Our LeapFrog Learn, Create, Share Party!

Holiday Gift Guide – Day 3

Being big fans of LeapFrog and their collection of education toys and software for kids, I’m sure you can imagine just how excited we were to learn that we were going to get a chance to check out and share the newest LeapFrog offerings this holiday season.  As the host of a LeapFrog party, we received a box full of LeapFrog educational products and instructions for how to create a memorable playdate for a group of friends and neighbors.  It was the perfect timing, too, with a preschooler who is really excited about learning her letters and very interested in trying to read on her own.  Even though she has a well-loved Scout puppy and a Tag Jr system, I hadn’t realized how ready she was for some of the older LeapFrog items.  Needless to say, we couldn’t wait for the party to start checking everything out.

The day of the party finally rolled around and the little ones were simply giddy with excitement.  Not only was the party going to take place at their aunt’s house with “cousins” and friends they don’t see very often, the box of goodies packed along for the ride was irresistible.  Once the kids and parents arrived, the excitement in the room was palpable. 

Leapfrog party
To keep the party running smoothly and keep the chaos to a minimum, we split the group into smaller “teams” to visit each of the stations.  We set up the Tag Reading Station on the comfy love seat, and the Tag Geography Station on the coffee table so we could use the Tag pen for both.  The Coloring Station was set up in the dining room and then the Mobile Station with the LeapPad was all over the place in a makeshift “photography studio”, “movie set” and then a game area where small groups could play together. 

51NoXS5mCgL._AA300_The Tag reader was a hit for parents and kids alike, especially the new Tag Interactive World Map that takes geography to a whole new level.  Instead of memorizing details about places they have never been, the Interactive World Map helps personalize the experience for your child.  By telling facts about the location and offering games and races you can complete, it helps make learning really fun and was something even us adults had a blast with.  Of course, we also liked to snuggle up with the little ones in a cozy story time, reading along with the Tag Story books.

But, the huge hit of the party was certainly the LeapPad, which none of the kids wanted to put down.  In fact, we even had a child start crying when they were called to eat dessert because she was having so much fun playing and didn’t want to stop.  That’s got to be some sort of record for a child to turn down a cupcake for an educational game, right? 

51fbX+Ry0cL._SL500_AA300_I had only briefly been introduced to the LeapPad while at BlogHer this past summer, but the rest of the partygoers had never seen it yet.  Expecting a handheld game like we’re all used to, the guests were simply wowed by the new LeapPad as I had been a few months earlier.  If you’re wondering exactly what it is, think iPad for kids.  Instead of traditional handheld games that are button oriented and require higher levels of tech-savvy in order to operate, the LeapPad is so awesomely intuitive with its large kid-friendly touch screen that kids are able to play as soon as you hand it to them. 

Leapfrog party 2
What’s really cool about the LeapPad is how expandable it is.  Instead of games that you can only play by inserting cartridges, the LeapPad lets you download apps as you would to your i-whatever.  Then, you can merely access the game you want by clicking on the icon on the main menu.  The touch screen has other really cool functions that lend well to learning, of course, like the fact that kids can trace their letters directly on the screen to help them learn them correctly as they would with an actual pencil or helping to guide the game characters more accurately than a joystick or button can. 

Leappad_bd_appcard_boys_00_s2_vb000038Besides learning games, books, videos, apps, and activities, the LeapPad also has a camera {with video recorder}, motion sensitivity, and numerous other touch screen functions, all of which add to the fun of the Pad.  It also remembers your child and grows with them to give tailored lessons and track their progress.  Once  your child has mastered letters and sounds, you can graduate to science and math, geography, music, and more, making this system able to grow with them via their downloads and games like other learning systems can’t. 

The kids at our playdate were between the ages of 3-11, with most of the partygoers towards the lower end of the age range and no one had a problem learning how to use it.  In fact, the lone 1 year old even got the concept quickly and can operate the LeapPad {though probably doesn’t understand just how cool of a gadget he’s playing with}.  With our extreme age ranges, I was really surprised by how well all the kids took to the LeapPad specifically, with the older kids {and parents} gravitating to the interactive map.  Overall, I thought the age range offered a good mix of experiences.  The older kids were able to do tasks that the younger kids couldn’t, like the more advanced geography tests, but they were also able to help with the littler ones nicely. 

51Iy3IPqOcL._SL500_AA300_If you are looking for a WOW holiday present for your little one, I would highly recommend anything in the LeapFrog family, but especially the LeapPad tablet.  Seriously, our little one has barely set the thing down since it arrived {unless she ran down the batteries and was waiting for a replacement} and still adores it.  In fact, we all simply adore it – I enjoy playing it with her and watching her learn and I also like having a “secret weapon” in our diaper bag that I can pull out if we get stuck at a Dr’s appointment.  The kids at our party who weren’t lucky enough to go home with a LeapPad have asked us to bring it at every event we’ve seen them at since, and I know for sure a few of them will be opening one this holiday season. 

You can learn more about the products featured at the LeapFrog website. LeapFrog products are available online and at most major toy retailers.

Leanne Signature 2We received some LeapFrog toys to play with and share with our party guests.  All opinions remain 100% ours and no form of monetary compensation was received in exchange for this Rave Review.

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