Written on: 15/03/2004 by Groovee (27 reviews written)
Fun Educational Games
Expensive, Requires Batteries
I had seen the Leapfrog Learning pad in a few shops where they had a display model in the shop and it worked so that you could see how it worked.
When Granny asked what to get Eilidh for her birthday, I asked for one of these. So now we have this annoying noisy thing talking constantly in American as Eilidh is delighted with her new toy.
The Leap Pad is a big plastic folder type toy. They are available in blue and green or Pink and Purple. We got the blue and green one. It opens up and you buy books to fit inside. The books are about A5 size while the folder is about A4 size. On the right hand side, there is a green circle which is the speaker. Just below the speaker is a small on and off button. Halfway down is a green semicircle. On the side of the folder is a small hole and this is where the cartridge goes, which comes with the book. The cartridge works the leap pad to go with the correct book. On the back of the leap pad is a battery compartment which is screwed on and takes 4 AA batteries.
The Leap Pad itself costs £35 from the Early Learning Centre, but at Christmas time Costco were selling them for £25 + VAT. The books cost around £12 each and have pages. Costco have been selling these books for around £9 a book. The books vary in what they do. Some are Disney ones such as Disney Princess ones or Finding Nemo. These usually have the characters with different types of activities.
Toys R Us sell back packs for £7.99 for transporting these around and the Early Learning Centre sell a big carrier enough for 12 cartridges and books and the Leap Pad for around £13. This is ideal for keeping everything together so that you don't loose anything.
So how does it work I hear you say. It is quite simple. You choose a book and get the corresponding cartridge. The Cartridge goes in the side bit for the cartridges. You then place the book inside and switch on the "ON" button. At the bottom just underneath the book is a "magic" pen. The pen is connected to the pad by a wire and the child uses the pen to take part in the activities. The pen just touches the pad and then the pad takes the child through whatever they have touched.
On each page there is a Go sign in a green circle. You press on this and it starts the activities on the page. Each book is about 30 pages long. The reading ones have stories and help children to start basic reading skills. It reads the stories and You can choose to "say it" when the book reads it to you. "Sound it" pronounces the word. "Spell it" spells the word out.
The Disney Princess one has 14 games. It tells short stories about Snow White, Ariel and Cinderella. Each page has a crown on it and this allows you to play the game. The games are simple and ask the child to find things or know the difference in day and night. Some of them allow you to press on the princess and they talk.
On the pages in a similar icon to a stop Road sign there is a stop sign which means you can stop what you are doing on the page.
There are 4 different types of age groups for the books:
Leap Start Preschool is up to the age of 5
This introduces the child to the building blocks of maths, reading and other subjects.
LeapPad Phonics is for ages 4-7
This an integrated step by step approached to teaching your child phonics. The books provide important practice to learning to read.
Leap 1 is for ages 4-6
Helps your child to learn a foundation in maths, reading and other subjects.
Leap 2 is for ages 6-8
These introduce your child to chapter books. Builds on their Vocabulary and reading skills. They also help to teach maths, science and music.
The Leap pad is recommended from age 4, but a bright 3 and a half year old would manage this with adult interaction. We showed our soon to be 4 year old how to use it once and she picked up what she was meant to do in minutes and was then telling us to go away. It held her concentration well and she is very happy to sit and "play" with this for up to about an hour. It is a very simple and easy learning assistant for a child and is ideal for helping the child have fun while learning at the same time. The games are easy enough for a bright child to do themselves. but a child who struggles a bit may need a bit more adult interaction. I feel that this is an excellent way to spend time with Eilidh when she will let me and help her develop in her learning skills. The books are quite good for adult/child interactional chat.
There is a My First Leap pad which has now been introduced for age 3+! My Sister in law has this for my nephew and he loves it even though he is only 18 months old. In a few months I will be considering getting this for Murray as I am very impressed with Eilid's one.
They have also just introduced a touch one for children 6 months to 3 years. This is expensive at £35-40. But you just use your fingers for it.
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