Everyone knows that kids love imitating their parents. After all, they are grown-ups in training, right? That’s why toys that allow for pretend “grown-up play” and those that encourage children to behave like miniature adults (like kitchens and tool sets, for example) are always a hit. LeapFrog has put a technological spin on this tried-and-true concept with its new LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet. The toy which is meant to be a kid-version of the Apple iPod/iPad has just about all the features of an adult tablet with even more kid-friendly fun built in.
- Super Educational
Kids have always learned best through play, and LeapFrog seems to really understand this concept. The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet features more than a hundred different educational games, apps, and stories that teach kids about reading, writing, math, science, and even life skills. The storybook feature even tracks a child’s reading skills and adapts itself for continual challenge and learning. Through the Learning Path program (a program that LeapFrog customers have become quite familiar with), parents can track their child’s progress, see what they’re learning, and identify areas where their child might need a bit more practice or instruction. What a great way to get children ready for school!
- Promotes Creativity
With a built in camera and video recorder,the LeapFrog LeapPad can transform your child into a budding photographer or film maker instantly. With an Art Studio and a Story Studio already included, children can create to their heart’s desire, using high tech tools and engaging digital graphics and audio. And there’s no mess to clean up afterward!
- Lots of Extras
Unlike a lot of techno-toys, the LeapPad learning system comes with everything your child needs to start learning and exploring instantly. Along with your purchase of the tablet, you get three free apps and a replacement stylus just in case one gets misplaced or damaged. Other accessories such as a protective case, gel skins to protect the touch screen, and headphones are available from the manufacturer at an additional cost.
- Compatible With Leapster Explorer Games
The fact that the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet is compatible with the Leapster Explorer is an added perk if you are a returning Leapfrog customer. You’ll already have plenty of games to get the fun started without having to shell out more cash to build a game library for your little one all at once.
The design of the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Tablet may make it appear fragile, but don’t be mistaken. The designers kept its target audience in mind when building the device. The tablet is therefore built to handle the roughest type of kid play including dropping, shaking, and maybe even stepping on it or throwing it (although we don’t advise that you or your kid test that theory). All in all, the LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet is one tough cookie.
- Battery Drainer
The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet takes 4 AA batteries, and since kids apparently can’t put this toy down, it can be a real battery drainer. You may want to either stock up on AA batteries at the time of purchase or use rechargeable batteries to cut down on the cost of replacement batteries.
- Some Apps Load Slowly
Kids are impatient; heck, we grown-ups are too, especially when it comes to technology. The fact that some apps load kind of slowly is one small downside of this toy.
At nearly a hundred bucks plus the cost of apps ($10 a piece), this toy is a bit pricey for the average consumer. Whether or not it’s worth it is a matter of personal opinion and finances. Since the toy is compatible with Explorer games (which you could probably buy used for little of nothing if you don’t already have them) and the tablet can be set up for more than one player making it possible to buy one for all of your kids to share, there are ways to make the device a bit more affordable.
What Others Are Saying
The vast majority of reviews of the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet are overwhelmingly positive. Kids seem to almost obsessively love the thing while parents are able to shed their guilt at letting their kid use technology for hours per day thanks to the uber-educational value of the games and apps on this tablet.
Although the majority of parents and kids alike are delighted with the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet, not everyone agrees. Most of the complaints deal with the load time, camera quality, price, and set-up process for the device.
For more reviews and opinions you can check here.
The Bottom Line
If you’re willing to shell out nearly $100 bucks for one of the hottest, most technologically advanced toys on the market, then the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet might just be the device for you. This is a perfect toy for parents who want to take back control of their own electronic devices while still letting their kids join in the fun of everything tablet technology has to offer.
It’s also a great way for kids to use technology in a way that promotes creativity and imagination and encourages learning as well. Many parents fight a constant battle with their kids over how much technology is too much. With the LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet, you can ease up a little on the time constraints and relax knowing that your child is learning all kinds of basic and some not-so basic kids while having fun with technology.