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Posted on Oct 29, 2012

Hot Dots Review – Hands on with the electronic learning pen

Hot Dots Review – Hands on with the electronic learning pen

An electronic learning pen, that’s easy to use, simple to store, and cheap to expand. I may be in love.

What got tested: Hot Dots Pen, and Hot Dots Junior Maths cards.

By: Son#2, age 5 1/2 years.

Why: I was sent them to review by Learning Resources – all views and opinions remain my own.

What’s in the box: A chunky electronic pen, which requires 2 AA batteries. Set the tip of the pen into a black answer dot and the pen lights up green if you’ve got it right and red if you’ve got it wrong. Son#2 tested it with a set of Hot Dots Junior Numbers & Counting cards, for ages 3-6 years.

How the test went:
Son#2 discovered this set in his bedroom, after I had put him to bed. It was a weekend night so I let him get on with it, and in any case I like the kids to review toys whenever the mood takes them, rather than when I tell them to, because then I get a better idea of whether they like it.

He figured out how to make the pen work instantly, and understood the green and red light system. I had to sit with him to read out the questions at the top of the card.

It was bedtime, although clearly Son#2 did not agree.


  • Younger children will need an adult to sit with them to read out the questions.
  • If your child seems to be just pressing dots until they find the right answer, don’t worry – they can still learn this way. Just make sure that when they find the right answer you re-read the question and confirm what the correct answer was.
  • If you go to buy this at Amazon, there are a couple of products in the range with poor star ratings. Go and read the reviews yourself. There was no problem with the product, but the customers had been unclear that the pen was bought separately. Amazon have since updated their product details.
  • The pen has recently been remodelled – I tested the new version. Both the new and old pens work with all of the Hot Dots cards. There are also Junior pens available shaped like a cat or a dog, and these too work with all of the Hot Dots cards.

  • Mustn’t grumble….well not too much….
    There is no off button. WHY!!!!!!! I was so chuffed that the pen fit in the little card storage box. Then the pen slid down the box, at just the right angle to make sure the nib was being pressed in and activating the light and sound effects. Or a little cap to go over the nib and stop it getting pushed down – that would work too.

    Loved it because…

  • The pen is chunky and easy to grip without being too heavy.
  • It’s easy and intuitive to use.
  • The cards are double sided so the whole set takes up less room.
  • The box the cards come in is excellent quality. So many of the learning card games I have bought in the past came in flimsy card boxes that got broken and then the cards got lost. This box is strong enough to out-last the toy, and has room for more cards too.
  • There’s a big range of card sets to buy for any primary school age, covering maths, literacy and even science.
  • Thanks Learning Resouces for the pen, I will definitely be buying more cards to go with it.

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    Cheers, ta, and thank you very muchly.

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