Family Magazine

We’re Sold On Leap Frog

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj

Leap Frog CollageMy oldest daughter is 13 years old.  When she was around 4 we bought her a Leapster for Christmas.  Can I just say that was the best $50 I think I have ever spent?  Seriously, we still have that Leapster almost 10 years later.  It has gone through 3 children now.  Yes, my 5 year old son plays with a pink Leapster and he loves it.  He feels like he’s playing video games when his sisters are playing their video games.  All the while he’s learning to read with it.

I hadn’t really thought about Leap Frog products too much.  We don’t have a ton of them in our home or anything, but the few that we have are perfect.  We got a Tag Reader for my son for his birthday this year and then just for my daughter’s 2nd birthday this weekend we bought her a Leap Top computer.

As I was setting up the Leaptop computer for her this week I realized that this thing was way more than I had anticipated and we only paid $21 for it.  As a matter of fact while its age ranges are only 2-5 my 5 year old keeps taking it from his sister.  If only I had a reason to buy him a toy.  Sadly, he has another 9 months until his next birthday.

But I really began thinking Leap Frog is quality education product at a decent cost.  Even our outdated Leapster is still getting use.  I have no idea if I can still buy games for it, but that doesn’t matter, my son is enjoying the ones we have.  I wanted to take some time to tell you about these two new toys we have from Leap Frog since our Leapster is probably way outdated.  Therefore the games we have might not be relevant to today.

Leap Frog Tag Reading System

My son is in Kindergarten and trying to learn how to read.  His teacher actually recommended all things Leap Frog to help.  She even lent us a video from Leap Frog which helps with the letter sounds.  He loves it all.  Eats it all up.

The Leap Frog Tag is a wand which you can use to read each word in the book.  There are other games and activities you can do depending on where you place the wand on the page.

I didn’t realize when I got the Tag that I would need to download any subsequent books we got him and that it didn’t just work.  So when he first opened it he wasn’t all that interested in it.  Once I got the book downloaded into it he has been using it daily.  He also has tried to use it to read other non Tag books.  That was a bit of a disappointment when he realized it wouldn’t help him read all books.

The fact that he can place the wand under each word and it will tell him what it says is great though.  Because he’s learning how to point to keep his place while reading and as he learns more and more words he can read out loud and put the wand under just the words he doesn’t know.  What a great confidence builder.

If I had to say there was one problem it would be that it probably will only hold 20 books at once.  We haven’t gotten that many books yet so it’s fine, but it’s already over half full and he only has 10 books.  So when he gets more books we might have to remove some so he has room for the new ones.  That might be a slight problem, I’ll have to make sure I take the books from him that we take out of the reader so he doesn’t try to use it and get disappointed if it doesn’t work.

Leaptop From Leap Frog

Now onto the little laptop we got for my daughter’s 2nd birthday this past weekend.  Considering I’m on my laptop a lot and my oldest daughter is on her netbook a lot the baby has been trying to use the computers.  Every time my daughter puts her netbook down the baby scoops it up.  While it’s very cute that she puts it on her lap and sits there and hits buttons she also doesn’t need to be playing with it as it’s not a toy.

So I have been looking for a laptop she could call her own.  So I was very excited when I saw this Leaptop for only $21 at Walmart.  I had to get it.  I didn’t pay too much attention to what it did when I got it.  I didn’t think it would do too much because it wasn’t that expensive.

When she opened it I began playing around with it and realized it really does a lot.  This is another one that you have to download stuff into it to get it to do all of the extras and to personalize it.  The good news is if you already have the program downloaded for another toy you just have to add this toy.  So no extra programs on your desktop.

You get to put your child’s name in so it says your child’s name when you turn it on.  You can also choose 3 pre-written emails to have sent to your child from 3 different people.  So for example, I have one email from me that says, “I love you (child’s name), Love Mommy.“  There are several different names programed in already that you can choose from like grandma and grandpa or any other name you use for grandparents, or you can choose to add one of your own.  I also have one from my oldest daughter to her which I typed her name in and it gave me a sound bite that I could listen to to make sure they were pronouncing her name correctly.  So it says From, (my daughter’s name) at the end of the email.

On top of these neat little personalization aspects you can also choose the songs that it plays.  There are plenty of songs to choose from too.  Plus there’s a special song which sings my daughter’s name and even spells it out.  How neat that she’s learning the letters in her name already.  I like that we can go back and change it up when we want something fresh out of the toy.

Aside from all of this the keys can either give you the names of different animals which start with a certain letter, play music, and tell you letter sounds.  This is so great for early reading skills.  And even helpful with reiterating the speech sounds we are working on and trying to get her to use more regularly.

The problem I have?  We only have one of these.  My son keeps taking it from his sister.  I find this is good for him to play with too though with reinforcing those letter sounds.   I’m sure the novelty of it will wear off soon for both of them and fighting will be less, but I’m seriously trying to figure out when I can buy one for my son.  Easter is the next holiday, but we don’t usually do big toys like this, so I don’t know.  Maybe an incentive for good behavior type toy.

We have a few other toys from Leap Frog which we have really been enjoying in helping teach letters and letter sounds.  Leap Frog just seems to get better and better.  And the toys will last for more than one child.  I really wish I could afford to own them all for my kids.  Because I haven’t found one yet that isn’t a great learning tool.

What’s your favorite Leap Frog toy?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  I was not given these products in exchange for a review nor paid to write anything.  These are just toys that I really like for my children and wanted to share them with everyone.

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