LeapTV Tess Daly

As one of the LeapFrog panel bloggers we get to play and review the brand new products as they are launched and the most exciting product launched recently with the help of Tess Daly is the LeapTV.

Take a look a this short video for a great idea on what the LeapTV is.

What is the LeapTV?

The LeapTV is a game console that is plugged into your TV and allows children to play in three different ways. The LeapTV video game system puts learning into motion

  1. Body Motion: The motion-sensing camera captures a child’s moves and instantly puts them into the game as they explore activities like dance and martial arts.
  2. Pointer Play: Pointer play takes pretend play to new levels of engagement. The controller turns into a pointer with a simple twist and lets kids snap jungle vines, slice through coconuts, and more.
  3. Classic Control: Classic control puts fun at a child’s fingertips. They can press the A and B buttons for fast-paced gaming, or tilt and shake the controller to navigate through an enchanted garden or race in a classic kart-racing game.

What games can be played on LeapTV?

There are over 100 game cartridges, game downloads and videos with favourite characters and brands. Including Spiderman, Toy Story, Monster Inc, sofia the First and Jake of the Never Land Pirates plus the LeapFrog library of characters too.

Why a separate console?

Most houses already have games console but they are targeted for an older audience, LeapFrog decided to create one for children aged 3 – 8. Care has been taken to make the controls easier to use especially for smaller hands and to make the games simple and intuitive user interfaces

Why a new system?

This system is set to revolutionise gaming for children by combining activity and movement with educational skills such as reading, maths, problem solving and science. The games can be set to offer the right level of challenge for age or level and will automatically adjust as they progress. Many games also have audio instructions for those who can’t read yet.

LeapTV has already been included in Hamleys’ 2014 top toy for Christmas list, making it likely to be top of the Christmas wish list for many families.

What’s in the box?

Opening the box you’ll find a console, a motion sensing camera that sits on top of the tv with the aid of an included camera mount. A transforming controller with wrist strap, an HDMI cable, 16 GB memory and built in Wi-Fi allowing to download directly.

Our review to follow shortly.

LeapTV what's in the box

How much does it cost?

The LeapTV system RRP £119.99

Game cartridges RRP £24.99

Downloadable games and apps starting at RRP £3.50 and up will be available via the LeapFrog App Centre in December. For more information, visit www.leapfrog.com/en-gb/products/leaptv

 

Disclosure: As part of the LeapFrog panel of bloggers we have been sent a LeapTV to review with one game which we’ll be getting back to you with very soon.

LeapPad 3

The latest product to arrive from LeapFrog HQ for review is the LeapPad 3 which has been recently launched. We know our way around the LeapPad as we’ve been lucky enough to get to know them from the initial launch passing through the LeapPad 2 and the LeapPad Ultra. We’ve reviewed lots of games and apps too and this time is no different.

LeapPad 3

My initial thoughts on the LeapPad 3 are – it is lighter and more manageable for little people and this is a very good thing.

Secondly the screen is smaller than the LeapPad Ultra but this has had no effect on the twins wanting to revert back to previous models.

The third noticeable difference is the stylus as it now has a soft end and is thicker to hold.

The model comes with a rechargeable adapter and a lead to attach it to the computer for downloading games and apps plus uploading pictures and videos to your gallery.

Start up

A very simple process that is completed in minutes. Once again you are able to choose a game to upload free of charge, this time around we chose Kat’s Maths – errific Magic show the girls LOVED it and have played on it non stop until they finished the entire game. In fact they liked it so much I had to buy it for the other devices as the one chosen on set up cannot be shared.

The charge lasts a long time on the LeapPad 3 and was excellent for journeys in the car and short breaks for keeping the children amused.

By uploading all the other games we have onto the LeapPad 3 I have noticed they have re discovered the joy of this tablet and have spent hours on it since. I have since bought some other apps for them to play with too.

Holi and Oli Viking Adventure, Leap School In the Kitchen with Hap and Pentathlon games.

WiFi and Leap Search

In all honesty my two haven’t really played with this much after the initial searching and watching videos, they tend to play the games on the device more than anything else, however it is a fun element and what’s more parents can be certain that all the web content has been screened so it is kid friendly. It’s a nice way to introduce children to the internet knowing they are safe.

Verdict

I have to say the LeapPad 3 has been an enormous hit in the house and we have had to put some strict sharing time in place as even if all the games are exactly the same on each device they both want to play with the LeapPad 3.

Details

The LeapPad 3 RRP £89.99 and is available from most toy shops and department stores.

Disclosure: We were sent a LeapPad 3 to review as part of our LeapFrog ambassadorship and for the purpose of this post.

LeapBand

I want to tell you about this event and the new LeapFrog product the LeapBand as we were invited along but it clashed with Camp Bestival so we had to turn it down.

It was held at London Zoo and Greg Rutherford and Beth Tweddle were present and hands on with the kids whilst the children learnt how to use their new Leapbands.

The LeapBand is a bracelet/watch activity tracker for children. It has over 50 different activities and challenges which track the child’s movements so the more active they are the more points they earn. There are also a choice of 8 virtual pets which can be nurtured with healthy treats. As the child earns points through play and activity they unlock new games, challenges, levels of play and virtual rewards for their on screen pet.

 

Greg Rutherford, fresh from winning Gold for England at the Commonwealth Games said: “As an athlete and, more importantly as a future dad, I know how vital it is to inspire kids to get active and a big part of that is making physical activity fun and rewarding, which LeapBand is perfect for.”

Three-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist, Beth Tweddle MBE said: “It’s important to give all children the opportunity to try new and different ways of being active. LeapBand is a great, fun way to get kids moving and learning healthy habits. It would be amazing if more little ones were inspired to be future champions after learning that being active is loads of fun!”

LeapBand has an aspirational fit-band style designed with kids in mind. High-tech features include a built-in accelerometer, high-resolution colour screen, rechargeable battery and water-resistant design, making it the ultimate activity wearable for kids. The device also doubles up as both a digital and analogue watch.

In addition to the active play on LeapBand, the fun is extended with a free downloadable companion app called the Petathlon™ Games. In the app, kids can compete as their virtual pet in six mini-games like archery, surfing and bobsledding to win extras including medals and new tracksuits for their virtual pet. The Petathlon Games app is available for download to Wi-Fi enabled LeapPad tablets from LeapFrog as well as an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.**

The LeapBand activity tracker (RRP £29.99, for children 4 to 7 years old) comes in green, pink, blue and orange, online and is available major UK retail locations. Additional activities and challenges are free and available for download via LeapFrog Connect for LeapBand.

LeapFrog Blogger Panel

 

LeapReader Human Body

We have been sent the LeapFrog LeapReader Interactive Human Body to discover with our LeapReader and it’s been very interesting to watch the girls learn about how we’re made and what makes us work the way we do. The product is aimed at children 4 – 8 and being bang in the middle of that age range I can see why.

As the twins are getting older they ask more questions about the body and this is a really handy game to use to widen their knowledge and open them up to the new world of the human body. They can learn facts about the human body, body systems, and nutrition, and reinforce the learning through over 40 activities.

It also a little reminder to brush teeth and eat vegetables and fruit in order to grow healthy and strong ;)

Now they have learnt to read and enjoy reading, it’s important to jump on this and open up their minds to all sorts of different topics like science, geography and the solar system.

What’s in the box?

1 x Two-sided chart
1 x Game board
1 x Interactive growth chart
2 x Interactive sticker sheets
 

Interactive Stickers

The first item the twins zoomed in on was the stickers and when I wasn’t looking they plastered them all over our picture of the Magic Faraway Tree. Luckily I was able to peel them off and then stick them on the game boards and charts in the correct places with their help.
 
They have both explored with the LeapReader separately and together and have found the Interactive Human Body very interesting. I was surprised that some of the words used are the biological ones which seem a bit long-winded for children but I guess once learnt that word they won’t forget it. By playing with this game they have both at different times asked questions related to the game they were playing which is great as they are thinking it over and coming back for more information.

Interactive Human Body Game Board

LeapReader Human Game board

The double sided game board is sturdy and has a lot of information on there, we’ve had it for a few weeks now and we still haven’t covered it all PLUS there are two levels of play so once you have covered level 1 successfully you can go back and repeat using level 2 and discover even more. This is fantastic as it allows the Leap Reader to be used for a long time and the game to be revisited time and time again without getting bored.
 

Interactive growth chart

This is great to hang on the wall at the right height to use as a growth chart throughout the year but also invites the child to pick up their LeapReader and interact with the pictures on it. Children can be seen washing, brushing their teeth and moving about.
 
MOVE
For example by touching the image of the boy with a ball you hear a child talk about muscles and once finished he invites you to touch the star button to hear a song. The song starts and it’s a bouncy get moving song. All the images on the growth chart do this.
 
LeapReader Human Body Growth chart
 
To recap:
  • Explore how the human body works with a two-sided interactive chart and game board.
  • Learn facts about the human body, body systems and nutrition and reinforce the learning through 40+ activities!
  • The Tag System helps children develop and strengthen critical reading skills
  • The Learn through Reading series is designed to help them apply those skills to explore topics like science, geography, writing and more.
  • Parents can connect to the online LeapFrog® Learning Path for customised learning insights and ideas to expand the learning.

Verdict

I think the twins have only scratched the surface of this game so far and they enjoyed the stickers and growth chart too. I think it will become invaluable over the next two years when they start to read and learn more as they will be able to refer to it over and over and rediscover new and old information. This is a game to put away and get out at regular intervals so they are constantly discovering something new.

The Learn to Read System library features over 80 interactive books, puzzles, maps, and more. Parents can connect to the online LeapFrog Learning Path to see what their child is playing and learning. Appropriate for children aged 4 to 8 years. Works with LeapReader and Tag Reading Systems.

LeapFrog Blogger Panel

 
Disclosure: As part of the LeapFrog Blogger panel we are sent products to review and give our honest opinion on them.

 

 

LeapReader

LeapFrog has introduced a LeapReader Book Club on Facebook and we were delighted to be asked to review a book for the month of June. Our LeapReader Interactive Book to review is Dora the Explorer – Tale of the Unicorn King.

It’s part of the Early Reading Series that includes long and short vowels, sight words and word families. On opening the book you find a panel of options with very simple and colourful symbols on which to place your LeapReader, this gives the book many possibilities.

LeapReader symbols

Read the Page uses the colour purple for identification. By touching this symbol the LeapReader will read the page to you

Read the Story uses the colour yellow and a play symbol for identification. By touching this symbol LeapReader will read the whole story and give a musical note as a sign to turn page but you have to be quick, I think it’s best for a parent to help out.

The games included throughout the story are simple but clever, For example, Can you see a rainbow? Touch the rainbow with your LeapReader. Dora then says in Spanish, ‘Che lindo! – it’s beautiful’. I was surprised to hear her speak Spanish but it’s translated straight after and adds another dimension to this book. Each green symbol has more than one game to play on each page.

Sound it/Say it identified as yellow allows you to touch a word and hear that word sounded out in phonics example ‘sss — eee’ = see. Followed by a muscial note or two to let you know it’s ready to sound the next one

Repeat button 

Stop button. 

The LeapReader works by recognising words on the page and can say them when the child gets stuck if reading alone or it can read the story as an audiobook whilst the child follows the words. 

It really is simple and the twins picked it up very quickly and immediately started arguing as to whose turn it was to hold the LeapReader!

Dora the Explorer – Tale of the Unicorn King

 

Tale of the Unicorn King is perfect for children who love fairy tales and myths like mine do. It includes a mix of beautiful and wonderful things to keep turning the pages like rainbows and rabbits, like enchanted forests and a map to follow.

dora the explorer

The story is simple, the animals of the Enchanted Forest want Unicornio to be their king but Unicornio is full of self doubt; a king must be kind, smart, brave and strong and he’s not so sure he has those qualities so Dora helps him out.

At the back of the book there’s a page of information on short vowels, long vowels, word families and sight words. It’s really informative and helps parents understand teaching methods too.

The LeapFrog LeapReader is an educational system that uses a talking pen together with a vast range of books that encourage children to read and write. There are writing sheets for the child to trace with the pen gradually getting the hang of forming the letters and writing them. The LeapReader teaches reading comprehension, vocabulary and listening skills too. It’s aimed at children aged 4 – 8.

The pen needs to be connected to a computer via a USB cable which opens up LeapFrog Connect where you can access your account and add or subtract apps to each device you own. On buying a new book, you have to touch one of the symbols in the book and then connect to the pc in order to download the content. The USB is also used to recharge the pen.

Our verdict: 4/5 – one point less as I think the Read the Story needs to allow a bit more time for turning the page, little hands (who like to do everything) are slower than an adults.

LeapReader Dora book 

We are very proud to announce that we’ve been chosen to be part of the LeapFrog Blogger Panel. The twins LOVE their LeapPad Ultras and they go everywhere with us. I love their LeapPad Ultras as we can chop and change the uploaded apps to keep them constantly amused, revisiting ‘old’ games and discovering new apps at the same time. One of my favourite LeapPad moments is listening to them with their earphones on singing along to pop songs. Like this early photo shows.

Disclosure: We received a copy of Dora the Explorer Tale of the Unicorn King for the purpose of this review

LeapFrog Blogger Panel