“ Brand: Leapfrog / Type: Educational Toy - Toy Laptop / Type: Electronic Learning „
My son received this leaptop for his second birthday. I believe it was purchased at Home Bargains for around £15, which seems a good price for a toy of this type (and even better having seen that it is currently selling for £30 plus on Amazon). It is for ages 2 years plus and is basically a toy laptop - so if they take an interest in mummy's/daddy's this can be used as a substitute (as with all things, this probably won't work but worth a try!).
For those familiar with Leap Frog toys, this one has the same key character - Scout - a dog with a rather annoying voice! The laptop is designed as a real laptop would be with a screen that flips open and a keyboard at the base. My son's version is coloured green and white plastic rather than the more traditionally girly pinks and purples pictured above. The toy requires 2 x AA batteries (which are provided) and is said to be a mixture of 'fun and educational activities'.
There are different settings that can be selected using a sliding switch located at the side of the laptop - abc, animals or music. Then, when the letter buttons are pressed a friendly, child like voice (Scout) tells us the letter or what animal begins with that letter, for example 'E is for elephant' and then we hear an elephant noise. The screen then displays the letter and a picture of the animal. Therefore the laptop encourages fine motor skills as they child pushes and slides the buttons. It also provides them with great learning opportunities as they learn the letters and animal noises.
For me, the best thing about this toy is that you are able to synchronise it with your own laptop and personalise it for your own child. You can select their name from a list of names (fine as long as your child has a fairly 'common' name). Also, be aware that, for some reason the character seems to pronounce 'R's' as 'W'. So, when you switch the laptop on it will greet your child with their name on the screen as well as saying their name. You can also personalise three emails from people your child loves - mummy, daddy etc or a friend (again, as long as their name is on the list). You can then select from a number of pre written emails and responses that your child can send back. Another thing that you can customise is the music the laptop plays. This is good as you can select the songs (nursery rhymes) from the list that your child has a preference for but also, once you grow sick of the same tunes, you can remove and change them for new ones.
Overall, this is a nice learning toy and I love that you can personalise it for your child - it certainly adds to the appeal for my son who loves to get an email from his cousin! He loves to use this to learn his letters and he has a love of animals so like this aspect too. I'm not sure it is worth the £30 plus it is selling for on Amazon but if you can pick it up for £15 it is well worth it for younger toddlers.
My daughter has been asking for a 'puter' as she calls them for a while now, she loves my laptop but unfortunately it doesn't love her and she has a habit of uninstalling my programs and moving things around. I looked at a few laptops for her but none were age appropriate as the vast majority are targeted at 4+. I came across this Leaptop in Toys r us, it was on offered at £14.49 and is aimed at children 2+ my daughter is almost 2 so I thought it would be ideal. We had a little go in the store and she was very excited so I bought it to put away for Christmas.
That was 4 weeks ago. Unfortunately for me I thought she would never look in her wardrobe as she has never been in there before but she did and she found the Leaptop. I hid it somewhere else but my daughter kept looking in the wardrobe and asking for 'puter, puter' so I gave in (I know perhaps I shouldn't have) and gave it to her.
The Leaptop comes in two colours green for boys and purple for girls.
The Leaptop requires 3 x AA batteries which are included. It also features a British voice.
The Leaptop is lightweight and when folded has a carry handle. To the right hand side is a mouse slider button which can be used to select different modes for the Leaptop to operate in. This includes the alphabet which teaches letters and phonics, it also shows an animal whose name begins with that letter. The second mode is music mode during which the keys become notes and musical instruments then finally there is an animal mode whereby clues are given about each animal and your child can then guess the animal. The Leaptop features a keyboard arranged in the order of the alphabet. At the top of the keyboard is an email button, a blog button and a music button. The on/off button is located to the top right and the Leaptop has 2 volume settings. Finally the screen is relatively small and is black and white.
The Leaptop features emails, music and blogs like an adult computer. You are able to customise the Leaptop by connecting it to your computer. You get a usb lead included with the Leaptop before you can use this you need to download the software from the Leapfrog website. We already have the software as we have Violet the talking dog. Once the software is downloaded which takes minutes you can then add your child's name to the Leaptop from a preset list of names. My daughter's name was on the list and there is a wide selection of names, it does say on the software that the list is not exhaustive so if your child has an unusual name you may not be able to find it.
Once the Leaptop is customised when it is switched on it says 'Hi' and then your child's name. My daughter loves this as she has recently started saying her name and when we ask her where Eva is she will point at herself! The volume button is fine on the first level however my daughter likes to slide it back and forth.
When the computer is turned on on the screen you see Scout the dog and he waves. If the email button is pushed the dog will read the emails to your child. I preset emails off Mummy, Daddy and Nanny. When you are on the website it allows you to choose from different variations such as Mum, Mummy, Nan, Nana, Grandma and so on so it can be tailored to your child. The emails are simple along the lines of 'Hi ____ I love you very much, love Mummy' or 'Hi _____ I miss you lots and can't wait to see you, Love Daddy'. The Leaptop also automatically responds to the email again these are simple sentences like 'Hi Daddy, I miss you too, Love ____'. The blog button will show Scout on the screen describing and showing your child what activities he has got up too during the day. The last button on the keyboard is the music button, on the software you can choose what songs you want the Leaptop to play from a selection including Twinkle Twinkle, Row your Boat and the Alphabet song.
The last feature of the Leaptop is the mouse feature. In the first play mode which is alphabet mode when the buttons on the keyboard are pressed a voice will tell you the letter, the sound it makes and finally which animal name starts with this letter. The screen will also show the relevant animal. In music mode the buttons on the keyboard will make different animal sounds and the bottom of the keyboard makes piano sounds you can also get the Leaptop to play songs while your child plays along to the music. Finally in animal mode when a button on the keyboard is pressed like 'm' for instance a monkey noise will sound and ask your child to guess which animal this is. Then once your child has guessed they can push the paw button on the keyboard and the screen will show the correct animal and tell your child the animal's name. The words and voices on the Leaptop are very clear and some of the words my daughter tries to repeat. The voice is the same as other Leapfrog products and my daughter recognises that the voice is the same as her Violet dog.
My daughter is still a little young to sit and play with it in one mode, she has a habit of pushing all the keys and sliding the mouse changing the mode constantly. Sometimes when she will tell me what animal noise is being made if I play with her. The Leaptop is very robust it hasn't been dropped or thrown yet but I am confident it will be ok if this happens. The screen isn't the most sophisticated as it is black and white and the animations are simple however my daughter recognises each animal and in general enjoys the pictures on the screen she also really enjoys it and loves the music mode as she can bash the keys away to play a song.
As my daughter gets older and her attention span gets longer I am sure she will play with this more. In the meantime she has fun carrying the Leaptop around and showing it off to everyone as well as pressing all of the buttons.
I really like this toy it is great value for money and will help your child with early learning. 5 out of 5 from us.
We have a couple of apple laptops at home that we use and my daughter has seen us use these and so has become quite proficient at using them. However, we wanted to get her her own child friendly laptop that could get her used to using one but that also was for kids and so taught her letters and words etc. There are quite a few on the market so we had a bit of choice but we decided upon this Leapfrog one as it was the most authentic looking and the best well made one as well.
The laptop has a flip screen which you lift up and then there is a sliding on/off button. The lower portion of the laptop has the keys with all the lower case letters on their own individual keys, these are well spaced and easy for little fingers to press. When you press one of the letters, a, for example the laptop will say a, sounds like aa and gives an example of an animal that begins with the letter a, in this case alligator. The letter a is also shown on the screen on the flip up portion of the laptop and a picture of an alligator is shown too. This is achieved when the laptop is in abc mode. You can also switch it to a music mode and when you then press the keys it will play a tune. You can also use the laptop in animal mode and when you press a letter the voice will give you a clue about an animal and you can then press the paw button( so named as it is shaped like a paw) to reveal which animal it is.
The screen is not like a proper computer screen, it's a basic one that just shows black and white dotted images but its still good enough in my opinion to show everything you need to see.
With the help of a USB cable provided with the laptop you can programme this laptop to make it unique to you. There is an e-mail button which allows you to send personalised mail and also a button that allows you to set up your own music playlist.
The laptop is nice and compact and when it is all closed up there is a handle at the top which allows you to carry it around so it is a nice portable toy as well. I think we paid in the £30 region for this laptop and in my opinion is a great learning tool but a fun toy too.
I bought this Leaptop to put in my growing stash of presents for either my daughters birthday or Christmas. Being the soft touch mummy that I am, I gave it to her early because I knew she would enjoy it, and I would enjoy it just as much.
** Packaging **
This Leaptop comes in a green cardboard box with a cut out to see the actual product, this enables you to 'try before you buy'. Taking the Leaptop out of the box is easy, it's attached to the box by some new clips, simple pull and turn them and they come free, none of those awkward ties! Within the box there is also a USB cable to attach the Leaptop to a PC or laptop.
** What is it? **
Essentially, this Leaptop is a laptop designed for preschoolers. No, they can't access the internet, or produce word documents, but they can use it as a learning aid for letters, animals and imagination play!
The Leaptop is a miniature version of a laptop, its around 30cm in length and 20cm in width. When open, the Leaptop has a small screen, around 5x4cm, a keyboard with the alphabet in alphabetical order and a paw button, three buttons for email, music and Violets blog. The mouse on the right hand side can be moved to choose between three modes, animals, music or letters. Once it's closed there is a chunky handle so it's easy for children to carry it around with them.
** Personalisation **
The Leaptop can be personalized to the individual child. This is done by downloading the software from Leapfrog's website, it only takes about 5 minutes. Once downloaded connect the Leaptop to the computer with the USB cable provided, this can be quite tricky if, like me, your USB ports are on the back of the computer as the cable is short (around 30cm at a guess), the USB connects to the Leaptop by a slot covered by a slide on the side.
Once everything is connected you are ready to go. First the software will ask for the child's name. Type it in then press find and it will come up with the name with a speaker icon next to it, which if pressed will say the name chosen. I didn't think they would have my daughters name in the database, or if they did it would be spelt in a different way, but they did!
After the name has been chosen its time to personalise three emails. There are eight different little messages to choose from, from "you are so special to me" to I'll be there soon to visit you", then there are a huge range of people that the emails can be from, auntie, pops, nana, and a whole host of other relatives, if however you didn't want the email to be from a family member you can just enter a name.
The final piece of personalisation you can do to the Leaptop is the music. The Leaptop will accommodate one sing-along song, and five melodies. There are five different sing-along songs to choose from such as the alphabet or numbers song. Then there are fifteen melodies to choose from like Frere Jacques, Mary had a little lamb and Twinkle twinkle. There is a random select button so if making the choice is unbearable simple click that and it chooses for you. After these have been picked unplug the Leaptop from The USB and it's ready to go!
** The leaptop **
Turning the Leaptop on is simple, there is a slide that has three options on it off, low volume, high volume. As soon as it's turned on Violet the puppy will say 'Hi Kacie' then the mode that is currently selected such as 'let's learn about animals, push a letter button'. I'll go into what each mode does further down.
No matter what mode is on, if the email button is pushed Violet will read out the email and it will show on screen, one of the emails Kacie receives says 'Dear Kacie, you're a great friend, love Alfie', then Violet will reply to the email 'Dear Alfie, you're a great friend too, love Kacie'. In addition to the three emails personalised earlier there will also be some emails from Violet too. The music button will start playing the songs that were chosen during personalisation, whilst the songs are playing Violet will dance around the screen. Once the blog button has been pressed it Violet will then say her blog (in a strong American accent) one of them is, 'New blog entry, I spent the day at the beach today, Kacie is there a place you like to visit?'.
** The different modes **
Pushing the mouse on the side of the Leaptop up and down will select the different mode, these are:
When each letter is pushed a male accent will say the letter, then Violet will say something that starts with that letter, like S for seal. When first letter of childs name in this case K for Kacie is pressed an American boy says that's the 1st letter of your name, lets celebrate it, Violet will then pop up on the screen and do a dance.
Whilst music time is selected each of the letter buttons on the keyboard will make a different sound. Each letter of the top row on the keyboard will make a fun sound, some of these include whistling, mooing and bouncing sounds. The middle row is percussion sounds, and the bottom row is normal piano notes.
The animal mode is more suited for older children as it asks questions about animals and then answers them. After pressing a keyboard button Violet will ask a question to which the animal answer will begin with that letter. One example of this is pressing the T button Violet will ask who lives in a shell, then she will say 'press the paw button to find out', after pressing the paw button she will answer Turtle.
** It's playtime! **
I made sure I personalised Kacie's Leaptop before she knew she had it as it would have been a total disaster trying to get anywhere with her trying to steal the Leaptop, or turning the computer off like she normally does as soon as it's turned on. After personalising the Leaptop I had to have a go (to test it out, obviously!). I quite enjoyed the music mode, using the piano notes I quickly remember how to play Frere Jacques from when I learen't it in school, a year (or ten...) ago.
Once Kacie awoke to find this Leaptop sitting next to my laptop on the kitchen worktop she just looked at me and smiled. She quickly took it into the lounge to find out how it worked. She managed to turn it on, and shrieked with delight as Violet said hello to her. At 20 months old when Kacie received this, she was below the recommended age, and I believe she was a little young to understand what everything did, and the different modes. She just loves pressing all the keys on the keyboard at the moment, copying mummy I think! This means she doesn't get the educational aspect of the toy as in the alphabet mode once a key is pressed a letter will be heard, but if another key is pressed immediately after it will automatically go to that letter, and so on. Kacie presses ten different buttons then finally hears A is for alligator. The animal mode is punching way above the limits for her age, asking questions with the answers being something Kacie has never even heard of before.
One thing Kacie will listen to is the emails. She knows her 'nana' is going to be emailing and presses the button until her email comes through. I really like the personalisation aspect of the Leaptop, younger children can engage with it, and it means something to them. If Kacie could talk I'm sure she would tell me this is her favourite part. The Leaptop isn't very heavy, and the chunky carry handle means that she can carry it around with her at ease. She has thrown it down the last few stairs before, it still works fine and there aren't any marks on it so it is very durable.
** Useful info **
The Leaptop is available in two different colours, pink or the typical Leapfrog blue and green. It can be found on sale by most toy shops, I personally purchased mine from Amazon. It costs anywhere between £15 and £25 depending on where you shop. The Leaptop is suitable for children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old.
** Overall **
I would definitely recommend this Leaptop, the quality is fantastic and educational aspect will be fantastic when Kacie is older. The only gripe I have with it is the odd American accent used for the blog, I'm not sure why Violet's voice hasn't been used for this too. As a child's first laptop I think this is great, Kacie enjoys playing with it, and as she grows older she will be learning new things with it instead of just pressing the 'moo' noise button. It caters for the younger end of the age range with the basic letters and music modes, then caters for the older age of the range with the animals mode, which I personally think children older than 4 will like too.
Price wise, I think the Leaptop is excellent value for money and would have been happy to pay a little extra. Stick this one on your Christmas present lists mummies!