LeapFrog LeapStart 3D giveaway

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Jun 242020
 

Learning to read is a huge achievement, some of my children instantly ‘got it’ and others took their time to work it out and that is totally OK. I have definitely learnt that keeping it fun, exciting and entertaining helps take away some of the pressure and allows young readers to playfully make the jump from looking at pictures to proper reading. Proving you’re never too young to become a bookworm, LeapFrog has released this amazing new invention called LeapStart:

The LeapStart 3D Learning System (RRP $89.95, ages 2-7) brings books to life while cleverly combining a whole range of important learning areas like reading, spelling, puzzling, languages, tracing, maths, comprehension and much more. This makes it exciting for curious kids with different interests and levels of development and perfect for our two youngest learners.

It all starts with the LeapStart 3D base station that flips open to hold any LeapStart book of your choosing. Once you click your book into the base and switch the device on you can begin your discovery journey with the chunky toddler-friendly stylus. Each page is filled with interactive fun: Pictures, words, sounds, games, tunes, letters, numbers… just touch anything you see with the Touch & Talk stylus and watch the magic happen!

The education experts at LeapFrog understand exactly how little minds work and have designed the LeapStart technology to help develop a love for reading through play. Letters, letter sounds, words and sentences become a lot more interesting when you can touch them to hear them being read out loud, and you’re in charge. LeapStart allows young readers to feel independent and once they start ‘getting it right’ it offers a wonderful sense of pride and achievement.

The futuristic pop-up holographic screen that is built into the LeapStart 3D base station makes LeapStart 3D an experience like no other. As children explore each page by touching images, playing games or answering questions they will be treated to special holographic animations on the full colour screen, it’s like your favourite characters have jumped from the page to take you on an out-of-this-world adventure!

We have started our collection with the two included Level 1 titles (Shapes & Colours and 22 Words in English & French) as well as the LeapStart 3D Sampler Book but there are plenty of other LeapStart 3D books across three different levels to collect. Featuring popular characters like PAW Patrol, Mickey Mouse and Peppa Pig and covering topics from maths to writing, reading to science and everything in between there really is a LeapStart adventure waiting for every child.

With several birthdays coming up in a September we have already added Pre-School STEM, Disney Princess Shine and of course First Day of School to our wish list. Our four-year old Hattie is gearing up for the start of school so this will be a wonderful help as we prepare for the big day. Bonus: If you already own one or more books from the earlier LeapStart version, you’ll be pleased to know those titles are compatible with LeapStart 3D too (obviously without the 3D effect).

A little heads up for parents: LeapStart 3D takes a bit of preparation to get started, you will need to insert 3 AA batteries and connect the device to your computer to set it up and download the audio content for your books. Once that’s done LeapStart 3D is good to go! A built-in carry handle makes LeapStart easy to transport for small hands.

You can find the LeapFrog LeapStart 3D range at your local Big W or Target store and other good toy stores or online at selected retailers.

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

For your chance to win a LeapStart 3D prize pack (RRP $89.95, LeapStart 3D + 2 bonus books) hop on over to the LeapFrog Australia Facebook page to enter, good luck! Be quick, competition ends June 25, 2020.

The Big LeapFrog Bake Off

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Jun 202020
 

During our weeks of home isolation hip daddy finally finished off our outdoor cubby house and it has been a source of joy, giggles and adventures for all the kids (and even the pets). Tea parties, mums and dads, schools, deserted islands, picnics… there is no limit to their imagination and I love hearing their chatter as they play. Unfortunately the weather for outside play has now ended so we’re snuggling up inside instead. Bye bye cubby house snacks and hello toasty winter treats, welcome to the big LeapFrog Bake Off!

The adorable Number Loving Oven (RRP $39.95, ages 2+) is sure to appeal to budding bakers and curious chefs, our two pre-schoolers have been cooking up a storm. Yummy pizza, pretty cupcakes, a fried egg or even a freshly baked loaf of bread, this cute little oven does it all!

The Number Loving Oven is cleverly designed to suit a range of ages, development stages and learning interests, making it a great toy for siblings to share. For early learners the oven brings different types of food and colours, a shape sorting oven tray, the puzzle of building a pizza and a baguette, a sizzling stove top, a door that opens and closes and of course lights, sounds and songs.

As your master chef gets older he/she will start recognising the numbers on the pizza and the oven timer, you can learn about temperature and time, practise sharing and dividing food between guests and serving food on a plate with a spatula.  Seeing how our 2-year old, 4-year old and even 7-year old ‘play kitchen’ together with the Number Loving Oven, yet notice, learn and enjoy different things about it, proves it is a toy that will last the distance in a growing family.

By moving the timer, opening and closing the door and pressing the green chef’s hat button children will hear a wide range of learning questions (Let’s see, how long will that take to bake? Set the oven to four. That’s it! Let’s cook and count), encouraging sentences (That turned out beautifully! Mmmm, delicious. Let’s share), cooking information (1. Pre-heat, this little oven must pre-heat before you start to bake a treat. 4. Hot hot hot, to cook the pizza that’s you’ve got) and catchy songs about hand washing, cooking, waiting and counting. Plenty of kitchen chat to make cooking fun!

Bonus: As a mum I am super chuffed that all the food items fit neatly inside the oven, just close the door and everything is properly tidied away. No missing pieces and easy to store, winning! It is also a perfect compact size to keep in the cupboard at Grandma’s for when the grandies come visit.

You can find the LeapFrog Number Loving Oven at a Big W or other good toy store near you and online at selected retailers.

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

Wave goodbye to bedtime worries with LeapStory

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May 202020
 

I won’t lie: These past months have been hard. I have always been someone who worries easily and this COVID19 outbreak has definitely been a challenge for me mentally. Late last year I lost my wonderful Opa and had to fly to Europe unexpectedly, forcing me to leave my husband and babies behind for the first time. Not long after that my dad received the exciting but scary news that after months on the waiting list a donor liver had been found for him and that he would be undergoing an organ transplant that same day.

We had been waiting impatiently to go and spend seven long weeks with Dad and the rest of family but thanks to COVID19 our flights to The Netherlands were cancelled again and again and after rebooking three times (and travel restrictions coming in) there were eventually no travel options left. With infections sky rocketing in Europe and my recovering Dad in a high risk category we have been terribly worried and still are. The disappointment we (and especially the kids) feel about not seeing our (grand)parents for yet another year is just heartbreaking, not even talking about the money lost through it all. Add to that eight weeks of total home isolation with six kids, home schooling and work worries and 2020 has definitely been a mental challenge I will not easily forget!

For me the only way to keep my head above water has been to grab tight our beautiful kids, take every day as it comes and snuggle up in our safe bubble until this is all behind us. We have baked, coloured, painted, crafted, cooked, puzzled and read. We have spent many days in our pyjamas and enjoyed drives through the country side. We stayed up late, slept in and learnt about all kinds of interesting things. We have built a custom garden bed and set up a chicken coop, we have hatched our very own chicks in an incubator and are watching our chicks and vegetables grow.

As Australia slowly eases back into the ‘new normal’ I look back at a special time with my family and am proud of how we spent it. This week the kids will go back to school and I will go back to my readers, time to tell you about some hip and handy finds that we used a lot during our home isolation time…

While I was away for Opa’s funeral hip Daddy did an amazing job at home. Quite the change for our little troublemaker Ted who was still sleeping with us (and breastfeeding) every single night which was getting pretty exhausting! All attempts at weaning and moving him into his own bed had been unsuccessful until then but with Mummy away he had no choice and it has been the start of a better routine for Ted. He now happily goes to sleep in his own bed with a bit of help from this fabulous LeapFrog bedtime buddy.

Packed full of story classics, myths, nursery rhymes, songs and much more this clever story-telling cube is a wonderful companion for any children’s bedroom or playroom. LeapStory (RRP $69.95, ages 3-8) gives children access to a delightful collection of stories, songs and tunes, they can choose their favourites, listen to them being read out loud and enjoy a mesmerising display of images and animations projected onto the ceiling or wall. Parents can even record themselves reading a special story to their child, which allowed Ted to listen to his mama’s voice even when I was on the other side of the world.

We love the fact that LeapStory presents a great mix of well known classics and lesser known content. With more than 80 preloaded tracks spread out over four different categories (classicsmyths, legends and fables, sleepy time and learning songs children are guaranteed to discover delightful stories and songs they have never heard before. From Rapunzel to Rumpelstiltskin, from the Tortoise and the Hare to Three Little Pigs, from Little Red Riding Hood to Robin Hood, from Jack and the Beanstalk to the Fox and the Crow and so many others, LeapStory offers loads to listen, learn and love. Ted’s favourite is by far the Gingerbread Man!

We have put the LeapStory on Ted’s bedside table so it is always within hand’s reach, he can see the light-up base and projector and he often turns it on himself to listen to a story or two. After six solid months of use we can safely say it has been thoroughly tested by our big family and the kids still turn it on every night at bedtime, if that’s not a tick of approval I don’t know what is!

Whether they want to select a favourite adventure or hear multiple tales, set a timer to listen to stories as they drift off to sleep, flick through the different options or turn on the light projector, we have found the LeapStory cube easy to control. Featuring six simple buttons and an adjustable projector LeapStory allows young children to feel independent and in charge and they don’t need to ask mum or dad for help with every little change (particularly handy at bedtime!).

Getting tired of the same stories? Need a fresh fable or new nursery rhyme? No problem! Simply connect your LeapStory to your computer and download an additional content pack completely free using the LeapFrog Connect application. The LeapStory device will work on 4 AA batteries (great for holidays, camping adventures or road trips) or mains power using the included adapter.

You can find LeapStory at a Big W, Myer or other good toy store near you and online at selected retailers.

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

Think outside the square with RockIt Twist

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Dec 212019
 

Turn or twist it, press or pull it, flip or flick it… Whether it’s at home on a hot summer day or on the way to your holiday destination, this funky new gadget is guaranteed to keep the kids’ brains and hands busy. Knowing how much our tribe enjoys using their other LeapFrog devices I immediately knew the RockIt Twist would be a winning Sinterklaas gift and it was an instant success:

Heralded as this year’s hottest Christmas gift the RockIt Twist (RRP $89.95, ages 4-10) has already made an appearance on many a wish list (including that of my own children). Is it a miniature game console? Could it be an oversized Tamagotchi-style virtual pet or possibly a fancy fidget toy? We’ve put it to the test and can confirm it’s all of the above and it is FUN!

Featuring a range of coloured buttons, arrows, wheels and switches the RockIt Twist instantly captured the attention of my curious kids. It is definitely no ordinary handheld console, with so many quirky angles it takes quite a bit of brain action to master this cool game system. Different games, different sides, different controls, the RockIt Twist keeps you on your toes and secretly you’ll be learning as you rotate and play…

Your RockIt Twist comes preloaded with 12 games that, just like we have come to expect and love from LeapFrog, cover a range of learning areas including literacy, maths, problem solving, science and creativity. Thanks to the three different difficulty levels our 4-year old, 6-year old and 9-year old are all able to play and enjoy the RockIt Twist at their own level. Especially the younger kids like that the games are bite-size, long enough to learn how things work and succeed at it yet short enough to hold their attention, try several games in a row or have a quick play before bed.

The device is also home to three cute virtual pets that are impatiently waiting to be hatched. Once brought to life you can play, feed and care for your new pet and watch it grow with to your expert TLC. Find your pet’s favourite food or give it a good scrub and a rinse in the tub, brush its teeth with a fruity tooth paste or play together to earn hearts. If you look after your pet properly you can raise it all the way from baby to child to teenager to adult as you fill the ‘birthday’ meter. Our kids thought it was hilarious that their teenager got braces!

The RockIt Twist does not require an internet connection and is rechargeable, so you can play it anywhere and anytime. You can even upload some cool MP3 tunes to the device and listen to your own tracks on the go (with or without headphones), what’s your favourite summer hit? Your RockIt Twist allows for three different player profiles, so siblings can share the same device and still care for their own virtual pet and work on their own game progress.

For even more RockIt Twist fun you can add additional games using the RockIt Twist Game Packs (sold separately). Each Game Pack comes with a download card (to install the game and a new pet to your device) as well as a toy egg so you can ‘hatch’ your own keyring pet. There are currently three different Game Packs to choose from: Party Time with Poppy (Trolls), Penelope Penguin: Pet Detective and Dinosaur Discoveries.

Handy hints and useful tips: To ensure your RockIt Twist game system runs on the latest software simply connect it to your computer and follow the prompts to create/log in to you LeapFrog Connect account. The included USB cable is also your charging cable, so no messing around with expensive batteries. You can connect up to five RockIt Twists to the same parent account and they can all share the same Game Pack, now that’s budget friendly!

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

For your chance to win a LeapFrog RockIt Twist prize pack (RockIt Twist Game System and 3 RockIt Twist Game Packs, RRP $135) hop on over to the LeapFrog Australia Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

To the rescue with LeapFrog

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Nov 292019
 

Dump trucks, cherry pickers, buses, motorbikes, ambulances, diggers… Ted loves them all! Unlike many other young children Ted thoroughly enjoys car trips and is easily entertained by spotting all kinds of transportation. At home he has his own collection of cool vehicles to play with too, with this funky firetruck being his new favourite:

Emergency, emergency! The bright red Tumbling Blocks Fire Engine (RRP $49.95, ages 1.5-4 years) is always on standby to help a desperate toddler in need of distraction. Siren? Check! Flashing lights? Check! Ladder? Check! Water hose? Check! Get your fire fighting gear on and get ready for a rescue mission that is both exciting and educational at the same time.

Created by the learning experts at LeapFrog this emergency vehicle is packed with educational features, helping playful toddlers develop important skills whilst having fun. Sounds and songs, letters and lights, buttons and blocks, wheels and words, if you’re looking for a quality, versatile Christmas gift that will be enjoyed long after Boxing Day this is it.

There’s a fire at the Bakery, send help! There’s a cat stuck in a tree, to the rescue! Firefighters Scout and Violet are on their way to yet another incident and could do with a helping hand, let’s give the engine a push and get started. Kids can turn on the siren and flashing lights, turn the hose reel and check the water gage to hear the corresponding number.

Knowing your ABCs is a must for any good firefighter. The five coloured blocks represent all 26 letters of the alphabet, 26 different animals as well as 4 types of emergency vehicles. Simply pop the interactive block in the driver’s window to learn more about the letter, the sound and the picture of your choice. Using the music button kids can also hear and sing along to several alphabet themed songs and other catchy tunes.

Ted’s favourite part of the Tumbling Blocks Fire Engine is by far the tumbling ladder mechanism: When you push the ladder down it automatically ‘picks up’ the next animal block and when you lift the ladder up the block tumbles down back into the truck and repeat. It’s like magic! Super easy to do for little hands and virtually fail-proof, this is a brilliant design feature that brings endless joy to curious toddlers.

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

A is for Apple

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Nov 162019
 

Time can’t go fast enough for our Hattie who will be having her first taste of kindy next week. She enjoys art and craft, she can’t get enough of outside play and dressing up and she loves music and dancing… sadly learning her letters is a different story. Just like with her older siblings we’ve turned to the magic of fridge magnets to help her on the way.

LeapFrog‘s Fridge Phonics range has been adorning fridges across the globe for many years. Since its first release little learners have been practising their ABCs with a Fridge Phonics bus, a house, a sun, a pond and other fun shapes and the concept is still successful as ever so why change it? Today’s curious toddlers and preschoolers can master the alphabet with the help of friendly frog Tad.

Tad’s Fridge Phonics (RRP $29.95, Ages 2+) consists of a bright magnetic red apple console and 26 letters magnets. The clever apple recognises each individual letter, just pop the magnet in the letter slot to hear which letter it is, which sound it makes and learn interesting words that start with that specific letter eg. super stinky skunk, luscious lemon lollypop or groovy green guitar.

There are lots of different ways to enjoy and learn with this cool magnetic letter set. Explore what each letter sounds and looks like, learn new words with each letter, find the first letter of your name, put all the letters in alphabetical order, try to make simple words, sing along to the alphabet song, sort the letters by colour, separate the vowels from the consonants and of course practise your fine motor skills while you play!

This year’s Fridge Phonics set also includes 3 new large magnets that celebrate three special people (Dad, Mum and Me) with a series of fun sentences eg. ‘Dad’s a rockstar’, ‘I can do anything’ or ‘Mum is funny’. You can even add a unique touch by sliding a nice photo of your child and each parent into the corresponding magnet, how cute is that?

We’ve been using our old Fridge Phonics set for many years and I can definitely vouch for the versatility (suitable for different ages/stages) and durability. After countless drops and throws our previous set is still going strong, however several letters have gone on an extended holiday along the way hence the upgrade to a full new set. Tad’s Fridge Phonics is guaranteed to keep our last two preschoolers entertained while mum does the kitchen chores.

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

Bop to the Beat with Mixmaster Scout

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Aug 312019
 

As you can probably imagine a busy home like ours is never quiet. As if six children don’t make enough sound, chatter and noise just yet we also have a piano (the four older kids get lessons at home) and three of them are learning the violin too! He may be the smallest of the family but Ted sure enjoys adding his fair share of volume so this musical LeapFrog toy comes in real handy:

The Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout (RRP $34.95, ages 12-36 months) is the cutest toddler turntable you have ever seen. Future DJs can bop to the beat as they join puppy pal Scout to create their own unique tunes using a range of instruments, rhythms, sounds and background tracks. With colourful buttons to press, switches to flick, wheels to spin and lights to flash the Mixmaster instantly takes your little musician from cot to club.

I’ll admit, at this stage it looks like Ted is mainly out to make as much noise as possible but there is more to Mixmaster Scout than meets the eye. Not only is mixing your own music secretly a fabulous fine-motor skills exercise for chubby toddler hands, kids are also getting a fun and funky introduction to numbers, colours and instruments and learn to sing along to the catchy ABC song and other melodies.

As kids get older they come to understand the cause and effect principle and learn what the different buttons, switches and play modes (alphabet, numbers and colours) do and the sounds they make, giving them more control over their personal toddler tracks. You’re never too young to become a musician, so get those hands clapping and toes tapping with Mixmaster Scout.

The LeapFrog Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout is now available from Big W, good toy stores across Australia and online.

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