page contents Review: Hot Dots Junior | mummy rates it
Competition Homepage Slider Reviews — 30 October 2012

I must admit when the opportunity arose to review Hot Dots the first thought that went through my mind was that they sounded like a dream come true. Could a pen device really motivate kids to get stuck into literacy, numeracy and science?..

Hot Dots Junior - self-checking learning resource reviewed on mummy rates it
What is Hot Dots?

Hot Dots is a range of pen-like devices and cards that kids (from Early Years to Key Stage 2) can use to self-check numeracy, literacy and science. We were sent an Original Talking Pen and a set of Hot Dots Junior Numbers & Counting cards suitable for 3-6 year-olds.

The first bit of good news is that setting up is very straight-forward. All you need to do is take the Talking Hot Dots pen (£8.34) out the packet, pop in 2 x AAA batteries and you’re off. In fact, if the kids can’t wait that long they can begin using them as simple flash cards. Once the batteries are in the child looks at the card and uses the pen to to click on what they think is the correct answer. If they’re right a ‘Perfect’ ‘That’s Brilliant!’ or a rousing ‘Whoohoo’ sounds out from the pen. Get it wrong, however, and it’s a ‘Dooonng’ ‘Whoops’ ‘Nope’ or ‘Ohhh Man.’

The kids appreciated the positive feedback and happily worked their way through half the pack. Ferne, who at 5-and-a-half is at the top of the age range for these particular cards (£10.74), easily grasped the concept of matching the numbers. However, the good news is that with a bit of clever thinking (in our case Grandma – a former Primary School teacher, Child Psychologist and author of educational books) you can extend the use of the cards. In this instance Grandma suggested a very helpful next step for Ferne would be to use the cards for Subitizing skills (recognising groups of numbers from shape – eg. six of something shown as two lines of three). Don’t forget – cards progress up to Key Stage 2 which means you can move onto more difficult ones when the time is right.

Hot Dots Jr reviewed on mummy rates it

I was impressed with the quality of the Hots Dots Junior products we reviewed. The pen felt pretty robust and could withstand being dropped. The card set was also well made. The cards were made of good quality paper and the set itself was voluminous, with each card being double-sided. The cards also came in a handy, cardboard box with carrying handle making it easily transportable (car journeys, visits and eating out etc).

In my opinion the pen and cards are a great way of combining learning and fun and definitely something that we would use in the future (particularly as next year we will be going down the home education route). As well as buying them for your own kids they’re a nice great gift idea if you prefer to give kids an educational present for Christmas/birthdays etc.

COMPETITION

Great news! You can win one of five sets of Hot Dots Junior Cards and an Original Talking Pen – follow the instructions over at Facebook. Good luck!

DISCLOSURE: We were given an Original Talking Pen and card set to review. Words and opinions are entirely my own.

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