Written by Summer:
Happy New Year! Did you make a resolution, or a goal? Did you have your kids make one too? If not, I have a suggestion, help your children come up with a New Year’s goal they can keep each day: Reading! It doesn’t have to take too much time, but all the teachers I know (and I know a lot) recommend at least 20 minutes of reading a day – children can either read to themselves or have you read to them. So kids of all ages can make this resolution.
Of course I know as a parent, sometimes my kids want to read and I have my hands in something else. I love dropping everything for a snuggle and a good kids book, but that isn’t possible all the time. My solution to this resolution is SparkUp. SparkUp is a reading system that can be hooked up to ANY book. You don’t need any special extras, which makes SparkUp unique from other electronic readers. You just need the all inclusive SparkUp reader!
The one catch is you need someone to take the time to read the book, only once though. [This also makes SparkUp brilliant if you have a “little reader” who wants you to read their favorite book over and over again, yet you’re kind of over it. You can read that favorite book all the time and anytime with SparkUp.] But it can be anyone – gramma or pop, uncles and aunts, their favorite babysitter, great-grandparents, older siblings, ANY ONE can read to your child at anytime! Forget the long distance call, long distance video chat, long distance [faux] hug, how about a long distance goodnight book … oh that’s the best! Your favorite readers don’t even need to be at home with you, SparkUp support can help you connect.
AND if something should happen to a recorded page or while reading the book you need a “page redo”, no worries! SparkUp lets the reader re-record that one page, NO PROBLEM! SparkUp also has voice instructions about record loading onto the SparkUp device, and they totally guide your way step-by-step. It couldn’t be any easier.
It really is that simple, and here is SparkUp’s demonstration:
And if you don’t want to record any books or want more selection, you can also download pre-recorded books to the SparkUp device. You can load 250 minutes (or approximately 50 storybooks) onto the SparkUp. If you need more space on the SparkUp device for more books, you can tranfser files onto your computer.
The couple things I have found difficult: You need to read in a non-echo-y room. I tried reading books to my children while recording on SparkUp in our playroom, which has vaulted ceilings, and that didn’t work as the recording had an echo. I recommend a small room. Also, I recommend books with very visible text or pictures as SparkUp uses a camera and in one book I recorded the pages are mainly all white at the top; the SparkUp reader gets confused and doesn’t know which page it is on for the recorded reading. Though SparkUp can be used with ANY kind of book – paperback, hard cover, or board book – when reading a paperback book SparkUp has some paperback book SparkUp tips.
That said, SparkUp is a great reader! The recommended ages are 3-6 years old, so preschool and kindergarten, but both my 5 year old kindergartener and 8 year old 2nd grader are fascinated by SparkUp. SparkUp is not just good for at home, but would be a fun tool for inside classrooms too as SparkUp can help with literacy retention, focus, comprehension, word identification, fluency, vocabulary, and help with children choosing books of varied subjects.
SparkUp comes ready to use with 3-AA batteries (though they’re not rechargeable, I recommend refilling SparkUp with rechargeable batteries, as I recommend this for ANY children’s electronics.), a USB cable, a demo book and user guide. SparkUp also offers many user YouTube videos which I’ve linked in this review, but if you watch only one, make it SparkUp’s 3.5 minute introduction video.
You can also stay connect by liking SparkUp – The Magical Book Reader on Facebook, and Twitter @SparkUpReader. Currently, Amazon is running a special on SparkUp for $39.90 (down from $59.99), so now is the perfect time to purchase the SparkUp reader.
What books are your littles ready to read with SparkUp and their new New Year’s goal?