LeapPad Explorer: An e-reader / gaming hybrid for kids
Title: LeapPad Explorer
Hardware: LeapPad Explorer
Thinking you’re not ready to let your child take over your Nook, Kindle or iPad? Looking for something a little more durable, and less expensive?
A lot of parents are thinking like that. And one company is listening. Leapfrog, the California-based makers of interactive toys for kids has recently introduced the LeapPad Explorer. It’s a proprietary e-reader –and activity tablet—just or kids.
LeapFrog is positioning this tablet for “eager learners” because it doesn’t just help kids read. It’s got a camera (video and still), a screen kids can write on with a stylus, and it can be filled with a variety of applications—some, like math flash cards and logic games—have nothing directly to do with reading. There’s an app, for example, that teaches kids how to brush their teeth.
Books for the LeapPad Explorer have to come from the Leapster Explorer library.
The screen is five inches diagonal and shows nice colors. Apps can be controlled with a finger or a stylus. It’s fairly thin, but has a hard plastic backing that can withstand a little more abuse than your average e-reader built for grownups.
All LeapFrog products, including LeapPad Explorer, allow parents to check on their children’s progress. They can receive receive e-mail updates with reports that show what their kids have done. This is a very cool attribute, as anyone with elementary school aged kids knows, sometimes it’s hard to draw information out of them.
“What did you do this afternoon, Timmy?”
“What kind of stuff?”
Your email updates lets you “leap” over those unproductive open ended questions and have real conversations:
“I see you played I Spy today.”
You can dig right into a discussion that benefits both parent and child.
LeapPad Explorer retails for about $100 and games range from about $8.00 to $25.00.