Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our LeapFrog Learn, Create, Share Party

Several weeks ago, I got an exciting package in the mail, full of fun new Leap Frog toys.


We'd been selected to check out the products, and invite our friends over to check them out too, at a "Learn, Create, Share" party.

Our kids have grown up with Leap Frog products, from movies, to the old Leap Pads, to Scout and Violet. We're longtime fans. They're educational, but moreover, they're fun. Kids love 'em.

We were super excited to check out the new LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet, as well as the Tag Reading System, and the books and maps that go along with it.

Our party display.
Before I go on about the party, let me tell you a little about the products.

If you're familiar with the old style Leap Pads, with the books and cartridges, the Tag Reading System is somewhat similar, but more compact. Instead of having the book and cartridge, you have a pen with the stories loaded onto them, and a book. By moving the pen around the page, you can read the story, play games, and interact with the pictures. There are lots of books to chose from, including favorite tv, movie, and storybook characters. There are also several sets of books aimed at beginning readers. Also available for the Tag system are several interactive maps, which allow you to learn geography, learn about other cultures, and more. (The Tag System is available on the LeapFrog website for $39.99, presently. Individual books are around $14, and individual maps are $19.99. There are lots of bundles available, in a variety of price ranges.)

The LeapPad Tablet is what it sounds like, a little learning tablet for the kids. It's capable of playing movies and games, taking digital pictures and video, and allows kids to write stories, among other things. (The tablet retails for around $99. Game cartridges are about $25. App cards are available in $20 increments, to download games and movies online. There are also several bundles currently available.)

We invited some friends, baked some cupcakes, and got ready to party.

All the kids (in a wide range of ages,) liked the interactive Tag World Map. It's double sided, and there are lots of activities to get the kids learning about other places and cultures.

Leap Frog Tag World Map.
You can use the map to brush up on Geography, learn about what foods people eat all over the world, practice saying "Hello" in other languages, and more.

Leap Frog Tag World Map
As I expected the LeapPad tablet stole the show. Even kids who have traditional handheld gaming systems were clamoring at the chance to play it. The games are educational, but also fun and silly.

LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet.
The kids had a blast playing with the toys, and the parents were asking a lot of questions about prospective Christmas gifts.

My impressions: My kiddos went crazy for the LeapPad Tablet. They're constantly begging to play with my iPhone, and they loved the similar touch screen format.  There are games suitable for 3 1/2 year old V, and 6 year old L. We actually had to set the timer to make them take turns with it. If your kiddos are itching to play with your phone or tablet computer, and you're looking for a safe, age appropriate, educational way to let them have some fun with technology, I can't recommend this system enough. It's awesome.

The Tag Reading System is also great for new, or reluctant readers, and the maps are great fun for all ages. (The homeschooler in me gives them a huge thumbs up.) 

Disclosure: I received free LeapFrog products in order to host a Learn, Create, and Share Party. LeapFrog did not influence my opinions expressed here as a result.

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