Our house is strewn with various Leapfrog games of various vintages. The kids have played with almost every one - until the Nintendo DS came along - but they're great fun and a good way to keep the wee ones occupied when they have their eye on your cellphone.
Two new Leapfrog models add a few interesting features to the already popular (and inexpensive) line of electronics.
The LeapPad 2 is a $129 device that lets kids play tablet-based games and read kids' ebooks. It comes in three colors, including Rapunzel pink, and additional games cost $60. It requires four AA batteries.
Kids can use it to take pictures and draw, and wallpapers that come with it allow youngsters to personalize their screens. The device supports downloadable content, and you can play games, make music, and learn to spell right out of the box.
The Leapster GS looks more like a handheld gaming device than a tablet. A large, central screen displays games and ebooks and it has a built-in camera that can take still pictures and video. It has 2GB of memory built in for storage and supports most of Leapfrog's collections of apps and ebooks.
The GS costs $70, about $20 less than the Nintendo DSi. Leapfrog games are always rated G, so there's little chance of the kids finding a violent title in the bunch. However, I've found that kids often outgrow these games fairly quickly, which could mean this falls into the toy basket a few months after you buy it. Still, as a gift for kids around the holidays or as an early learning tool, it's considerably more educational than traditional game systems.
Sure, it's no Mario Brothers, but helping Dora wander through her jungle adventure on the GS is still pretty fun!
Is your house as full of Leapfrog games and gadgets as ours?
Images via Leapfrog