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.