What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this early learning aid makes preschool learning fun and interactive, but it has a few design quirks.
What's it about?
MY FIRST LEAPPAD LEARNING SYSTEM is an electronic learning aid for children ages 3 to 5. This blue plastic rectangle serves as a platform for flip books that become interactive when a software cartridge is inserted in the unit. Children use an attached stylus to press on objects or words on the page. A story is presented on one side of the book, and on the flip side are additional activities. To interact with the flip side, parents must take the book off the pegs and turn it over.
The learning system comes with the 15-page book "Leap's Big Day" about a boy frog named Leap and his daylong chase to recover his favorite kite. Leap hops on a train, a boat, an airplane, a hot-air balloon, and a bus in his pursuit. The activities side of the flip book introduce the alphabet, counting, shapes and colors, music, sound identification, professions, and parts of the body.
Is it any good?
The design of the flip books is somewhat clumsy. The books are a little tricky to insert, so preschoolers may have to rely on help instead of doing it themselves. Also, it's a little confusing to see upside-down images when you flip up the pages (which you can't explore until you take off the book and flip it over.) Kid-testers also had trouble remembering to touch the green "GO" sign to activate each page.
These design flaws noted, My First LeapPad is nonetheless engaging to use. And the add-on books make it easy to expand. This system offers a clever way to engage preschoolers in learning through interactivity that includes words, music, and sounds. The books feature simple stories with age-appropriate learning activities.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about which of the activities they enjoy most and why. Kids: What did you learn?