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LeapPad...worth the money?

June 19 2012 at 7:32 AM
shayrose  (Login shayrose)

 
I've been contemplating buying LeapPads for my boys' 4th b-day later this summer (how are we at 4 yrs old already?), but not sure. Would love some real-life input. Do your kids tire of it quickly? Is there true longevity, as in they will still want them at 7, 8, 9 yrs old? Are all the extras (games, books, etc) worth the money?

Our kids use our iPad and iPhones like old pros, but I'm tired of sharing MY toys with my kids happy.gif. Will they find the LeapPad too easy, too childish in comparison? I want something fun, educational, with lots of creative play and room to grow. The boys LOVE to take photos with my old small point-and-shoot camera. During a recent trip to NYC, they had a blast bopping around the city shooting cars, people, dogs & whatnot (one of the "whatnot" photos was of a man peeing in the park. Obviously I need to monitor their creative interests more closely.) I'm going to put together a book of their photos...in my spare time happy.gif So the camera aspect is definitely on my list of "wants", but taking pics with a pad seems cludgy vs a small phone for little hands.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any reviews as I try to decide (want to hear the bad, with the good). Found an email in my in-box this morning announcing the new LeapPad 2 arriving this summer, so the topic is fresh on my mind.

Thanks!

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers


    
This message has been edited by shayrose on Jun 19, 2012 7:32 AM


 
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Tracey
(Login tgmom)

I would absolutely recommend it.

June 19 2012, 8:27 AM 

We bought my oldest DS one for his 4th birthday and he is almost 5 1/2. We actually started with the Leapster Explorer and then moved onto the LeapPad when it came out. He continues to play it all the time. He is no where near losing interest, at this point. He just continues to move on to more challenging games. It has been well worth the money in my opinion. He has learned math, reading, geography skills and more. I do think the games can add up cost wise, but honestly he is learning, so it doesn't bother me. He is a very bright child and loves to be challenged with new information, so this has been very good for him. He loves to share facts he has learned with us, as well as teach his little brother how to play some of the games.

I can't say enough about it, really. For us, it was an excellent purchase. I'll be curious to hear what you decide to do.

Tracey

 
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niahm
(Login niahm12)

very short term use

June 19 2012, 8:48 AM 

My kids were interested in LeapPad at 3-4 years old, in LeapFrog at 4-5 years old. Mind they had never been exposed to iPhone and iPad, and that's going to be a kink for the kids with sleek modern experience -, like getting back to the Mac Commodore. LeapPad and LeapFrog did their duty for a while, especially with letters (The Letter Factory) but it is not a long-term toy at all. I didn't try to build a library of those games as I sensed the interest would wane, with PC in the house with free games.

The LeapPad books wear out from 2 toddlers' use in 1-2 years, and the stylus loses sensitivity and becomes erratic (they are supposed to hit sensitive points on the book and the underlying pad is supposed to sense -- a primitive touch screen). I think it could be frustrating for someone who's used to sleek fast-responding touch-screens.

Nintendo DS starts at 6-7 years old. And by 8-9 PC and tablets reign. Video gaming systems are in the background throughout it all. LeapPad is a distant distant memory, all broken and no good to even sell the game chips, since they change the models.


    
This message has been edited by niahm12 on Jun 19, 2012 12:32 PM


 
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MargieD
(Login MargieD)

Barging in from the other board...

June 19 2012, 9:24 AM 

The same issue is on my mind.

My 2 year old LOVES the iPad. She thinks it's hers. Like you - I'm tired of sharing it with her. (smile)

I thought about getting myself a Kindle Fire so that I'd have something to use while she plays with the iPad.

After reading the previous posts - it's like the PP said - when you've had the iPad, it's harder to go back and enjoy the Kindle Fire like the iPad.

I'd imagine it's the same thing for a little kid, too - when you've had the iPad, how can you want to go back??

DH and I are looking into a cheap iPad - maybe get a basic basic model - which is $399 or something - but what she gets out of it is way more than what she gets out of anything else. It's probably the only toy that she plays with consistently. I may just sell her other toys and use the funds toward the iPad.

Also - My daughter does like the Mobigo... but after having it for about 6 months - it's starting to short out. I'm hesitant about the Mobigo 2.

 
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niahm
(Login niahm12)

iPad replacement

June 19 2012, 9:34 AM 

I am new to the world of tablets so don't know if we are going to be missing something with an Android tablet instead of iPad - but it's being delivered today -

just want to chime in about the "cheaper" option: ordered one on Aliexpress dot com for $130-ish (Android 4.0, 10 inch screen, 8 or 16gb memory (don't remember) etc etc etc), free shipping. 7-inch screens are there for under $100.


    
This message has been edited by niahm12 on Jun 19, 2012 9:42 AM


 
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Dixiechic
(Login dnj01)

Ali express?

June 19 2012, 10:59 AM 

Is there any catch to this site? Seems too good to be true. I am behind the tech times myself. Still don't have a smartphone or tablet, but starting to look into both. I would also like to know if the mac items are a must or are the alternatives fine. My DH does have a Samsung Galaxy tablet for work and likes it. His work did pay for it and they pay the monthly service.

Let me know how it goes with your tablet from AE.

 
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niahm
(Login niahm12)

sites I've used ETA

June 19 2012, 11:11 AM 

I've bought from Aliexpress, Dinodirect, and Alibaba and everything turned out OK (handbags, fabric, shop tools, ebook reader). The incentive was the free shipping as buying on Ebay from USA or the same Canada results in @#&*%$@ shipping fees to Canada, - while it's free from the other side of the world!

We are still waiting for UPS as they seems to have been lost in the province reaching us so I will report back.

One of the better features than Ebay-Amazon, is your money is in the escrow - the seller is not getting it until you got the goods and acknowledged that you are satisfied.

ETA: I am not planning on using monthly service, that is, no cellular capability is needed for us. Just hooking up to WiFi the way any laptop in the house would.


    
This message has been edited by niahm12 on Jun 19, 2012 11:23 AM


 
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BlessedThistle
(Login Blessed_Thistle)

*sigh* my poor kids. This is Jonathan's video game

June 19 2012, 9:53 AM 

[linked image]



[linked image]

 
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niahm
(Login niahm12)

I bet in 6 months...

June 19 2012, 9:57 AM 

or in a year your mommy's pre-school readiness will kick in... Now, at 2, this is very appropriate!

 
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BlessedThistle
(Login Blessed_Thistle)

Honestly they are doing great on this front

June 19 2012, 10:11 AM 

Sarah taught herself (we do have "Leaptops" and they enjoy books) all the letters and their sounds and can sound out simple words. She can make some letters and numbers though I think it is more of a happy accident and then she recognizes what she has drawn. Jonathan is not as interested in learning names of letters and their sounds (though knows some letters) but does pretend to read with his finger under the words. He is drawing faces and garbage trucks (he plans to be a garbage man when he grows up) and doing something that looks like writing. Both recognize numbers up to 10, are learning cardinality/ordinality, and doing some simple addition.

I know we'll have to start getting more used to technology but admittedly I am not ready!

[linked image]

 
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niahm
(Login niahm12)

OMG my dd wanted to be...

June 19 2012, 10:36 AM 

a garbage truck driver for a while and that's what they announced for her at her pre-school graduation (amidst ballerinas and firefighters).

Your kids are doing very well for 2-3 years old! May the technology not intrude on you guys for the longest time! We are just getting tablets, at 7 and 9, I stood as long as I could! happy.gif

 
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BlessedThistle
(Login Blessed_Thistle)

We have this wonderful book called Trashy Town

June 19 2012, 10:42 AM 

and our trashman is now also called "Mr Gilley" after the one in the book. It is their weekly thrill to run to the window (or better, outside) to see Mr Gilley. He's started looking for them and waving to them and beeping his horn, so even more special to them. My cousin (now a police man and was a teacher too...he's covering all the kid dreams!) used to be a garbage man so I am sure my kids will think he is the most awesome guy ever.

We are very lucky developmentally considering they were 14 weeks early...have to pinch myself sometimes. I think in the next few months we will get a Wii and Just Dance for Kids and 2-3 more video games. But I hope that for the academics, we can avoid too much electronics for a while.

[linked image]

 
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niahm
(Login niahm12)

the real push for technology has started

June 19 2012, 11:33 AM 

at around 4-5 years old here... You have time to enjoy the good old play. We don't have TV, neither, so PC with sites like NickJr, Nickelodeon, Peep and the Big Wide World have awoken their technology savvy.

 
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BlessedThistle
(Login Blessed_Thistle)

Sometimes I feel like I am doing them a disservice

June 19 2012, 1:00 PM 

but I guess what we are doing is working. Mine will go to kindergarten shortly after turning 5 (unless there are maturity issues in which case we will delay) so I guess as long as I get them a little more accustomed to the world of technology when they are 4, we will be doing well enough. :/

[linked image]

 
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Cathy
(Login WIThanks)

Well...

June 19 2012, 10:51 AM 

My dd prefers real computer games (like on the Sprout, Disney Jr., and Nick Jr. websites) to the games on LeapPad Explorer. She's 4. That being said, she does pick up the LeapPad from time to time to do some games on the ArtStudio cartridge. She didn't get bored with the LeapPad at first, since we had a slow computer then and she couldn't play the real computer games. Once we got a fast computer, she plays those games a lot more often then LeapPad. With LeapPad, you kind of get what you pay for. It's expensive, but not like a IPad or computer is. There is a more expensive tablet for kids, but I don't recall the name.

 
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shayrose
(Login shayrose)

thanks, all, for the responses

June 20 2012, 10:05 AM 

I'm still not sure and for now, won't be buying them. I'll wait until the new units are available and then decide.

The boys really love the dynamic visuals & content the iPad, iPhone or my laptop offers and one of their favorite things is to sit on my lap when I'm working and watch what I do. They are already embracing technology (actually have for about a year now), BUT I don't want that to be their only stimulation or source of learning material, so time using a computer device is limited. I am worried that the LeapPad will have a very short lifespan, making it just an expensive toy that gets tossed too quickly. For now, I'd rather let them occasionally enjoy what we already own, as far as computers, smart phone, etc.

Thanks again, you were all a big help!

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

 
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