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

LeapFrog LeapPad 3

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapFrog LeapPad 3
Nov 182014
 

Right now kids around the globe are writing down their favourite toys on crumpled pieces of paper, dreaming of a special Christmas morning spent unwrapping gifts around the tree. In the meanwhile Santa’s helpers, responsible for the shopping, scratch their heads trying to select the items from the wish list that get the thumbs up from both children and their parents. If your child has requested a tablet and you feel they are too young you better think twice, check out the newest design from LeapFrog:

LeapPad 3

The LeapPad 3 Learning Tablet (RRP $169, green or pink) is specifically designed for children aged 3-9 years old: it’s fun, compact, portable, kid-tough and give your child access to a world of educational, age-appropriate content that is approved by learning experts. The sturdy device has been thoroughly drop tested and features a shatter-proof screen as well as special impact zones for added protection.

LeapPad 3 pinkThe LeapPad 3 is fitted with a 2-way camera, microphone and comes with 10 free apps to get you started, additionally you can purchase separate game cartridges that work on any LeapPad tablet. With 4GB of storage space there is plenty of room to store your learning fun and personalised videos, photos, music and artwork and through the LeapFrog Learning Library you can purchase more than 700 Educator Approved games, eBooks and apps.

But there is more to the LeapPad 3 than the learning apps and games, using a WiFi connection children can browse pre-screened internet content using LeapSearch™ powered by Zui™. Unlike with many ordinary tablets parents can feel confident that all information, pictures and videos their child sees on the LeapPad 3 are safe and age appropriate and there are no accidental downloads or purchases, spam or pop-ups. The internet connection can be turned off if desired. Our 6-year old son is very eager to read, learn and discover, he is like a sponge and loves having so much interesting information at his finger tips.

The LeapPad 3 has a built-in rechargeable battery with a 6+ hour battery life making it ideal for car rides and plane trips. The battery can be recharged using the included USB charger/adapter, so easy and much cheaper than single use batteries! You can use the same USB cable to connect the LeapPad 3 to your computer where you can follow your child’s progress, download and upload content and customise your child’s LeapFrog experience by name, age and skills. Using LeapFrog Connect parents can create different profiles for different users so each player enjoys personalised play, great for siblings!

LeapPad 3 GreenOur three older children all have their own LeapPad and the effects of their LeapPad play on their school work is very noticeable, even their teacher has asked me what my secret is. We actually call it a different way of doing homework, it’s all about finding ways to make learning fun and engage your child in a way that appeals to them. Sometimes they don’t want to sit down to read a book yet they are happy to read an eBook or play a spelling game so we’re still working with the same theme.

In our family we are currently using the LeapPad 2, LeapPad Ultra and LeapPad 3, they’re all excellent designs but the LeapPad 3 is definitely my favourite model to-date. I love the light weight (it’s considerably lighter than the Ultra and even slightly lighter than the LeapPad2), built-in battery, impressive 5-inch high resolution full colour screen and fast speed. Between the LeapPad 3 and LeapPad Ultra the kids really enjoy the peer-to-peer play and chat function, they can send each other symbols and put together simple messages or visit each others pet in Pet Pad Party. To use this function the two LeapPads have to be in the same room so it is completely safe and children can not connect with strangers.

LeapPad 3 Carry CaseOur 6-year old daughter has claimed the LeapPad 3 as hers so we’ve purchased the cute pink LeapPad 3 Carry Case to keep it well protected when not in use. The new carry case has a handy handle so children can safely carry it like a bag and the revamped inside features a neat pocket/pouch to keep the LeapPad 3 safe and snug inside when you zip open the carry case.

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

No.1 Christmas gift: LeapPad Ultra

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on No.1 Christmas gift: LeapPad Ultra
Nov 122013
 

It is no doubt one of the hottest gifts this Christmas with only limited stock available across the country, I am of course talking about the LeapPad Ultra. As you know we are loyal LeapFrog supporters and we’ve been big fans of the original LeapPad Explorer (and the LeapPad 2) since they first came out, our children absolutely love playing on the LeapPad and they are learning so much through the special learning games and apps. So what exactly is it about the new LeapPad Ultra that has people talking and the internet buzzing, isn’t it just another slightly different version of the same design?

Well I am glad to tell you that no, it is not. The exciting new LeapPad Ultra (Ages 4-9) takes the kids learning tablet to a whole new level with a bunch of fabulous features you have not seen on any similar device before. My first impression of the LeapPad Ultra was that it was very solid; it’s bigger, heavier, fancier than any other children’s tablet I have seen. The kid tough design is created with real children in mind and is drop tested to make sure it is durable and strong. The high resolution, full colour 7-inch touch screen is almost the size of an iPad Mini and very attractive to look at, a stylus is attached so it can’t get lost.

LeapFrog LeapPad UltraProbably the most impressive feature of the LeapPad Ultra is the ability to access a child-safe web environment through WiFi. Now like most parents I immediately thought of all the dangers of internet access for youngsters but after seeing the LeapPad Ultra in action I was very relieved. Yes children can go on the internet (if enabled by parents) but they are only able to view selected content that has been thoroughly screened and tested to be appropriate for young users.

Through the LeapSearch application children can learn all about wild animals, see how to do exciting science experiments, fun craft projects and yummy recipes, watch videos about the cutest pets or cool sports, explore different countries, practise magic tricks, admire their favourite princesses and much more whilst staying safely within the borders of the protected online environment. All the popular kids themes are covered and ‘browsing’ the different topics has been made simple with the use of easy-to-understand symbols. I really like how this encourages kids to study their own interests but also widen their horizon and look into new things they may have never even heard of before.

LeapPad UltraAside from the world of knowledge that is waiting to be discovered in the LeapSearch area I am particularly excited about the Calendar application. Kids can add events by using symbols (birthday cake, bus trip, presents etc) as well as type a note about each event. The Calendar app is a great tool to help children understand the concept of time, planning ahead and feeling in control and it’s a great writing exercise.

Also new to the LeapPad Ultra is the ability to connect with other LeapPad Ultra users that are in the same room, great fun for siblings and friends. Using the Pet Pad application kids can communicate with eachother using pre-selected words, groups of words, sentences and emoticons. This is a cool way for kids to learn how to build a sentence as they can hear out the loud the messages they have created.

LeapPad Ultra BackOne of our kids’ favourite things to do is get creative with Art Studio Ultra where they can draw, paint, stick, stamp and spray to their heart’s content (without making mess) and make photos and videos with the front and back camera (2MP). Other handy ‘office’ apps include a calculator, notepad, voice memo, mp3 player and clock. In total there are 10 apps and 1 free download included and with a very generous 8GB storage for photos, music, apps and more you won’t run out of room any time soon.

Of course there is plenty more fun to be had with the LeapPad Ultra, there are over 400 educator approved games, applications, eBooks, videos and more available in the LeapFrog App Centre/stores so you are never done learning. Parents can track their children’s progress via the LeapFrog Learning Path. Before you get worried that other LeapPad Explorer and LeapPad 2 games that you may already have have now become useless, rest assured that these are fully compatible with the LeapPad Ultra too. Any apps you downloaded onto your ‘old’ devices can also be installed on your new LeapPad Ultra provided you have not reached your maximum of five devices.

LeapPad Ultra Carry CaseThe LeapPad Ultra is fitted with a long-lasting Ion rechargeable battery that allows for a huge 9 hours of use, making it ideal for car trips and holidays. When the battery goes flat simply connect it to mains power (AC power adaptor is included) or your computer to be recharged. To keep your LeapPad Ultra safe you can add extra protection with a LeapPad Ultra Gel Skin ($19.99, green or purple) and the LeapPad Ultra Carry Case ($34.99, green or purple), which also offers storage space for 6 games.

If you want to stay up-to-date with all the latest LeapFrog news and specials 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 LeapPad Ultra (RRP $229.99) and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.