If you have been browsing all the latest toy catalogues in preparation for Christmas you have no doubt spotted the exciting new arrival from LeapFrog, an innovative educational video gaming system for children aged 3-8 called LeapTV. I can hear you thinking: ‘Aren’t those kids a bit too young to play video games?’ Normally I would agree with you but on the other hand I am a big LeapFrog fan and have seen firsthand the positive effects their learning games have on my children so I set out to find out more…
There is no denying it, most children (including my own) find video games super interesting, they love the fast paced action on the big screen and the feelings of independence and being in charge that come with holding a controller. The problem is that the majority of games available are simply not suitable for young children, the content is too grown-up, the games are too difficult and while they are enjoyable kids learn very little from them.
LeapFrog is on a mission to make video gaming fun, educational, child friendly and child appropriate so it gets the thumbs up from little players and passes the test for caring parents and experienced educators at the same time. Through LeapTV children have access to 70+ LeapFrog educator-approved games and videos that will have children develop important skills like reading, maths, science and creativity while playing. Get ready to jump, dance, point, swing, hop, fly and more with LeapTV.
We have been testing LeapTV for a few weeks with our 3 oldest children (6 year old twins and a 4 year old) and as they are familiar with LeapFrog learning through their LeapPads it didn’t take them long to work out what to do. Setting up LeapTV is very straight forward, it’s quick and effortless and the chunky, ergonomically shaped controller (with wrist strap!) is really simple to use for small hands. Instructions are clear and spoken out loud so even not-yet-readers can play, honestly they could not have made it any simpler.
There are three ways to play LeapTV and different games call for different ways of play which keeps play varied and interesting. For Classic Control and Pointer Play you need the controller, either with the handles together the traditional way or full length as a pointer, Body Motion is controller free and gives your child all the freedom to move around while burning lots of energy.
Just like other LeapFrog computer games LeapTV requires you to set up user profiles for your children. By doing so their LeapTV experience will be personalised and age appropriate and as your child gets better the games will automatically get trickier so it stays challenging. You can add multiple users and depending on the game you can play with 1-4 players so it’s the perfect shared present for siblings this Christmas.
We have been playing LeapTV Sports which is likes a sports carnival, there is a fun sport for everyone and I love that the games are short so it’s an ideal way to keep the kids entertained while you cook dinner or a quick play before bed. From bowling to rope climbing and from skate boarding to karate, it was great entertainment for the whole family. All the sports are different so it keeps little brains active eg. bowling requires Pointer Play, skate boarding asks for Classic Control and rope climbing is controlled by Body Motion.
Throughout the games players are practising math, patterns and shapes by eg. skateboarding along the right pattern, balancing the weights in strength training, hitting the base ball through numbered hoops and chopping shapes in karate.
There are currently 9 LeapTV games available and new titles will be released as the library grows, each game has different learning areas so you can pick the titles that are most beneficial for your child’s development. Featuring popular characters like Pixar Pals, Spiderman and Dora the Explorer the LeapTV software library is going to be a hit all boys and girls. I am hoping to soon try out LeapTV Dance & Learn and LeapTV Sofia the First so we’ll keep you in the loop as we explore the world of LeapTV.
The LeapTV Gaming System (RRP $229) consists of a sleek and stylish LeapTV base station, a LeapTV camera/motion detector and a LeapTV controller, the bonus customisable Pet Play World game is downloadable upon registration. Additional controllers (RRP $39.99) and LeapTV game cartridges (RRP $49.99) are sold separately.