program accelerates to keep them engaged and challenged. If children are struggling, the system slows the pace and increases educational support to ensure that each child succeeds so they can build their confidence and develop a joy for reading. Kids are free to explore and choose from eight skill-building games and two story-building and reading games. The curriculum takes children through the end of first grade reading and includes more than 125 interactive learning videos that introduce the most important pre-reading and reading concepts.

There are virtual rewards for when kids learn new letter sounds, build new words, and create new stories. These moments are captured in photos taken by the Camera Bee and appear in articles about your child's accomplishments in the Daily Woof newspaper delivered by the virtual pet dog. Parents can send the Daily Woof and virtual copies of stories and music videos created by the child to up to five email addresses. Grandparents, aunts, and friends can then share in the child's reading progress.

Smarty Ants believes that children have more fun, stay motivated, and learn more effectively when they're able to choose where and how they learn. The personalized content is a great feature that will keep kids engaged and help them gain confidence as they read.

We see so many programs and products that promise to help kids learn to read. Many of them are effective at drilling and reinforcing skills, but this is one of the first we've seen that really leverages technology and curriculum to create an effective learn-to-read system.