LeapFrog to the Rescue: Touch & Learn Tablet

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapFrog to the Rescue: Touch & Learn Tablet
Dec 152020
 

Just when you think life is slowly returning to (a new version of) normal a range of interesting curve balls come rolling your way and we’ve certainly had our share! From an unexpected hospital stay for my little Ted (which had us all scared and running back and forth to hospital), to myself being admitted for major surgery right before a statewide lockdown. Thankfully hubby managed to step up as the most amazing full-time house dad, nurse and all the other jobs that come with running a large family like ours and will be doing so for a while longer. I have been ordered not to lift a finger and to act like a princess for at least six weeks, which is a lot harder than it sounds…

Back to Ted in a hospital bed, an experience we won’t easily forget. After the initial shock had worn off he slowly showed some interest in the toys and games I had packed for him in his backpack, including this fun kiddy device by LeapFrog:

The 2-in-1 Touch & Learn Tablet (RRP $39.95, ages 2+) is an attractive combination of a colourful book and and a chunky kid-proof pretend tablet (so no screen time!). There are buttons to push, colours and pictures to see, stories to listen to, interactive pages to explore, tabs to flick, lights to look at and more, so there’s plenty to do for a little boy stuck in bed (or a child on a Christmas road trip!).

So what makes the Touch & Learn Tablet a ‘2-in-1’? The secret is in the magic handle! In horizontal position children can flip over the interactive pages to discover numbers, animals, shapes, flowers, opposites and emotions. By simply touching the pages with their finger (no stylus required) young readers can learn facts and play games, at their own pace and following their interests. Each page has more than 14 different interactive touch points to keep little brains busy for ages.

When you switch the handle you can rotate the device vertically to instantly turn the tablet into a book with six sweet animal stories. Give Buddy a bath, go painting with Jake, visit the farm with Pepper or listen to what your other animal friends get up to. Not only can you hear the story read out loud, you can also test your spotting skills on every page with simple touch games (eg. Find the cow, Find the number 4 or Find Bella).

With its many ways to play and learn and its compact shape the 2-in-1 Touch & Learn Tablet has been a real life saver over the last two months. We now always pack it in our bag to use it on a long drive or in a boring waiting room (which we have seen way too much of lately). Ted is a keen learner and he often surprises me by repeating things he has learnt by playing on ‘his iPad’ as he calls it. If you’re looking for a Christmas screen-free gift that entertains AND trains, this is it!

You can find the LeapFrog 2-in-1 Touch & Learn Tablet at your local Big W and other good toy stores across Australia 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.

LeapFrog: LeapPad Low-down

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapFrog: LeapPad Low-down
Jul 122019
 

A few weeks ago I promised you a more detailed post about the LeapFrog LeapPad, one of the most popular kids tablets across the globe. As a loyal LeapFrog family we’ve been using LeapPads from the moment they were first released (in fact before that we even had its predecessors, the good old Leapster GS and Leapster Explorer) and many years on we remain big LeapPad fans. I regularly receive emails from readers to ask my opinion so I thought I’d put my two cents in…

While I will mainly focus on the four latest LeapPad models I would like to stress that there is still a big market for the older styles (LeapPad 1, LeapPad 2 and LeapPad 3) as well. You may not be able to find them brand new, however you can easily pick one up second hand on Gumtree, eBay or Marketplace (often with a heap of cool game cartridges included) at a bargain price which is a great way to start your LeapPad journey.

The durable design means that the earlier devices have lots of play left in them and you can still connect them to your computer with a USB cable to download new apps from the App Centre. Just make sure you tick the matching ‘Filter by Product’ box in the App Centre when searching for new apps. The majority of ‘old’ LeapFrog game cartridges are also compatible with the newest LeapPads, so they hold their value well. Remember you can always upgrade your device later while holding onto your game cartridges collection.

Good to know: I know I have mentioned this in previous posts but just in case you missed it… When you purchase apps in the App Centre they are not allocated to a specific LeapPad only but added to your LeapFrog Parent Account instead. From there on you can install them on each LeapFrog device (up to five) connected to your account. So instead of having to buy the app for each LeapPad individually you only need to purchase it once and then all your kids/LeapPads can enjoy the same game. 

Because your purchased apps are connected to your LeapFrog parent account, when you decide to upgrade your old LeapPad to a newer one you simply remove the app from the old one and install it on the new one. Just link the new LeapPad up to the same parent account and you can automatically enjoy all your previously purchased apps, how easy is that?

LeapFrog LeapPad UltraBack to today when the most popular LeapPad models are the LeapPad Ultra, LeapPad Platinum, LeapPad Ultimate and (a little different to the others) LeapFrog Epic. Compared to the first models these four are noticeably bigger, fancier and faster with front and back camera and beautiful full colour screens, making kids feel very grown-up with their own modern tablet. LeapPads are designed to be safe for small hands, you can protect the LeapPad Ultra with a gel skin (sold separately), the LeapFrog Epic comes with a rubber cover and the other two have a built-in shock-proof bumper.

Unlike the LeapPad 1 and 2 all newer LeapPads are rechargeable, there is no fiddling with costly batteries that keep running out and a charger is included. Each LeapPad comes with a selection of included apps so it’s ready to go straight away. Kids can play games, keep on track with a calendar, a clock and a notepad, take videos, snap photos and record voice memos and edit them into their own unique art, listen to music and much more.

LeapFrog is all about learning fun, each and every LeapFrog game is developed by educational experts to learn, practise and improve important skills through play. You can grow your personal LeapFrog Library by purchasing new games in the App Centre where you can select games that focus on the learning area of your choosing. Using games featuring popular characters like PJ Masks, Peppa Pig, Frozen and Paw Patrol and many others even the most stubborn learners will fall in love with learning.

The amazing thing about LeapFrog is that it recognises your child’s achievements and progress and adjusts content and challenges to match your child’s learning level, this keeps things fun and interesting all the time. A LeapPad allows for multiple player profiles so each child in the family can play at their own level and pace, now that is clever!

Hip Tip: The LeapFrog App Centre regularly runs brilliant sales (eg. 30% off all apps, buy 2 get 1 free) so parents can stock up on a bunch of cool new apps at a fantastic price. We usually do this before school holidays or big family trips to surprise the kids and save a lot. You don’t even have to install them straight away if you want to keep them for a rainy day. Keep an eye on the app or the LeapFrog Australia Facebook page for the next app sale.

All four LeapPads can be connected to WiFi if approved by parents (protected with a parent lock code). Having the WiFi connection set up means app downloads and updates are a breeze, there is no need to connect to a PC. Children can also browse the virtual LeapFrog Rewards Store where they can trade the reward tokens they have earnt in their games for game add-ons. There are NEVER any in-app purchases, children have no way of accidentally buying anything and there are no ‘temptations’ which is a real win for LeapFrog.

Most importantly the WiFi function provides access to a completely safe online environment called LeapSearch. All LeapSearch content has been carefully handpicked and approved by LeapFrog team of parents and education experts, so you can rest assured all web pages, videos, images and games they encounter are 100% kid-appropriate. As a parent I love the fact that it allows curious children to enjoy the freedom of exploring ‘the internet’ and searching for things that interest them without the worries of the world wide web.

LeapFrog EpicSadly the LeapFrog Epic is not that easy to get in Australia but it is definitely worth a mention. Unlike the other LeapPads this tablet runs on the well known Android operating system. The way it works and feels is a little different (in a good way), it is more customisable (not only the dashboard and background but also eg. the local weather) and if desired you can even add compatible Android apps and Google Play apps to it. Personally we only stick to the LeapFrog App Centre but I can see how to some this could be nice bonus.

Do we have a favourite? I think my children all have different opinions and they often share/swap between the different models that we have purchased over the years. Hattie is chuffed with her LeapPad Platinum, Juliet adores her LeapPad Ultimate and the twins feel very special with the LeapFrog Epic. We have purchased some of our LeapPads new and some second hand and I haven’t any issues at all with either, but of course if a new one fits in your budget and you prefer the peace of mind of warranty the newest LeapPad Ultimate is your best bet. Each to their own but in our family all LeapPads are winners!

Fair is fair, while there are a million things I love there are obviously also a few small things I dislike about each of the designs. Most of them are really petty dislikes I have to say but I promised to be complete:

  • I preferred the hard tip stylus of the LeapPad Ultra (and earlier LeapPads) over the soft tip styluses of the other three. It doesn’t wear down as easily and is cheaper to replace.
  • I wish the LeapFrog Epic would take game cartridges so we could use our game collection instead of having to download all the apps. I was also a bit sad that a rare few of our old games would not work on the LeapPad Ultimate, they do work on all previous models though.
  • When small children play their LeapPad Ultimate in landscape position the ‘on/off’ button sits exactly under their little hand so they sometimes accidentally turn it off.
  • The LeapFrog Epic is the only tablet that works with the LeapFrog TocoMail App. This fantastic app lets children send/receive basic emails to/from pre-approved contacts so our twins can communicate with their grandparents overseas which they really enjoy. I really hope they make this app available to the other LeapPads too!

Although I think I have covered a lot of the questions I received, I probably have missed some too. If there is anything at all you would like to know just get in touch and I am happy to help. Good luck finding your perfect LeapPad and enjoy the LeapFrog journey.

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

Read and Play with Peppa

 Sales & Savings  Comments Off on Read and Play with Peppa
Jul 122018
 

We’ve only been at the new school for two weeks but for miss Sybbie the move has been a real eye-opener. All of a sudden she is super keen to practise her sight words, write her numbers, read her readers and borrow as many books from the library as she can possibly carry. I am so excited to see another little bookworm in the making!

The toy specialists at LeapFrog know all too well that learning new things can be tricky, so instead of it being a challenging chore they make learning entertaining and exciting! Take for example the new Peppa Pig Learning Game:

Designed specifically for the LeapPad learning tablets Read and Play with Peppa (RRP $34.95, ages 3-5) allows young children to enjoy some screen time whilst mastering a heap of new skills at the same time. Usually Sybbie not that excited to tidy up, but it turns out that tidying up with Peppa is actually lots of fun.

Guided by the alphabet little learners need to help Peppa and her brother George to put all their toys back in the toy basket. They will learn to follow simple instructions, recognise different letters and their sounds, discover what their place is in the alphabet, learn about beginning sounds, match pictures with words and more.

In between the chores Daddy Pig lets them play a little game: the more alphabet toys they tidy up, the more games they unlock! In the mini-games kids can try their hand at things like practise balancing the ball (balance the LeapPad to keep the ball steady) before it rolls away, building a train track, playing catch-the-toy with Daddy Pig or spotting the difference.

Once all the tidying up is completed kids can sit down and enjoy story time with Peppa’s Fancy Dress Party. Young readers can listen to the entire story but also touch individual words to hear them or look them up in the ‘dictionary’.

Created and approved by educational specialists LeapFrog learning games and apps expose children to important areas of learning (eg. maths, reading, science, geography and more) that will greatly benefit them on their educational journey. Parents can explore all the different games/apps in the LeapFrog App Centre and use the handy skill selector on the left to find the game(s) that are a perfect match for your child’s interests and developmental needs.

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

LeapPad Ultimate by LeapFrog

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapPad Ultimate by LeapFrog
May 282018
 

Woohoo! For a while it seemed like our holiday would never come any closer but with less than 3 months to go we’re finally getting there. I have started packing the first gifts in our suitcases, stocked up on new pyjamas for everyone and set out six backpacks for our six little travellers. When you spend 24 hours travelling (and 5 weeks away from home) you have to bring some great boredom busters (read sanity savers), which is where LeapFrog comes in:

Juliet has owned her LeapPad Ultimate (RRP $199.95, ages 3-9) for about 8 months now so we’ve tested it through and through and I can not speak highly enough of this kid-friendly tablet. Designed by the toy-experts at LeapFrog and backed by a team of dedicated educators this amazing tablet is all about custom learning whilst having fun and staying safe.

Where do I begin? Let’s start with the basics, the LeapPad Ultimate (8GB) has all the popular tablet features like a powerful quad-core processor, dual camera to take photos and videos, WiFi connection (more on that later!), a music player, rechargeable battery and more. It also comes preloaded with a whole heap of cool games and apps that have been thoroughly tested to be appropriate, educational and safe.

From practising your ABC with Letter Factory Flash Cards to fun with animals and learning to care for them in Pet Pad Party, from finding out interesting milky way facts in the Cosmic Cleanup Science Game to solving a mystery in the Dog Show Detectives Interactive Storybook and much more, there is lots to discover when you first tun on your LeapPad Ultimate.

Of course there is plenty more where this came from, so you can expand your content with your choice of 1000+ LeapFrog learning games, videos and eBooks as your child grows and his/her interests change. You can either download them directly to your LeapPad via the LeapFrog App Centre (ideal for last-minute add-ons before a trip) or you can buy selected cartridges at your favourite LeapFrog stockist.

What really makes LeapFrog stand out, and makes its games so much more than just a game, is the special Just For Me learning technology. Without any effort from parents and without any need to change settings this clever technology recognises your child’s progress and automatically adjusts learning levels within the game. This keeps games fun and challenging and helps those little brains develop further.

As a mum of six I know all too well that every child is unique, their interests are different, they develop at different speeds and they struggle with different things too. I love that you can create a personal account for multiple children on one LeapPad device, so they can each access their own content and the games are tailored to their specific knows and needs. When it comes to selecting new apps for your tablet you can search by age and skill which helps you make the right educational choice for your child.

If the thought of allowing your children access to the internet terrifies you I have good news for you. Your child’s safety is LeapFrog’s top priority, which is why they have created a unique Kid-Safe Web Browser. All web content, videos, photos and pages that are accessible via LeapSearch have been triple checked and are deemed safe and appropriate by the LeapFrog learning experts. Here’s to the wonderful world wide web without the worries!

Many parents feel that tablets and small hands are not always a good combination and it’s true, accidents happen to the best of us! Thankfully the LeapPad Ultimate is durable and kid-tough, featuring a shatter-safe screen, super strong frame and wrap around bumper for extra protection. Even better, from the end of June you can get your hands on a new LeapPad Ultimate bundle which comes with a complimentary zip-up Carry Case to keep your LeapPad safe while travelling or in storage.

The LeapPad Ultimate + Carry Case Bundle will be available at BigW, good toy stores and selected online retailers.

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

Jan 142016
 

Smiggle

It feels like January has only just begun, but one look at the school supplies list and you know that the new school year is just around the corner. Most of the basic school items are pretty standard (and a bit boring) but thankfully you can always add a personal touch with some funky add-ons.

Smiggle

Stationery specialist Smiggle is ready for the Back To School rush with lots of colourful, fun and quirky goodies that are sure to brighten up a boring school day. Here’s the Smiggle gear the cool kids are coveting this school year:

Retro Talking ClockOf course no student likes being late on their very first day of school, luckily waking up on time is a piece of cake with this funky Retro Talking Clock (RRP $29.95, available in four colours) with glow-in-the-dark numbers. There is no more need for mum to yell ‘Wake up!’ in her loudest voice, simply record your own wake-up message and it will play when the alarm goes off in the morning, awesome!

Double Up Spot Hardtop Pencil caseKeep all those bright new markers, freshly sharpened pencils and squeaky erasers neatly together in the spacious Double Up Spot Hardtop Pencil Case (RRP $29.95, available in five colours). Thanks to dedicated pen slots and mesh pockets (for easy viewing) your school gear is always organised and on hand for when you need it. The sturdy case will offer welcome protection for breakable items too.

Fluffy Media TabletThese days many schools expect their students to bring their own tablet to school or at least use one at home for homework and assignments. All parents now that accidents can happen and tablets can be costly to replace so a protective case is a real back to School must-have. Smiggle stocks a range of trendy tablet cases designed to fit the most popular tablets. Check out this cute A9 Fluffy Media Tablet (RRP $29.95), so soft and sweet!

To find out more about Smiggle, to locate a Smiggle store near you or to order online visit www.smiggle.com.au.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dec 042015
 

Brydge

Christmas Countdown – Day 4

Like many other families we have several tablets circulating the house. Whether it’s checking emails, sending messages to our family in The Netherlands, updating the blog, taking photos, watching a children’s show, playing a learning game, online shopping or just browsing the internet, those handy little computers are getting quite the workout every day. While I love the compact size and portability I do regularly complain that I miss the convenience and speed of a regular keyboard, luckily that problem is easily solved with Brydge:

Brydge Keyboards are the perfect companion for your iPad, iPad Mini or iPad Air. With one smooth click these sleek wireless keyboards will give your ordinary tablet the look and feel of a little laptop, how clever!

BrydgeMini KeyboardWidely praised in leading magazines and online media Brydge has quickly become a big favourite amongst iPad users and I have to say I am not surprised. The keyboard’s classy look and stylish curves match beautifully with the shape of your iPad, it really is a perfect fit and looks very professional. Made from 100% strong, durable aluminium and packed with clever features Brydge is clearly top of the range, it’s obvious from the very first touch that this is a high quality product.

If you type quite a lot like I do you are sure to appreciate the ease of a traditional keyboard compared to fiddling with squishy onscreen keys, the chances of accidentally pressing the wrong keys are a lot slimmer. You can even control other settings straight from your keyboard eg. volume or screen brightness, playing music, switch between apps and more. Unlike other keyboards the luxurious BrydgeMini has backlit keys (brightness can be adjusted), ideal for that last email you want to send from bed without waking up your partner.

BrydgeMini Steel GreyThe BrydgeMini effortlessly connects to your iPad Mini using Bluetooth: simply switch on your keyboard, make it discoverable and it will automatically pop-up in your list of devices, easy as pie. The keyboard is completely wireless and rechargeable with the included micro USB cable. One single charge can last up to 3 months so you rarely have to worry about running out of battery life.

Once you’ve clicked in your iPad you can change the screen angle to your liking (up to 180ºC): stand it up like a laptop or lay it flat like a tablet, it’s up to you. The BrydgeMini is designed to securely connect to the iPad Mini 1, 2 and 3 and is available in three timeless colours: Silver, Space Grey and Gold.

BrydgeMini

The BrydgeAir (RRP AUD $199) and BrydgeMini (RRP AUD $179) are currently available at Harvey Norman stores Australia wide and online in the Brydge web store.

To find out more about Brydge, to browse the range and to order online visit www.brydgekeyboards.com.au.

For you chance to win a BrydgeMini (RRP AUD $179, Space Grey) enter our giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dec 012015
 

LeapFrog Epic

Christmas Countdown – Day 1

I know lately the spotlight has been mostly on our youngest family member but our little Harriet is not the only one who is growing rapidly. Tommie and Olivia are now seven and about to finish year 1 with flying colours, we are so proud of them! If you are a regular Hip Little One reader you will know that I often credit LeapFrog for their big love of (and excellent results in) reading and maths so I am really excited to see what’s new from LeapFrog this Christmas:

LeapFrog Epic

The brand new LeapFrog Epic (RRP $199, ages 3-9) will without a doubt be one of the hottest gift under the Christmas tree this year, this much anticipated kids tablet has only just hit the shelves and it’s already flying out the door!

LeapFrog EpicWe all know children grow and change rapidly (a bit too rapid if you ask me!), which is why the LeapFrog Epic is designed to grow and change just like they do. Explore – Play – Imagine – Create, the Epic is packed with fun and educational content tailored to your child’s age and stage and it is the first LeapFrog tablet to work on the well known Android operating system (Android OS. 4.4).

As a loyal LeapFrog user I can safely say the Epic is a big step up from previous LeapFrog tablets. It is very fast, responsive and easy to use, the full-colour graphics are truly amazing and it comes (and can be expanded) with loads of content that is versatile and relevant for children of different ages. In simple terms the LeapFrog Epic is a sturdy, safe, child friendly and age appropriate version of an ordinary tablet.

LeapFrog Epic tablet

As we already own previous LeapFrog products setting up the tablet was easy. We signed in with our account details and the Epic was automatically loaded with our children’s ages and development details, as well as previously downloaded apps. The Epic can be shared by multiple users (great value for families!), who each log in individually to access their own personal Epic world.

DSC_1330 copy

Starting at the home screen children can customise the interactive background, decorate it to their liking and fill it will shortcuts to their favourite apps. From the simple, but important, basics like the local weather and the clock to a calculator and calendar, from learning about nature and the human body to recording songs and making up stories, from a colourful and creative art app to puzzles and an imaginary pet to raise and play with, the options are endless.

Epic LeapFrogThe LeapFrog Epic connects to the internet using WiFi which can be turned on and off. Initially children can only access a pre-approved library of content through LeapSearch so you know all content is appropriate and safe, but if desired you can expand your child’s online world by manually adding other websites to your ‘safe’ list. I find it very reassuring that our kids can not accidentally view webpages that we would not approve of, unsavoury pictures and pages are sometimes just one click away so this protective border is extremely valuable to me.

The smart thing about LeapFrog is that it automatically recognised your child’s achievements and progress and adjusts content and challenges to match your child’s learning level, this keeps things fun and interesting all the time. Our 5-year old likes and is able to do different things than our 7-year old and the Epic effortlessly recognises this, how clever! Like most kids our children love it when their achievements are being acknowledged and LeapFrog does a wonderful job at that by e.g. awarding badges or special bonuses.

DSC_1337 copy

There are so many cool things to love about the LeapFrog Epic, some of our favourites are the ability to see the weather in other places around the world, marking our plans on the calendar, recording videos and songs, playing Alphabet Stew, learning the Word of the Day and much more. You can keep adding to your LeapFrog Epic library by downloading new apps from the every growing LeapFrog App Centre. One of my personal top features is the ability to stay in charge of your child’s play time by setting a timer. Parents can control exactly how long and when their child is allowed to use the Epic, e.g. 30 minutes on weekdays and 1 hour on weekends. What an easy way to manage screen time, keeping rules clear for everyone.

LeapFrog Epic packagingSome of the boring but important facts: The LeapFrog Epic is rechargeable and comes with a USB charger/wall adaptor so you can recharge how, when and where you want. It has a 1.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor, beautiful 7″ Capacitive Touch Screen, attaches stylus and a 2MP front and rear camera to take photos, record videos and sound. The 16GB memory can be expanded to 32GB using a Micro SD Card.

The LeapFrog Epic is exclusively available at JB Hi-Fi stores Australia wide and online at www.jbhifi.com.au.

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

For your chance to win a LeapFrog Epic (RRP $199) enter our giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway