Summer is almost here and if you are looking for a way for your kids to practice their skills in a fun way while keeping them entertained while traveling, LeapFrog’s newest device- Leapster Explorer ($69.99)- provides handheld learning experiences in a portable device designed for ages 4-9.
The latest learning gadget from LeapFrog serves as a mobile hub for downloadable Leaplet Learning Apps which include eBooks, video, games, and flash cards that auto adjust during game play according to a child’s needs and skills. Just as with other LeapFrog devices like Tag, Leapster 2, and Didj, parents can track their child’s play and progress on the Explorer through the LeapFrog Learning Path.
The Explorer features a myriad of content through downloadable Leaplet Learning Apps and cartridges ($24.99). Apps such as eBooks, video, games, and flash cards feature favorite characters that can help motivate a child to learn. Kids can practice story comprehension, phonics, and letters through Disney Princess: Pop-Up Story Adventure or with Buzz and Woody in Disney-Pixar Toy Story 3. Content for ages 5-8 features Disney Fairies and Wolverine and X-Men while 1-3rd graders can enjoy learning math through NFL Rush Zone (pictured above right), geometry and fractions with SpongeBob or Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
With thoughtful content designed for a range of learners with a variety of interests, Explorer moves beyond LeapFrog’s initial goals of engaging kids in math and reading by providing topics like science, social studies, handwriting, and health for their newest device.
Putting it in the critics’ hands
Our Explorer came preloaded with Leaplet app games ($7.99 for a pack of 2 Leaplet Learning App download cards), video, previews of cartridge games. Little Miss Techie (age 6) has been enjoying Mr. Pencil Saves Doodleburg (pictured left)– a game that helped her practice her handwriting skills and exercise her creativity thanks to a wide selection of tools, colors, filters, stamps, and effects. She also liked being able to create her own flip book! Almost 4 year old Captain Computer, a train aficionado, enjoys playing Jewel Train that helps him practice his logic skills by adjusting pieces of the railroad. He also likes Harmonies, a Leaplet Game App, that allows him to control 4 singers by adding sounds to learn about harmonies and musical parts.
We found that Explorer was perfectly suited for smaller hands thanks to comfortable ergonomic design. It features a big, bright full color screen that can be operated with the touch of a finger or integrated stylus.
I’m looking forward to the launch of Explorer so I can tailor the content to our children’s interests. Little Miss Techie has a huge interest in social studies thanks to traveling grandparents who visit countries around the globe. I think she will really enjoy Globe: Earth Adventures where she can explore the continents in a biplane to find exotic locales and test her knowledge of geography, landmarks, map skills, animals, cultures, and facts. Despite my personal aversion to characters, I know that Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Worldwide Rescue will also be up her alley as it will help her build her Spanish vocabulary while learning more about Egypt, China, Australia, and Peru.
My only criticism of the product is the heavy use of characters to draw in kids. While characters can be a huge motivating factor for some children, I try to avoid characters as much as possible so it is nice that there will be an array of non-character based products for Explorer content when the device launches on July 15.
LeapFrog has taken learning to the next step with the upcoming release of Explorer. The handheld device will motivate any child to learn because it looks cool and has a wide range of appropriate content featuring fun characters and engaging games that satisfy early elementary ages through the tween years. Rest assured that your investment in this product will give you a good return as it grows with your child thanks to games that automatically adjust to your child’s skill level.
Leapster Explorer is available for preorder and will be for sale in retail outlets on July 15. This fall a snap-on camera accessory ($24.99) will be available.
To enter, visit the Explorer site and leave a comment telling me what you think your child will like most about the LeapFrog Explorer and what makes it attractive to you, as a parent. Comments MUST contain either an email address or Twitter handle. Comments not containing either WILL NOT be approved as entries.
Do any of the following for extra entries:
- Leave a comment on any one of my posts in The LeapFrog Community and come back and leave the title of the post in your comment below. You may comment on as many posts as you like. Each comment is worth an extra entry as long as you leave a comment! Your comment below MUST contain either an email address or Twitter handle.
- Tweet this daily: @TechSavvyMama previewed @LeapFrog Explorer- not yet in stores! Read her review & enter to win one here: http://bit.ly/dviREY Your comment below MUST contain your Twitter handle!
Comments may be submitted until midnight on June 25 and the winner must reply with full name and U.S. mailing address (no PO boxes) within 24 hours or another winner will be selected.
Fine print: LeapFrog provided an Explorer for product review purposes. I am a contributor to The LeapFrog Community but all opinions are my own. No compensation was received for this post.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama