The Very Hungry Number Crunching Squirrel

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Nov 132018
 

Where miss Sybbie was a very quiet 3-year old who would only say a handful of words, our little Hattie is the total opposite and a real chatterbox. What a great result from having her tongue tie snipped at 6 months old, I truly believe it made a big difference. She talks all the time and I love hearing her chat to her siblings, have conversations with her toys while playing or respond to her favourite TV shows. This cheeky critter from LeapFrog is her new chat-pal:

The hungry Number Crunching Squirrel (RRP $24.95, ages 2-4) enjoys nothing more than a varied diet of apples, strawberries, bananas and grapes, in fact he can eat up to 10 pieces of fruit in just one sitting! Toddlers will love filling him up with his favourite foods and learning fruit names and facts and the importance of a healthy diet at the same time.

When you press the squirrel’s nose he will ask a question eg. ‘Can you feed me 5 pieces of fruit?’ ‘Can you feed me something green?’ ‘Can you feed me a red strawberry?’. This encourages interactive play and introduces kids to the cause and effect principle, who doesn’t love praise when you get things right?! The squirrel counts out loud with each coin he eats and even tells you about the colour and fruit as he swallows, now that is clever.

Putting the coins in the squirrel’s mouth, pressing his red nose and the acorn music button, opening and closing the door and pushing his tail are all excellent fine motor skill exercises for curious toddlers. As they play toddlers also learn to count the treats, sing cute fruit-themed songs, recognise different colours and sort by colour/image.

Once the friendly squirrel’s hunger has finally been stilled you can empty his tummy with a simple push of his big tail. All the treats will pop out one by one (Ted loves this part!) and the feeding fun starts all over again, he has quite some appetite. The little door keeps his tummy contents safely stored, that way you never have to hunt for any missing treats.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to browse the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

Oct 262011
 

This week we are heading off for a very short 4-day holiday with my parents, just before they head back to the Netherlands. The kids are very excited about the prospect of going to the beach, Daddy can’t wait to eat a (lot of) donut(s) from his favourite bakery and I am just worried about what to take and what not to forget. One thing I do know: to keep the kids entertained during the trip we are bringing the LeapFrog Count & Draw.

The LeapFrog Count & Draw is a fantastic new learning toy for kids that is all about numbers and shapes. It teaches kids how to write/draw them, counting, adding, subtracting as well as some games to practise their new skills. The handheld toy features a generous sized screen for kids to draw on with the attached stylus pen. A series of little lights placed under the screen guides children in their writing and drawing.

Like most other LeapFrog toys this design can be used in different modes: The Numbers Mode helps children to learn how to write the numbers 1 to 10 by tracing the lights underneath. The Shapes & Lines Mode focusses on lines and shapes as well as position words (above, inside, under etc). Once kids have got the basics under control they can test their addition/subtractions and more than/less than skills with 2 games in the Games Mode.

The twins are at the perfect age for the LeapFrog Count & Draw. Having just turned three they are so keen to learn and their first school day can’t come quick enough for them (not for me!). They can both recognise and write most letters of both the alphabet and their names, and they have mastered recognising numbers so they are really enjoying learning how to write them too. The handheld has a limited number of buttons and the stylus pen is thick and sturdy for small fingers. The lights give them a lot of confidence, kids love getting it right and the lights are a very good teaching aid.

I know not everyone is a big fan of electronic ‘toys’ for young children and I understand that (althought I think there is a difference between ‘game’ toys and ‘learning’ toys). In fact my children spend a lot of time writing on paper, spelling with magnetic letters, reading books, counting with flash cards, do matching letter/words card games and they really enjoy that. However, when taking regular paper and crayons (or markers) in the car or on a holiday we often encounter some issues: How much paper and how many crayons do you bring? What do you put the paper on and how do you make sure the crayons don’t roll away? What do you do when all the papers are full or your child keeps dropping the crayons? What about marker stains or crayons crushed into car seats or clothes? When you multiply these ‘problems’ by the number of children that you have you need to bring a big supply and mum will sit turned-around the whole trip to pick up crayons.

With the LeapFrog Count & Draw kids can do what they really like, learn new things and practise their new skills again and again, and mum can do the praising not the grumping! Your child will not run out of ‘paper’, the Stylus pen is attached and can’t be dropped or make stains and your child will enjoy practising basic drawing and writing skills.

To find out more about the LeapFrog Count & Draw ($34,99, ages 3+) visit www.leapfrog.com.au. LeapFrog toys are available at leading retailers all over Australia, click here to find out where to buy your favourite LeapFrog products.