Saturday, December 21, 2013

Educational Insights Hot Dots Jr Kindergarten Review and Giveaway

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details. Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Educational Insights is a California based company that has been manufacturing fun products that also provide serious educational value since 1962. Their wide selection of products include subject specific classroom products, teacher resources, educational toys and games. As a homeschool mom I am always on the search for fun yet educational resources. And Educational Insights certainly goes above and beyond in this area. We own several products from Educational Insights and I am always happy with their quality, durability and educational value.

A moms review:
We received the Hot Dots Jr Let's Master Kindergarten Math and Reading sets to review. This is another item that I decided to wait until Christmas to give to my children because of how awesome it was. So for this review I personally played with the "Ace" and the books. Last year my children received several Educational Insights gifts and they loved them so I am sure these are going to be a huge hit on Christmas morning.

These sets are recommended for children ages 5+. I initially got these sets for my 6 year old son but after paging through the books I have discovered that my daughter, age 7, will also be able to benefit from them. My first thought was these are going to be perfect for car rides. We are a very on the go homeschool family and since we live in GA our car rides often end up being 30-45 minutes long.  I am always searching for learning resources for the children to do in the car and Hot Dots are perfect! Hot Dots are easy to transport, require little adult assistance, are not loud or annoying and most importantly they are fun and educational!

The Hot Dots Jr Let's Master Kindergarten Math and Reading sets each come with two durable spiral bound books and "Ace" - the talking teaching dog (requires 2 AAA batteries). Each book contains 100 self checking lessons. The only parental assistance your child may require is reading the instructions for the quiz like lessons. Hot Dots are so simple to use and children will definitely be able to utilize this educational resource on their own after a short time.

"Ace" is perfect for little hands. The Jr. sets come with "Ace"and the 1st -3rd sets come with a pen. "Ace" will tell the child if they got the answer correct by responding with a fun, congratulatory phrase and/or sound and glowing green eyes. Some of the phrases and sounds include: yes, you got it, terrific, bow wow sound, ruff sound, horn sound, trumpet sound, etc. If the child gets an answer incorrect "Ace" responds with a gentle wrong answer phrase and/or sound and glowing red eyes. Some of the sounds and phrases include: that's not right, sorry, whining sound, whimpering sound, buzzer sound, etc. Sometimes "Ace" will surprise you with some tail wagging vibrations too!!!! I love that there is no need to turn "Ace" on and off. He automatically goes to sleep when he is not being used and is always ready to play as soon as he taps a black dot. "Ace" also has a 3 position button to adjust the sound level (including a mute option), as well as a 3 position button for selecting the types of sound you want to hear (speech, sound effects or combo).

The spiral bound books in each set are clearly labeled book 1 and 2. The pages are glossy and very durable, so they will withstand lots of abuse and be able to be used over and over again! The books are small so they are perfect for little hands and easy to transport. Each book is broken into color coded, skill sections. Under the skill heading are simple one sentence instructions. There are about 2-3 quiz like questions on each page. Under each question you will find black dots (aka Hot Dots). Your child simply looks at the question, determines the answer and then presses the pen to the corresponding black dot to see if they are correct. The last 15 pages of book 2 has a challenge section which will provide children with skills from the next grade level to help them get ready to move on to the next set of books.

Here is what skill topics are covered in each of the Kindergarten sets:

Hot Dots Jr. Kindergarten Reading
  • Letter recognition
  • Upper and lowercase letter pairs
  • Beginning consonant sounds
  • Ending consonant sounds
  • Short vowels
  • Sight words
  • Color words
  • Shape words
  • Number words
  • Long vowels
  • Basic capitalization rules
  • Basic punctuation rules
Hot Dots Jr. Kindergarten Math
  • Numbers
  • Counting
  • Patterns
  • Addition facts
  • Shapes
  • Basic fractions
  • Subtraction facts
  • Data and statistics
  • Sequencing numbers
  • Number words
  • Three dimensional shapes
  • Weight
  • Length
  • Time
  • Money
Hot Dots are going to be a great addition to our relaxed homeschool style. They are something that the kids can pick up an utilize completely on their own either at home or in the car. They are perfect for all learning styles and provide hours of interactive learning fun. As a mom on a budget I love that the price on these is very affordable at just $24.99 a set. And since the books are non-consumable Hot Dots are something that you can easily pass down to another child or sell when your child is done.

Reading and Math Hots Dots sets are available for PreK- 3rd Grade and are great for both home and school use!

Gwyn's (age 7) and Rowyn's (age 6) review:
After Christmas I will come back and update the post with the children's thoughts, some more pictures and maybe even and video! I will be sure to include a photo of them opening their Hot Dots.

Links to follow:
-Educational Insights Website
-Educational Insights  Facebook 
-Educational Insights Twitter page
-Educational Insights Newsletter

Also visit Educational Insights FREE downloadable section for learning resources and tips!

Where to buy:
You can purchase Hot Dots from Educational Insights and Amazon. Each set is $24.99 (Amazon currently $21.99).

Now time for the giveaway: 
Educational Insights has graciously offered to giveaway a Hot Dots set to one lucky reader. Winner may choose grade level for either a reading or math set. Only the first entry is mandatory. Other entries are optional and give you extra chances. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. The winner will be posted on the blog and will be emailed. Winner must reply within 24 hrs with their contact information or another winner will be chosen. Open to US only! Prize will be mailed via the company.

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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