Don’t jump.. Leap!

My husband is, and always has been, a technology guru. He has worked in the IT field since he could legally work. He wrote his first program at the age of 3 and has always kept up on all the latest and greatest. I always knew that when we had kids, technology would be a mainstay in their lives.

Our home, unlike many of our friends, is not one without a television, or with restricted television. Pair that with my husband’s “latest and greatest” attitude about tech, and my home is full of button-mashing gaming systems and play-til-your-eyes-bleed tablets. The only thing we both agreed upon was that we will not be buying any hand held gaming consoles for our children. No Nintendo DS. No PSP or PSVita. Why, you ask? Because I want my children to grow to enjoy educational stimulation.

With this in mind, we combined my desire for education and my husband’s desire for tech and invested in LeapFrog toys. Over the years, we have had many of them. Most recently, though, we bought our kids the LeapFrog LeapPad’s and I only wish they had been around earlier.

The LeapPad is portable and durable. I throw them into the diaper bag to keep the older boys entertained during doctors appointments, long drives, anything that they may need to sit and be quiet for any length of time. Let’s face it, I am raising 3 boys. If I can find something to keep them sitting and quiet for longer than 3 minutes and it’s going to teach them something at the same time?? Sold.

I am pleased by the abundance of games that they make for the LeapPad. All educational, by the way. Yet, also all very appealing to my children. From their favorite Disney characters to an animated pencil, they have drawn my children into the games and allowed them to enjoy learning. Sometimes they realize they are learning, other times, they have no clue. You even have the convenience of buying App cards for the LeapFrog App store and just downloading games straight onto the LeapPad.

We bought our first LeapPad a month before my oldest started Kindergarten. He was on the verge of knowing how to read, but wasn’t quite there yet. By the time Kindergarten began, he was reading full speed ahead. Now in first grade, he is well above the reading level he should be, and above a lot of the students in his class.

Before we bought the second LeapPad.
Our youngest played with the Leapster Explorer.

We bought our second LeapPad about 6 months later, right before we left on a short road trip to attend a funeral. We knew we would need to keep our 3-year-old entertained in the car and he had always loved playing with his brother’s LeapPad, so we knew it would be an investment worth making. He is not-yet-four and is already able to write his name and learning the basics of reading. I am not a mom who tries to push advancements on my kids.. so everything he is learning is more than likely learned from the games he plays on his LeapPad. (As much as I’d love to take credit..)

LeapFrog has since released a new LeapPad, the LeapPad2. I can guarantee you that both of my boys will be getting one for Christmas this year. My oldest will be 7 and my middle son will be almost 4 and I know that it will be one of the best things we can buy for them. Learning without feeling like you’re learning. Reading and enjoying it. (How many boys actually enjoy reading anymore? Not many. A sad but true statistic.) It’s well worth its $99 price tag.

If you’ve never thought about the LeapFrog brand of toys, I highly suggest it. If you have a child of preschool through elementary school age, I definitely recommend looking into the LeapPad. Don’t fall back on the “but I have an iPad that my child uses already” argument. So do we. It still doesn’t compare to the value we have seen come from the LeapPad.

Note: These products were not provided to me. We bought them, we love them, our children love them, so I am showing them to you in the hope that you will love them too.

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