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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Leapfrog's Leapster Explorer

We were in the store recently and Matthew found the display for the new Leapster Explorer.  We weren't in any hurry that day, so I allowed him to play with the display model for a while to see if he liked it.  Well, he loved it!  He was able to try out Toy Story 3 and Penguins of Madagascar.  Both games are appropriate for his age, and challenge him to learn new things.



Matthew already had a Vtech V.Smile Pocket that we got him 2 years ago and he also had the Vtech Vmotion system that hooks up to the TV.   We made a deal that he had to go through the games that he no longer plays and sell them and his V.Smile Pocket on ebay to earn the money for the new Leapster Explorer.  He was able to earn enough money to buy the system and a new game!  He chose Toy Story 3. 

Leapfrog also offers LeapFrog Connect.  This allows you to hook up the Leapfrog Explorer for added content.  I was able to also download demo versions of The Penguins of Madagascar and Mr. Pencil Saves Doodleburg.  You can also buy Leaplet cards to download more games, ebooks, videos and more.




 Parents can also see their child's progress on the Learning Path.  You can view the results in a few differen ways.  You are able to see the amount of time that the child has played the game, the types of questions they answered, the percentage they answered correctly, and more.


I love being able to see his progress.  And I can utilize this as a way to reinforce and supplement some of the skills he is learning in preschool and at home.  There are characters that he loves and it fosters an interest in learning.  In the past, I have allowed him to play Nintendo DS, but what I have found with him is that it tends to lead to aggressive behavior when he reaches levels that he can not beat.  The Leapster Explorer adapts to your child's level.  So the content will remain challenging and encouraging without becoming impossible.  It also integrates with online content that we can play together in Leap World.  His favorite right now is a game with a scale where you balance the weight of various things or people.  He thinks it's funny to put an Ape, dog and Piano on one side and a bowling ball, mouse, and motorcyle on the other.  But he learning also about weights and measures because he sees the heavier side go down.  There is also a mode where they give you two objects and you choose which is heavier.  Another game involves sorting items for recycling by paper, plasic, or aluminum.  Which is a skill he can use at home in real life too.

Overall, a very good toy.  It's regular retail price is $69.99.  There are plenty of sales and coupons out there as well.  I used two coupons at Target while it was on sale and got it for $39.99 using a Target coupon and a Manufacturer's coupon. There is a $10 coupon on the back of some of the falvored Cheerios boxes right now.

This mom approves this toy!

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