Recently I received a LeapPad from Amazon to review and I am sharing my thoughts below.
The LeapPad has a great 5″ screen. It is large and bright. I didn’t see a way to control the brightness. The screen is larger than the Leapster Explorer Screen, which measures 3.2″. The resolution for the LeapPad is 480 x 272. (The Leapster Explorer was 420 x 420.) It is a touch screen. You can use your finger or the supplied stylus. The stylus is magnetic, but it can be harnessed to the device with a supplied cord. An extra stylus is supplied in case one gets broken or lost. That has happened 3 times to us with other Leapsters – so it is great having that extra on hand.
The LeapPad device is white with green accents. There is also a violet option, which is nice for the girls. On the front of the tablet there is a power button, sound down and sound up button, and home button. There is also a large silver button that can be used like a finger control, to move a cursor up, down, left, right or explore other options.
The LeapPad comes with a camera, video recorder and microphone. The camera can take 30,000 pictures and the LeapPad can record 120 minutes of video.
GAMES & ACTIVITIES:
The LeapPad is similar to the Leapster Explorer in what kids can do with it. They can read e-books, play learning games, enhance art and animation skills, listen to and play music, learn writing, watch videos, and do flash cards. It also has a built-in camera and video recorder, while that requires an additional accessory for the Leapster Explorer.
One thing I LOVE about the LeapPad is that it works with other Leapster Explorer Games and Apps! That means if I download an app for my son’s Leapster Explorer, I can also upload it onto my other son’s LeapPad. And the boys can also share cartridges. And with the LeapPad came a HUGE library of game cartridges and apps to choose from. Most games and apps are extra, though, not included with a LeapPad purchase.
What game(s) do come with your LeapPad purchase?
1. PetPad: Learn to draw letters while teaching a custom pet tricks. Keep your pet healthy and clean with feeding and washing. The Leapster Explorer also comes with PetPad, but with the LeapPad kids can use the microphone to “blow dry” their pet, they shake the device to help their pet JUMP over a pond to pop balloons and they can even tilt the device to move the pet as it follows them onto their home page. You need to connect the LeapPad to your computer to use collected points to purchase food and accessories for the pet. Don’t worry – it won’t die if you don’t do it. But it encourages you as a parent to connect the game to the computer so you can track your child’s learning progress.
2. Story Studio: All About Me: The artwork, photos, writing and recordings kids create all culminate in the Story Studio experience. In the Story Studio, kids create their own book that can be uploaded to view in LeapFrog Connect or shared with friends via Facebook or e-mail.
3. Art Studio: I am SO THRILLED that Art Studio was included with the LeapPad. The Leapster Explorer didn’t have an included Art Program – so my boys were using the Art Studio from Mr. Pencil or Tangled to get creative. The Leapster 2 DID come with an Art Studio, so I was a little sad when I found out the Leapster Explorer didn’t. And whenever a parent asked me what game to get for their new Leapster Explorer, I always said, “Mr. Pencil saves Doodleburg,” because it was educational and creative. But with the included Art Studio, it gives me more options for what games we can get next. With the Art Studio the boys use stamps, shapes, pattern brushes, pencils, erasers (all virtual) to create pictures and express their creativity.
4. Camera/ Video Recorder: The LeapPad has a built-in camera and video recorder. My son used it immediately to take a picture of me. And then I used it to take a picture of HIM for his profile. That’s when I realized that the camera is low-res. He loves taking photos and videos, but he can tell the difference of quality. But it is good for the purpose and helps keep the cost of the product lower than if it was a higher-res camera. With the camera kids can take pictures and videos and then add fun effects.
Additional games, books and videos have to be added either as an app or with a cartridge. Remember, there is a library of over 100 choices. Additional apps and games are separate reviews on theMomBuzz. Please refer to the bottom of the post to connect you to these other reviews.
WHO TO BUY THIS FOR:
The LeapPad is designed for children 4 to 9. I would actually feel comfortable giving this to an advanced, tech savvy 2 year old. (Parents and grandparents will know who I am talking about! So many toddlers can use a smart phone better than an adult. This is a much better alternative to giving a toddler your precious iPad.)
WHY BUY IT?
Why do I suggest the LeapPad for kids 2 – 6? Well, my sons have owned a Leapster since they were 2 and I feel that the educational games have helped them with their writing, science and match skills. It’s a creative outlet. And it’s a great way to disguise learning as fun. I know some parents purchase the Nintendo DSis and other handhelds, but we’ve gotten away without needing to purchase one yet – even though their cousins own those handhelds. My kids have been happy with their Leapsters and the new LeapPad as their handheld and entertainment of choice. And I prefer it to, knowing the games were designed with learning in mind.
Plus, the Leapster Explorer and the LeapPad are great that you can keep challenging them with new apps, they are cross-compatible to take each other’s games and the LeapPad remembers your child’s progress from game-to-game and book-to-book.
Finally, maybe you are trying to decide between the Leapster Explorer and the LeapPad. Both are EXCELLENT devices. I :heart: them both. But with the LeapPad you are getting the camera/video recorder built in, it has a microphone, it has a larger screen and kids will experience a new way of reading with Ultra eBooks, an interactive cinematic reading experience. (I’ll post more about that this week when I review the Cars2 Ultra eBook.)
MORE THAN ONE PLAYER:
The LeapPad does allow for more than one person to sign-on to the game. Only one person can play at a time. But… if my oldest is in school and my youngest wants to play, I can sign-in under his name. So then the LeapPad will know that the younger brother is playing and will adjust the settings to make the games challenging enough for his level of learning.
And I have to say, when I first turned this on (after my 5-year old had been playing for a few hours) I saw that he created a profile for ME. How sweet is that? He had my name, my picture and chose a nice pink background for me. :heart:
I am also really excited that this is the first LeapFrog device I own that accepts rechargeable batteries. Previously all the devices stated that peak performance wouldn’t occur with those batteries. But that has changed now! And trust me, your kids will be running down the batteries in the beginning as they won’t want to go anywhere without the LeapPad.
WHAT IT COMES WITH:
When you purchase the LeapPad, it comes with a CD to get LeapFrog Connect on your computer, a USB cord and an extra stylus.
WHAT YOU MAY WANT TO BUY:
* LeapPad Case to keep it protected when not in use
* LeapPad Gel Skin to protect it when being used
* Headphones so you don’t have to listen to the games when traveling or in an office