As part of the LeapFrog Parent’s Program, I received the products featured in this post at no cost for review purposes, and this post contains affiliate links. My children and I have put the products to the test, and it’s my honest opinion that—once again—LeapFrog delivers.
Technology is everywhere these days. There’s no denying it, and I don’t believe in avoiding it. But I am a big believer in keeping it age appropriate. Which is one of the many reasons I’ve always loved LeapFrog products. Our older-generation LeapPads have been put through the ringer and have held up surprisingly well. But the new LeapPad Platinum is in a class of its own.
The truth is, I’ve never loved letting my kids play on my smart phone or tablet. As savvy as they are, it seems I always end up with deleted apps, the browser open to in-app purchase tabs, or random calls or texts sent to my contacts. (Not to mention 500 pictures of things like feet, toilets, and me—from the most unflattering angle known to mankind.)
The LeapPad Platinum takes the kid tablet concept to a whole new level, in my opinion. Even Big who has his own very-strictly-monitored iPod didn’t want to hand the LeapPad over to his brother and sister. He loves that it’s wireless enabled and he can browse the web for videos and cool content—with really wonderful resolution. I love that there’s no question the content he’s viewing is appropriate for children. (I tested this theory on my own and found that links away from the pre-approved sites or to stores on the pre-approved sites result in a screen that says the content isn’t available.)
Since Pink can’t read, she loves that there are game demos on the tablet showing her how to play. What a wonderful feeling of independence for her…and a relief for me, too. Plus there’s a ton of room (8GB of storage!) for her audio recordings, music, and selfies. Yes, really. Especially since you can doctor your photos right from the photo app and one picture can quickly lead to a number of versions.
Little loves the new design. It’s very sturdy, easy to grip, and he’s confident that if he drops it over and over and over that the screen won’t crack. (Ok, he didn’t say any of that…that’s all me.)
Me? The fact that it has a wall charger is the biggest game changer for our household. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money we’ve spent on batteries for our older generation LeapPads.
We were also sent a few of the ImagiCard games—PAW Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Letter Factory Adventures—which include live playing cards that can bring the game to life in an interactive way when you scan them during play. While the physical cards originally seemed redundant to me since you don’t actually need them to play the accompanying games, I’ve found that Pink plays with the PAW Patrol cards on her own far more than she plays with the LeapPad. I hear her counting with them or she’ll make up card games to play with me using them. It turns out they’re a great way to extend the learning while avoiding screen time (though I happen to be of the opinion that PAW Patrol is the best on-screen game, too).
And, it will come as no surprise that Pink’s favorite is the LeapFrog Disney Frozen Learning Game we received. This app/game is reading focused, and I’ve been really impressed with the fact that she’s trying hard to sound out words and solve the word puzzles on her own. And, thanks to the “?” help feature, she gets hints as she needs them so she doesn’t get easily frustrated, give up, or turn to me for the answer.
And for those of you who have little ones who aren’t quite ready for a LeapPad (I would say age 3-1/2 or 4 is about right…), not to worry. Pink and I have had a lot of fun with these two new LeapFrog toys.
The Number Lovin’ Oven (ages 2+) is a really wonderful first intro to a kitchen for your child. While Pink has a whole kitchen set up in her room, she barely uses it. This, on the other hand, is extremely portable and has been traveling with her dolls and her through the house. I love that there are a variety of food items that lend themselves to simple number play (1 egg, 2 cupcakes, 3 pieces of bread, 4 pieces of pizza), and Pink loves that the oven will sing with her. But the best part is that when you’re done playing, everything fits beautifully inside for quick clean up. Brilliant!
Scout’s Build & Discover Tool Set (ages 2+) has also been fun for Pink. She loves taking the doghouse apart and rebuilding it (to a soundtrack!). I love the simple, organic way the toy introduces colors and concepts like “righty tighty, lefty loosey”.
(For more product information and my official Amazon reviews of each of these products, click here.)
And, believe it or not, I have more reviews to come. We’re such a LeapFrog loving family and I’m always excited to try their latest and greatest.
Do you have any of these LeapFrog products? What do you think of them?