I received free products in order to give my opinions but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Mommies With Cents disclosure policy for more details.
If I had to pick one brand as my favorite for kids toys it would be LeapFrog, hands down. They are so in tune with both what kids love and what parents want for their children. They make learning fun in a way that no other brand has seemed to master quite as well. Our family is no stranger to technology. We own several different tablet devices and have used countless apps but the LeapPad3 still stands out above the rest and is well loved by all 3 of my children. This one actually belongs to my youngest who just turned 4 but she likes to share so my other children ages 5 and 7 have used it as well. It is designed for ages 3-9 so our family will really get a lot of use out of it.
Parker “works” while I work!
One of the things that stood out to me is the selection of games that are available. There are over 1000 games, apps, ebooks, videos and music. LeapFrog Explorer cartridges are compatible with all LeapPad tablets and the Leapster GS. I love that they’ve kept this consistent so that if you’ve upgraded, the games will still work. Many of the games feature my children’s favorite characters like Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First, Jake & The Neverland Pirates and Octonauts. The packages are clearly marked by colors which represent the educational category they fall into: Reading & Writing, Mathematics, Creativity & Life Skills, Science & Social Studies. The boxes are also marked with the age group they are best suited to: 3-5, 4-7 or 5-8.
The tablet itself comes with a music player and 10 songs, two cameras & video recorders, Pet Pad Party, Pet Chat, Photo Fun Ultra, and 5 Utility apps. It is wi-fi enabled and features LeapSearch powered by Zui for kid-safe web browsing. The internal battery is rechargeable with the include AC power adapter. I am SO glad this thing doesn’t take regular batteries! I can charge it and update it from my computer as well via the USB cable.
The LeapPad3 is simply designed with a home button and a D-Pad. It includes a stylus which is attached to the unit with so it won’t get lost (genius!). There is a slot in the back for the stylus to slide into for storage. Most of the games are controlled with the stylus so it’s important to have it handy at all times!
We received 5 of the best selling titles for review:
- Octonauts! (Science) — This learning game features missions in which your child will learn about sea creatures and their habitats. It teaches children to make observations and it features sounds inspired by real sea creatures.
- Hello Kitty Sweet Little Shops! (Math) —Kids discover and play in the market with 5 mini games and 4 activities that teach tables, charts, graphs, estimation, number sense, and sorting/classifying. Parker was able to play this game without any help because the directions are spoken aloud. If she incorrectly answers a question, positive reinforcements like “you can do it” and “keep trying” are spoken to encourage. You’ll hear phrases like “well done” or “Thanks, you’re a helpful friend” with correct answers.
- Disney’s Jake & The Neverland Pirates (Math) — This game teaches number recognition, geometric shapes, counting, sorting and classifying. Your child will solve puzzles to find clues that lead to pirate treasure, match shapes to help Bucky get ship shape and pop number bubbles to keep treasure from Captain Hook. This game, like others auto-levels to your child’s capabilities. If the game is too easy, it will level up to make it more challenging and to enhance learning. Progress is remembered for each game and book so learning continues without any steps back. Super nice feature!
- Disney’s Sophia the First (Reading) — This interactive storybook helps build listening skills, reading comprehension, vocabulary, word recognition and more. The story itself encourages communication and forgiveness.
- Get Ready for Kindergarten — This game is designed to provide a day in the life experience of a Kindergartener and is one of Parker’s favorites. It teaches letter recognition, phonetics, handwriting, number recognition, counting, daily routines, logic and reasoning. I’m impressed with the amount of thought that goes into these games and the wide range of topics they cover — this one even includes proper hygiene and nutrition!
All of these games are really interactive and offer a lot of value. These aren’t games your child will play once and get bored with. Each cartridge is like a whole little world for your child to discover with different mini games to choose from. All of them are very easy to navigate with the on-screen visuals and audible prompts. The games were designed by experts and tested by real kids. They tap into children’s natural curiosity by encouraging exploration.
I like using the LeapPad as an extra learning tool. We had parent-teacher conferences this week and there were a few areas that my kids need some extra practice in. Several of the games we have can help in these areas while keeping learning fun! That’s a valuable thing!
Perfect for Road Trips!
The LeapPad 3 was made kid-tough making it perfect for travel. There is even a headphone jack to keep it quiet for Mom & Dad. The LeapPad 3 retails for around $100 and game cartridges are $25 or less. I think the prices are really reasonable. I highly recommend this tablet, especially as a holiday gift. When someone asks what your child would like for Christmas, give them a list of game cartridges they might like! There are lots to pick from!
Parker absolutely loves her LeapPad3. I designated today a “no-screens” day for my kids and she cried because she knew she wouldn’t get to play her LeapPad. She gets plenty of time on it and I’m happy she loves it so much but sometimes we need a little break and today was the perfect day to play Legos, do art projects and wrestle with her brother and sister who had the day off school. She’ll be happily re-united with her LeapPad after school tomorrow so we can both get a little “work” done.
You can find out more about the LeapPad 3 at www.leapfrog.com.