Lisa Thornbury: Party Mummy


A LeapPad2 Review

No More Sharing Your Phone

I usually let my daughter entertain herself with my smartphone when we’re out running errands or grocery shopping, but my child’s fine motor issues, combined with the small screen, frustrate her.

Know what frustrates me? When she deletes apps from my phone or worse, buys them without my knowledge! Also, call me selfish, but I like to have access to my phone at all times. One never knows when a hilarious tweet might pop into your head which, as fellow SM addicts can attest, needs to be shared immediately.

Another hazard of sharing your phone…“Toddler Texting.” I can't be the only one who’s had to explain obscene Auto-Corrected text messages and/or heavy breathing to random members of their contact list.

When we received a LeapPad2 tablet to try, both my daughter and I leapfrogged for joy. Not only did I get my phone back, it's like this tablet was made for my child; easy for little hands to hold and manipulate and it’s sturdy…as in, I won’t have a conniption if (ahem...WHEN) she drops it.

A thoughtful new feature is the ability to flip the screen. My daughter is learning to write her ABCs and as a “Leftie” the Left-Hand Mode makes it easier. Click the L at the top of the screen and you’re able to use the stylus on the other side. Brilliant.

My most appreciated feature? The volume control and headphone jack. Sometimes silence is indeed golden.

Here are a few Tech Specifics of the LeapPad2:

  High resolution touch screen—5” TFT screen with 480x272—responsive to finger-touch and included stylus (which is attached...if you have ever owned a Nintendo DS,  you know how important this is!)

  Runs on four AA batteries (we use recharables), but you can purchase a new internal battery system and recharger pack so the tablet can be charged by plugging it into the wall

  4 GB of storage/memory

  Built-in front and back cameras, video recorders and a microphone—the front camera allows kids to take self-portraits

My kids love to edit and alter their photos in all kinds of ways. Even creepy child + chihuahua ways like this

My kids can amuse themselves for hours with photo shoots around the house. Factor in the editing process afterwards and this mama just gained herself some invaluable "me time." Woot!

The LeapPad2 is a gaming system (buy cartridges or download games from the LeapFrog App Center), an impressively good camera and an interactive ebook reader.

It comes with:

  Art Studio—a virtual place to create art, filled with art supplies

  Pet Pad—design and play with your own pet and learn to write the letters…so perfect for us write now (pun intended)

  Music Player (with five LeapFrog Learning songs included)

  Cartoon Director—a huge hit with my nine-year-old son! Choose the setting and characters (even superimpose your own photo onto the face of any character). Move the characters around to animate them and then record your voice to tell your story. The app puts it all together to create your finished project to share!

  One free app download—we chose the Letter Factory video; one of my daughter’s faves and great to have on the device to take with us on the go!

So now when my daughter is left to her own devices, she actually has a kid-friendly device of her own! There are 325 games, apps, music, and videos to choose from. The LeapPad2 connects via your computer to the LeapFrog Learning Path, a service that updates parents on how their kids are doing on the tablet, and recommends which products to explore next.

Now when the grandparents ask what to get for birthdays and Christmas gifts, the kids can tell them which game, book, or video they would like. Perfect for learning something new every day.