REVIEW: Mr Pencil’s Scribble & Write

If we can give our children a head start when learning to write, this will help enormously when they start school. At this age, learning needs to be fun and interactive and Mr Pencil’s Scribble and Write is perfect for that. The lights help young children develop early writing skills – they trace the lights to get practice. Ideally, they will start off initially drawing the simple shapes (which then turn into pictures) and then move on to to learning upper- and lowercase letters with step-by-step guidance. They can also draw their own pictures with the free drawing option. A really good feature is that the Scribble and Write automatically adjusts to the child’s abilities, meaning that learning progresses smoothly and logically, always giving children the next step forward. There are also spelling options at three challenge levels. Instant accuracy feedback means the child can immediately see where they have gone wrong rather than perpetuating the error. In addition, the mode is changed through simple clearly illustrated buttons.

It’s perfect for travelling – compact enough to slip into a bag and no spare parts to lose! So many key early learning skills are developed by this one product including the alphabet and numbers, and early and more advanced writing skills. Children gain great satisfaction from their writing skills and it’s a joy to see that develop with the aid of this excellent product – as with all educational toys, children will get the greatest benefit with some adult input especially in the early stages, although the useful accuracy feedback does reduce the need for parental input. Having said that, it is simple to use so young children won’t get frustrated with it – follow the light around the screen to create the letter or number.

As the Scribble and Write ‘speaks’ clearly to children, they can use it well before they learn to read and so it will be used for many years. The chunky pencil writes well , is attached by a safe short cord and doesn’t slide across the surface; the whole product is sturdy and durable. The speech is clear for children to understand and is UK English eg z is pronounced zed. It can be used by children from around 3 years (although we found a two year old used it very happily – children just need to be able to hold a pencil correctly) . An excellent value learning aid at a really good price, which encourages letter/number formation in a fun interactive way.

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