Don't argue with me on this one. You will take one look at this e-writer, a super-thin tablet with an LCD screen, and probably tell me I'm crazy to think that a Boogie Board writing tablet can justify itself as a toy.
Believe me, this little invention is way more than an eco-friendly Post-it note.
The fact is this, a Boogie Board is probably one of the best nondescript toys you'll ever buy for your kids and it's under $30.
Secretly, a Boogie Board is one of those toys you will try, then buy for your kids, because you really want one yourself. Let's be truthful, what's yours is theirs right? Kind of like when you finally make yourself a sandwich and turn to put the mayonnaise away, and the sandwich has literally disappeared in front of your eyes?
Don't buy it for yourself, buy one for every kid in the house. They will not be able to share. Then you can have it all to yourself when they are at school.
At first glance, the Boogie Board is a black LCD screen. A stylus is easily stored within the small, thin profile on the side of the tablet.
So how exactly does a boogie board work as a piece of technology on land and not as a beach toy?
The concept is simple, you write what ever you want on the surface, it magically appears on the LCD screen in green "ink." Then, when you are done, hit the circular button and erase it.
The Boogie Board Jot 8.5 includes magnets on the back to allow it attach to any magnetic surface, like a refrigerator, so you can add to your never ending grocery list or daily reminders. It's got a very thin profile, is super lightweight and easy to take on-the-go by placing it in a large purse or backpack.
A Boogie Board writing tablet has a fancy name of an e-writer. The best thing I can compare it to in the toy aisle is a more portable, fancy schmancy version of an old-school MagnaDoodle.
Even better, kids love the look of it. It makes them feel like an important grown-up when they can play and have access to something that doesn't have a cord tethered to it or that's encased in super-thick plastic that looks like a baby toy.
What I see kids love about this tablet is the way it feels when they write. It's smooth, effortless and quiet. No annoying scratchy pencil sounds. It's a simple, no-frills technology toy that keeps kids interested. Unlike a costly iPad, there isn't any quirkiness involved when using it. Have you ever tried to help your kids use their iPad with a stylus and it won't work because their hand is touching the screen in another location?
I have seen some kids get frustrated by impulsively erasing their work on their Boogie Board. It is not forgiving. You make a mistake or misplace a stroke and at least with this version you can't go back a step. That being said, I initially thought that what they created would disappear forever so I began snapping photos of their Boogie Board to preserve their drawings and successes in my camera roll.
However, there is a specific smartphone app, the Jot 8.5 app where you can also scan what's on the screen into your phone for access at a later time.
This is especially helpful if you want to save the little "I love you note" your son wrote to you or a sibling, or the Mario or Luigi drawing they worked hard on while waiting for an appointment or passing the time on an airplane.
While there are many ways to use the Boogie Board, doodling, note-taking and lists being some of them, I've had some of the best luck using it with kids doing school work. It's like a high-tech dry erase board. For some kids pencil and paper are traumatic, especially after school hours. We've successfully used the Boogie Board to practice math facts, write words down to practice sight words and spelling, and have used it to take notes on subjects kids are reading about.
This is definitely a great opportunity to buy a nifty piece of family technology that kids and adults at any age level will appreciate.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.