Mar 022014
 

Now that the twins have started school we’ve entered a new stage of after school play dates, I never know who they will want to bring home next. One thing I do know and it’s that all little visitors seem to have a sixth sense for where our LeapFrog toys are stored. Within 5 minutes of arriving home I usually spot the young guest on the ground holding our LeapPad, carefully picking a game from our collection that they’d like to play.

If you already own a LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra, LeapPad 1 or 2, Leapster GS or Explorer you’ll love todays giveaway as there are two great LeapFrog Learning Games up for grabs:

Minnie Mouse Bow-tiqueWe purchased Minnie Mouse Bow-tique: Super Surprise Party! ($44.95, ages 3-5) a few months ago for our little miss 3, she loves Minnie and it was an absolute hit straight away. While she plays around in Minnie’s little shop with bows, ribbons, sparkles and glitter she is secretly practising her memory and logic skills, trying her hand at letter and colour recognition and even word sounds, pretty clever if you ask me.

Sorting fun with Minnie

Sorting fun with Minnie

The game is set in the Minnie Mouse Bow-tique with lots of different things to touch and short games to play. As this learning game is suitable for players as young as three years old it contains simple games like sorting colours, decorating bows and picking outfits but it also provides a first introduction to letter and word sounds, eg. they hear the sounds S-U-N and need to click the picture of the sun. By playing the individual games, taking phone orders and creating custom bows and helping running the store players can earn more bows and unlock new colours keeping the game fun and interesting. Remember, don’t tell anyone about the secret Super Surprise Party for Minnie!

Learning letters on the go

Learning letters on the go

Minnie Mouse Bow-tique figurineOften computer games seem to be considered more a boys toy so it is really nice to see a few more girl orientated games in the LeapFrog Library. Minnie Mouse Bow-tique lets girls play with the things they love while learning valuable skills at the same time. At the moment there is a special edition of this lovely game available (at selected stockists only) which includes a free Minnie Mouse figurine, as you can imagine our little lady was a bit disappointed that we bought our game before this one came out.

My Little PonyWhile young kids turn to Minnie for a first and very fashionable play with letters older children who have mastered their numbers can move on to more tricky math problems with My Little Pony. The game My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ($44.95, ages 5-8) takes the magic out of maths and turns it into logic, building important math skills and number confidence through games and play.

Concepts like probability, fractions and percentage can be a little confusing at first but don’t worry, the very pretty Princess Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are here to help. We purchased this game with our upcoming overseas holiday in mind, I bet it will keep our 5-year old twins really busy on our long flight and I think it will also teach us parents a thing or two about how to explain math problems in a child appropriate way.

If you want to stay up-to-date with all the latest LeapFrog news, specials and competitions make sure you keep an eye on the LeapFrog Australia Facebook page, that way you’re always the first to know.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to take a closer look at the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

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LeapFrog, new and improved

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapFrog, new and improved
Nov 262012
 

As I regularly write about our love for LeapFrog products I often receive questions from readers about recommendations for LeapFrog apps, product features, my experiences with different toys and of course where to go for the best price for a certain LeapFrog product. Recently quite a few people have contacted me with questions about the LeapFrog LeapPad 2 and Leapster GS, which doesn’t surprise me as both can be found on many children’s wishlists this Christmas.

After the huge success of the original LeapPad and Leapster Explorer LeapFrog recently released the new LeapPad 2 and Leapster GS. Obviously both styles come jam packed with great new features as well as the fabulous basics that made the previous designs such a hit. If you already own some LeapFrog Explorer games (on cartridge or downloaded from the App Centre) you can use them in the new units as well.

The big question I always get is whether parents should buy an iPad or LeapPad for their child. Now this is obviously my personal opinion and there is something to say for both products, but I can safely say I feel more confident letting my children play on the LeapPad. The LeapPad offers ONLY age appropriate content, no connection to the internet, easy navigation, fun, educational and quality tested games (no dodgy apps!) and the LeapPad costs only half of what the iPad costs. Yes the LeapPad apps do cost money but I feel they are very much worth it.

There are loads of great features that make the new LeapPad 2 a fabulous tablet for children: a large full-colour screen, 4GB of memory, a fast processor, front and back camera/ video recorder and a range of cool accessories. The LeapPad is easily controlled with the stylus, your fingers and even tapping and shaking. As opposed to the original LeapPad the screen of the new LeapPad 2 automatically adjusts to horizontal or vertical use.

If you are after a more compact unit that is similar to a traditional game console the Leapster GS could be just right for you. Labelled as ‘the ultimate learning game system’ this system combines the famous LeapFrog learning components with the ability to move quickly and play fast paced games, something a lot of kids (especially boys) love. The versatile Leapster GS can be controlled with the stylus, touch screen and/or buttons.

The Leapster GS has a built in camera/video recorder for more personalised play and features motion sensors to add extra dimension. Although the twins are only 4 they have already worked how to use the camera in their Leapfrog computers and sometimes they spend more time discovering and playing with the camera than playing actual games. They take pictures of themselves, eachother and us and they think decorating their pictures in the art studio is the most fun of all.

Parents can share their kids’ photos and videos online, a feature my family in Holland will definitely appreciate (I might have to censure the files first!).

Now before you dismiss the original LeapPad and Leapster Explorer I can’t stress enough that they are both fantastic products. My twins really enjoy their computer time using these ‘older’ devices and I would happily buy them again any day. If you were thinking of surprising your child with a LeapFrog gift this Christmas but were a little hesitant because of the pricetag (especially if you are buying for multiple children) now is the perfect time to grab one of these older styles as they are still widely available at heavily reduced prices.

For an idea of what apps and games you can play on your new LeapFrog device have a look around in the LeapFrog App Centre. There are hundreds of options to choose from, suitable for different ages and genders. Because LeapFrog is all about educational fun you can search for cool apps by skill which is very helpful, this way parents are sure to select an app that is not only fun but also helps their child learn important skills along the way.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to take a closer look at the LeapPad 2 and the Leapster GS and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.