Reviews - LeapFrog toys

The toys and learning systems on this page are all from LeapFrog. "LeapFrog creates award-winning educational solutions that delight, engage and inspire children to reach their potential. We know that children learn best when they’re having fun, and that every child learns differently. With solutions that are personalised to each child’s level, every day brings pure learning fun." Find out more about LeapFrog.

As well, we have reviewed a selection of toys which have been sent to us, as well as recommending some that have been a particular success at home. These will help you and your children to have fun together while they are learning.

LeapFrog Count and Colours Band

Friendly Scout is here to help children learn colours and numbers.As with all LeapFrog products, there are plenty of different learning opportunities. As young ones listen to five instruments and explore three learning modes they will start to learn about cause and effect, as they realise that it is what they are doing is having the desired result. There are five colourful instruments for baby to play and each of the instruments is moulded to the appropriate shape and requires a different action to make it work  - a good way to develop manipulative skills. Scout plays a light-up piano too.  Every press, pull, tap, twist or wobble gets Scout bopping, playing and singing, helping babies connect what they do with the effect. The music will encourage movement and once little ones are walking, they will love to dance along to the groovy tunes. Little ones can explore in three different modes to discover colour names, numbers, musical genres and instruments, all accompanied by rock star Scout. There is so much packed into this, making it an excellent early learning toy. The sound effects are very clear and sharp, making the words perfect for young ones to imitate; the musical instruments sound good too.   It's ideal for babies, as it's perfect to use for 'tummy time'. Suitable for 6 months plus, this is an excellent toy with lots of learning value, and one that will grow with your child.
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LeapFrog Scout's Goodnight Light

Perfect for babies right from birth, this is a lovely way to soothe your child off to sleep. This multi-purpose 2-in-1 nightlight and torch has two modes.In night time mode, young ones will be soothed off to sleep with glowing stars and numbers that fade from red to blue to green. I tried this in a fair-sized room, and the colours lit up the walls and ceiling softly but effectively; it's a good way to introduce numbers 1,2, 3 and first colours. Easy controls let parents choose 10 or 20 minutes of the glowing stars and numbers; another switch offers the options of solar wind, environmental sounds or special lullabies sung by Scout, again for 10 or 20 minutes. The sounds really are soothing, and will work well with the youngest babies. The volume can be set to low, high or mute for a soothing ride to sleep. In torch mode, Scout’s Goodnight Light projects all eight planets onto the wall and astro-pups Scout and Violet invite children to explore the solar system, count stars, find colours and more; perfect for little ones as they wind down to sleep time, gazing up at the ceiling. The sounds are, like all Leapfrog products, very clear and little ones will find the words easy to hear, as well as enjoying the clarity of the songs - they will, as they get older, enjoy singing along. Attractively shaped as a space rocket, and with a neat handle perfect for little hands, the green, purple and blue make it suitable for girls and boys. It's an excellent product that offers many aspects neatly packaged into one light; a product that will provide pleasure for many years. A lovely present to give a new baby, and one they will enjoy right through pre-school years.
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LeapFrog have kindly offered the following helpful information to help your children adjust when the clocks go back.
With the nights starting to draw in, we’re finally accepting that it is well and truly autumn. One thing to look forward to is the extra hour in bed we’ll get when the clocks go back an hour. But whilst the grown-ups might be dreaming of a lie-in, the little ones might have other ideas and for some parents the very mention of the clocks changing brings visions of unsettled, sleep-deprived children. We at LeapFrog have come up with five tricks for easing kids through the transition as seamlessly as possible, meaning that you might get that extra hour of blissful sleep after all!
1. Start delaying bedtime It’s best to start easing little ones into their new routine a few weeks earlier so that they don’t even notice it. Gradually alter bedtime by around 10 minutes a few days beforehand so that their body clock slowly adjusts too.
2. Keep bedrooms dark Keeping your child’s room as dark as possible is extremely advantageous to a good night’s sleep. However, if your little one is afraid of the dark, night lights can be very useful. Scout’s Goodnight Light is the perfect bedtime companion with glowing stars and soothing music, helping children drift off to sleep with ease.
3. Maintain a bedtime routine Whilst you might adopt the 10 minutes earlier trick, it’s important to keep the routine the same. Changing into pyjamas, brushing teeth and bedtime stories should be kept in the same order, so that confusion is kept at a minimum.
4. Relaxation time Having some time to wind down before getting into bed helps to relax children for bedtime. Turn off the TV and any kid-friendly tablets at least an hour before bedtime and encourage some non-stressful activities with a milky, warm drink!
5. Praise, praise, praise! As we all know, children thrive on praise. Reward them for making these simple changes and you never know, you may even get that extra hour!

LeapFrog LeapStart Primary School Interactive Learning System

Designed for Reception and Year 1 children, this helps the development of essential school and life skills in a lively, engaging and fun-filled way; children will gain so many skills while thinking they are playing. The system works with a library of replayable activity books which can be purchased separately - we received the LeapFrog LeapStart Year 1 Activity Book: Space Science and Thinking Like a Scientist; see below for additional books for both systems. It comes with a sampler book, 'Let's Play'. Usefully, you can slot a book into the device to carry it around easily. The LeapStart is solidly made and folds up neatly, clipping into place to keep it safe.The range of supporting books is excellent, including everything from STEM to social skills, reading comprehension to communication and problem solving to scientific thinking; you do need to purchase additional books to benefit from the system. The underlying technology is a small camera in the stylus that reads invisible dots on every page, triggering engaging audio. Using the stylus, tapping a page activates audio responses and play activities designed to keep them engaged and coming back for more; we really found this to be the case when using the Space Science book, which kept my 5 year old tester engrossed for ages; the technology is easy for our techno-savvy youngsters to use with very little adult help. It does take a while to set up, so I recommend that you have it ready for use before giving to your child. Each book in the library is includes over 30 activities. Each learning level teaches 50+ key skills, from maths to global awareness, the LeapStart library supports core and life skills that complement school. LeapStart interactive learning system includes a resilient portable device with a stylus (this slots into the case) that teaches proper handwriting grip ( a really important feature, this, but the cable makes it a little awkward for a left-hander). The stylus activates buttons that trigger games and activities, or give hints and clues. There is a link to a very practical downloadable Guide to Getting Kids Ready for School. The really impressive part of the system is the wide range of activities available through the additional books, which mean that the product really will engage children fully through Reception and KS1.
  LeapStart

LeapFrog LeapStart Preschool Interactive Learning System

  • Bring learning to life with an interactive early learning system jam-packed with activities for school and life.
  • Teaches core and life skills that complement early schooling.
  • Includes: kid-tough device with easy-hold stylus for little hands and nursery and preschool sampler book.
  • Perfect to use prior to introducing the Primary School version which will build on the skills learnt.
  • Books are compatible across both products.
    Learn more on the Leapfrog site, where you can watch a video showing the products in action.

Leapfrog Number Loving Oven

Young children are like sponges - they absorb so much and we need to make the most of that by providing stimulating learning toys; this is a perfect example of a toy which is great fun to play with but which also covers a range of early learning skills. The singing oven helps with counting, sharing and vocabulary skills - and my young testers thoroughly enjoyed dancing to the music. They can press the chef's hat for the learning songs, or listen and learn along to fun phrases; over 30 in all. The slider moves from one to five and produces different songs each time when the song button is pressed; the dial produces sentences. Opening the oven door gives phrases about sharing, so children can copy. The hob sizzles (quite realistically!) when the frying pan is put on it. The speech is easy to understand and there are two volume levels. There are 16 pieces in all - the oven, 4 pizza slices, 3 slices of bread, 2 cup cakes, a fried egg, a frying pan, a spatula, a baking tray and 2 plates; all this is excellent for role play, as children love serving up food. Early maths concepts are covered, including the parts that make a whole and dividing using the pizza and loaf of bread which fasten together. Children will also learn the basics about heat by using the slider and listening to the words. Finished playing? No problem - everything stores inside the oven; a really good feature so all the parts stay together, and it can be carried around easily, even by a child. It's a great combination of educational and role play toy, which will really help with learning early skills; it's one of those toys that is bound to become a big favourite.
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New Leapfrog Scribble And Write Learning Fun Interactive Game

The lights help young children develop early writing skills - they trace the lights to get practice initially in drawing simple shapes and pictures and then move on to to learning upper- and lowercase letters with step-by-step guidance. In addition, there are fun learning games help reinforce letter recognition and pencil control skills. It's perfect for travelling - compact enough to slip into a bag and no spare parts to lose! So many key early learning skills are developed by this one product including the alphabet and numbers, phonics and early and more advanced writing skills. Children gain great satisfaction from their writing skills and it's a joy to see that develop with the aid of this excellent product - as with all educational toys, children will get the greatest benefit with some adult input especially in the early stages, although the useful accuracy feedback does reduce the need for parental input. Having said that, it is simple to use so young children won't get frustrated with it - follow the light around the screen to create the letter or number. The pen writes well and doesn't slide across the surface and the whole product is sturdy and durable. It can be used by children from around 18 months who are just learning to hold a pencil, right up to 5+ to ensure correct letter/number formation - there are two difficulty modes ensuring many years of usefulness. An excellent value learning aid which encourages letter/number formation in a fun interactive way..
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LeapFrog LeapPad

LeapPad - your child's very own first tablet. It looks just like your tablet but it's kid-proof with an ultra-tough frame and friendly controls and a whole lot more fun. Children can write, draw, take photos, make videos and have access to 500+ games, eBooks and music which have all been approved by LeapFrog learning experts.   Buy the LeapPad from Argos.
LeapPad Ultra comes with 11 custom apps including: photo fun ultra, art studio ultra, pet pad party, utility suite, pet chat and LeapFrog learning songs. Youngsters are so techno-savvy that they will find this intuitive and they will be engrossed in play much quicker than you expect.  Ideally, get everything set up before giving it to your child as they will be keen to explore - and rightly so - and won't want to wait! There are a huge range of additional apps which can be purchased, ensuring that the LeapPad gives your child many years of use - the recommended age is 4+. The camera is perfect for this age group and allows children to take early steps in photography in a simple way but with perfectly acceptable results that will satisfy their creative instincts.
The technical bit - Size H29.2, W35.5, D7.62cm, rechargeable lithium ion battery, Wi-Fi, peer-to-peer play, front and back camera/video recorders and MP3 player. LeapPad Ultra works with LeapFrog's award-winning library of hundreds of educator-approved apps, games, eBooks, videos, music and more.
Internet safety is hugely important so parents will have their minds put at rest by the parental settings which are available for the browsing option.  An excellent educational toy which you won't regret buying. First impressions are that it is durable and robust. I foresee many hours of fun and learning. Argos sell the LeapFrog LeapPad and a wide range of other toys. 

 

 

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