I cannot sing the praises of the Leap Pad Ultra by LeapFrog highly enough. We are huge fans of LeapPad 2 in this house, we bought them for Christmas presents last year and they’ve been a regular toy used on journeys, taken on holidays and enjoyed around the house too.
We have invested in various apps and my top tip is to buy new apps one at a time and don’t overwhelm the child with 3 or 4 in one go. Reason being I have seen my two play for hours on one game or reading one book and totally ignore the other apps on there.
Don’t let this stop you buying the App Bundles available as you can manually decide what goes on to each device via LeapFrog Connect at any single time by ticking and un-ticking boxes. You also use this app to set the level of game to be played by age or by skill.
You will find any new app takes the child’s complete attention and they will play continuously for ages until you take the game away for teatime/bedtime/school.
It’s aimed at children between 4 and 9 but some apps are perfect for 2 year olds and others go up to 12.
The LeapPad Ultra has a bigger screen than the LeapPad 2, it works pretty much the same as the LeapPad 2 and the girls quickly got the hang of it. For certain games the screen must be tilted from side to side enhancing the enjoyability of the game, I also LOVE that the stylus comes attached by a cord to the device and has it’s own slot to be stored.
The LeapPad Ultra also comes with a rechargeable lead which is a godsend for us as batteries have the habit of running out in the middle of a good game when you don’t have any in the kitchen draw to replace them! The lead is also very long allowing children to play whilst it’s charging at the mains.
The LeapPad Ultra can also be connected to the Wifi at home allowing the children to browse hundreds of online videos all carefully selected by LeapFrog AND allows the parent to download apps to the device without having to hook up to the computer too. Another great feature of the Wifi is that two people using separate devices can play certain games together, my girls really enjoy playing Pet Chat together.
The device will also turn itself off if not being played with
Which Apps and Games for LeapPad Ultra?
The Leappad Ultra comes with 10 apps loaded already and an 11th app that you can choose from a selection of three, this choice however will never be able to be shared with another unit. We chose SuperBugs which is a game aimed at getting the hang of using the stylus by cleaning the teeth with it.
You can buy App bundles on the LeapFrog site which are currently discounted bringing the best of the bunch and selected by age or you can choose from the following categories and make your own -
These cost between £15 and £20 and are aimed at children between 4 – 7 years old. Each book has different reading levels (1,2 and 3) so the same story is told at different levels as the child’s reading progresses. Alongside the story there are games to play adding to the entertainment factor. As you read each page you can touch the characters or objects who will make a sound or say something. There is also a button to record your own voice reading the story. We have Disney Cinderella Ultra eBook and the girls love it, the only bit I’m not too keen on is all of the books are in an American accent and when they’re learning phonics it can be confusing initially.
Games are priced at £3.50, £5, £7.50, £10 and £20. They are all for different skills, spelling, writing, maths, problem solving, logic and so on, allowing you to choose for the skills you wish the children to practise. They are all fun games and the children don’t even realise they are ‘working’ so to speak.
Costing between £2 and £7.50 the learning videos are a great way to amuse a child and introduce new subjects at the same time knowing they’ll be gripped to the screen. Our fist video was the Alphabet Factory last Christmas. The girls were in Reception at school learning the alphabet and phonics and this assisted and backed up what they were learning in the classroom perfectly. Interestingly some videos are great for 2 year olds and others more advanced for 7 – 12 year olds when they start to widen their general knowledge and study countries, science and social studies too, an excellent way of learning more facts.
Apps go from £3.50 – £7.50 and include the Kidz Bop range. I downloaded one Kidz Bop girl which included hits we hear on the radio and using their headphones they would listen and sing along, so sweet to watch and I’m so pleased they appreciate music in their lives too. I’ve also seen an App called 101 Crazy jokes which I think will be next on my list to add on
Apps cost from £2 – £7 and our favourite Mr Pencil is a must. Another great App we like is Photo fun which allows the children to add stickers, frames and all sorts to the photos they take on their LeapPad.
Just for fun
Prices range from £3.50 to £7.50 and include videos, utilities (calculator and clock) and music. You’ll find some of their favourite characters available, Angelina Ballerina, Wallace and Gromit, Mike the Knight and Paddington to mention a few.
From £3.50 – £5.00 the list includes Disney favourites, a Learn to Read collection and many more titles to choose from
Languages include, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Chinese apps cost from £3.50 – £20 for the extensive learn a language. With our strong Italian connection I’m thinking of adding on an app to see how the girls get on with it.
Four apps to choose from, letters, animals and Spanish flash cards which Cost £3.50
If you already have the cartridge and are looking for more fun, then an expansion is what you need from £3.50 – £5 and includes Cars 2 and Mr Pencil
When choosing your apps some of them have a trailer in the app store which can help you choose.
Apps can be stored onto a maximum of 3 devices.
Can be used across many devices, we have played with two, Monster Inc and Doc McStuffins. They have both been hugely popular, have caused many arguments as a cartridge can only be played on one tablet at a time so somebody has to wait their turn and we’re not very good at waiting. New badges and levels can be unlocked via the App centre.
Some of our most recent downloads include -
The Human Body £7.50
I LOVE this app and more importantly so do the girls. You will join Captain Plasma for a journey in the blood vessels and learn about how the body works, about blood flow, bones, organs and all sorts of other important biological terms whilst you gain points and play the game. I have had to ask them to turn the LeapPad off at times otherwise they would go on forever.
Globe Earth Adventures £20
Become an elite member of the GEO team and take on missions. Fly around the globe to learn about geography, animals and cultures (games use actual photos of animals and landmarks). Build map skills, complete missions, collect Adventure Cards and work to
Cha Cha Chicken £3.50
Collect all of Cha Cha’s eggs before they hatch using the joy stick and on the way use your maths skills, avoid the farmer and gather special power ups. This egg hunt tests everything from number recognition and sequencing to addition, subtraction and multiplication.
Doc McStuffins £20
I’d love to be able to tell you what the game is about but since it arrived I haven’t got a look in – that to me means they love it. This is what can be found on the LeapFrog site
The Doc McStuffins Clinic for stuffed animals and toys is open! Use problem-solving skills to help Doc treat toy patients and learn health lessons. Join Doc, Lambie, Stuffy and Hallie to help patients feel better. Hop aboard Rescue Ronda to search Doc’s yard for hurt toys, then fly them back to the clinic for their check-ups. Examine and observe each toy’s symptoms with doctor tools including a stethoscope and magnifying glass to make a diagnosis. Use logic and reasoning skills to treat each patient and cure Driedout-a-tosis, Blurrystaritis, Dusty-Musties and more. Review each patient’s case and replay it by tapping on its page in the Big Book of Boo-Boos. Try all 24 diagnoses! Earn special bandages for achievements, and create your own designs by selecting colors, patterns, stamps and photos. Save up to 10 bandages and then decorate Boo Boo Bear!
“Being a doctor involves a lot of problem solving, logic and reasoning. This game allows children to build those skills as they play along with Doc. Plus, it teaches children about health and hygiene topics, and addresses their fears of the doctor by explaining and familiarizing players with the check-up process and tools.” – Clement C., LeapFrog Learning Expert
Love it, the girls are able to use the Pad on their own and it has quickly become one of their most treasured toys, it’s a yes from me
For another great review check out Tired Mummy of Two
Disclosure: We were sent a LeapPad Ultra, a cartridge game (Doc McStuffins and a £15 voucher for the purpose of this review.