LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Letter Factory

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Letter Factory Game Poster Image
Froggy friends help preschoolers learn the alphabet.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to recognize upper and lowercase letters and letter sounds. They can also practice basic spelling and writing letters. LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Letter Factory offers solid activities for early writing and reading.

Positive Messages

The characters emphasize the fun in learning letters and spelling.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters are trying to help another fulfill his dream of taking on the shapes of letters by teaching him the entire alphabet.

Ease of Play

The game has a tutorial at the beginning, but the youngest kids may still be confused about how to progress. Also, some kids may struggle with drawing the letters accurately enough for the game using the stylus. Otherwise, it's easy to navigate.

Violence & Scariness
Language
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Letter Factory is a preschool learning game tied in to the LeapFrog video of the same name. The game targets kids in the 3-5 age range, although a few may need some adult assistance. Kids can learn letters, their sounds, and how to draw them.

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What's it about?

In LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: LETTER FACTORY, kids joins Leap, Tad, and Lily as they help new friend Burfder on a quest. Burfder can change into any shape he wants, but he doesn't know the alphabet well enough to transform into a letter. Leap, Tad, and Lily invite him (and the player) into the Letter Factory to learn more. In the first activity, Tad asks kids to tap all examples of a certain letter before time runs out. In the next one, Lily asks them to find a picture that has the same starting sound as the letter. Once they guess correctly, they can play a ball drop game. Lastly, Tad has kids trace the capital and lowercase versions of the letter. Lily has a second game that involves choosing the correct missing letter sound to form the word shown in a picture. Kids can return to Leap for a new letter or chose to explore the factory. As in other LeapFrog games, kids can earn badges for completing certain goals. They also earn stars that allow Burfder to transform into a letter of their choosing. Parents can track their child's progress via the LeapFrog Connection application.

Is it any good?

LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Letter Factory is a playful way for kids to learn the alphabet and early literacy skills. Unfortunately, the "games" aren't all that fun (with the exception of Lily's ball drop) and game play may start to feel repetitive with 26 letters to play through and nothing to vary the activity. The activities are age appropriate, but young kids may be confused and/or overwhelmed by trying to learn to identify both the upper/lowercase letters, recognize their sounds, and draw them, all at the same time. Parents may need to help young kids get started. Despite a strong premise and educational foundation, this title feels like it focuses on too narrow of a topic without sufficient variation to sustain interest over a long period.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about preschool learning, such as letter sounds and which everyday words/names start with which letters.

  • They can also discuss times when they helped friends to learn something new.

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For kids who love preschoolers

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