Product Type: LeapFrog Child Development
Newest Review: ... letter sounds, letter music and find a letter game, each of the settings is on a paw print shape which is coloured brightly either red, y... more
Learn your letters with Scout
LeapFrog Alphapet Explorer
Member Name: emmad5689
LeapFrog Alphapet Explorer
Advantages: Teaches all aspects of letters, plays game, easy to use, used by number of ages
Disadvantages: Letters are a little stiff
We bought this toy at Christmas or at least Santa did as a joint present for ours girls, our eldest is 4 and learning her letters so we thought this would help her with this and our youngest was 15 months at Christmas and it is with the toy having a suggested age range of age 2 and up we thought it wouldn't be long until she would be playing with it too.
Leapfrog toys are very popular and can be bought from the majority of toy shops and of course online too, I bought this from Tesco as they were doing a save a 1/3rd promotion on leapfrog toys before christmas and as the toy sells for about £15 this was a £5 saving which I was pleased with. The Leapfrog brand is one that I am very pleased with and confident in as I have always found them to be educational toys which are fun as well which of course helps a child learn without realising they are.
The toy is made from hard plastic and is mainly white and green in colour which is the usual colours for the Scout range which is a puppy that Leapfrog have used on a number of their toys. The toy is an oval shape at the bottom where there are 26 buttons each one is a white bone shape and each one shows a letter of the alphabet, the vowels are written on in red and the constanants are written on in blue. Above the over keypad there is a curved area which has a slider to turn on and select the play option your child wants, the slider is actually the puppy Scout which I think is really cute. Finally the toy has a carry handle integrated in the main toy which is great as my youngest likes to carry toys way from her older sister and sit on her own to play with them although I think this is more that she is not ready to share toys just yet.
There are four different play settings with this toy so it provides a great range of activities so I was pleased to find this, there are letter names, letter sounds, letter music and find a letter game, each of the settings is on a paw print shape which is coloured brightly either red, yellow, green or purple. I think the way the settings are so bright and friendly makes your child want to discover what the toy does which is great and I know this is the case with both of my girls as they both love to play with it.
Sliding Scout to this option you find he says let's dig up some letter biscuits and then instructs your child to push on a letter button to find out it's name, the puppy's voice is really cute and he will keep encouraging your child to push on the letters and there is a cute little bark to go with it too. When your child pushes on the letter the toy tells them the name of the letter as you would expect it to do however the voice is then of a man which sounds quite boring and I would have thought it would have been nicer said in the same puppys voice. Once the toy has told your child the name of the letter there will either be a little bark or a little tune after it which my youngest wiggles her bum to, it seems she really likes anything that makes a tune. I prefer my eldest not to play on this setting just yet as being 4 she is learning the letter sounds at school and learning how to merge them so I try and encourage her to play on the other options.
When you move the slider across to this option Scout asks you to listen to some letter sounds and to push a letter to hear it's sound so it is pretty much the same as the Letter Names option however when you press the button on this one it tells you the letter name and the sound it makes as well as giving you a word that begins with the sound which I think is really good as it gives your child a backup in the way of a word with the sound rather than just the sound. Sophie plays well in this option and we will sit and point to the letter and see if she can remember the letter sound before we press it to see what the toy tells us, she is actually getting really good with her letter sounds now and can name nearly all of them every time she is asked so I am really pleased with her progress. Emily doesn't seem to like this option quite as much which I think is because there is no barking for her to woof along with or tunes.
Moving the slider along to this option has Scout telling you to make letter music and to push a letter to make music, this option is a little strange, you press the buttons and if you get them in the correct order then the toy will play tunes such as Twinkle Twinkle. You start at a and your child needs to recognise when a note needs to be played twice to make the song sound right, we have actually found from this that Sophie has an ear for music but that isn't a surprise as her Great Grandfather could hear a tune and play it without the need for music and her Auntie has inherited the same talent too. Emily like this settings as she loves any sort of music but she just bangs on the keys to make them make a sound rather than making actual music.
Find A Letter Game
The title really tells you what you are going to do, the males voice asks your child to find the correct letter by the letter name, if you press the wrong button it makes a little beep and tells you what letter you have pressed. When you press the correct button the toy tells your child they have done well. You keep finding the letters the toy asks for and then after a set amount of time which I haven't worked out how long this is Scout will shout time to eat and pretend to eat the the amount of letter biscuits that you have found him. Eventually the toy will change and start asking your child to find the letter that a certain word begins with such as find the letter which bell starts with and stresses the b for your child, Sophie loves playing this game and she manages to find the majority of them in time.
Sophie enjoys playing with this toy and she really likes it when she can answer all the questions and is really proud of herself which is nice to see and of course she gets lots of praise from myself and the toy for getting it correct. The toy is really helping Sophie with her letters and we have progressed now that if the toy asks for the letter that cat begins with she will find it but also point out what the next letters are in the words.
Emily likes to try and take this toy from her sister whenever she sees opportunity, she loves the barking noises and the music settings, there is a large paw button which when on the correct setting will play the abc song and she loves dancing around the room to it. I think it's really funny watching her with it as she looks like she is dancing around a handbag in a club.
The toy has two volume settings which I always like on a toy so when the girls are both playing with noisy toys I can turn the pair of them down. The toy takes 3 AA batteries and are in a battery compartment on the back of the toy which is secured by a screw, we haven't had to replace the batteries in this toy yet and it is played with nearly everyday so I think the battery life is great. I find the buttons can be a little stiff and when we first got the toy I expected them to loosen a little but they haven't although the girls manage the buttons so it isn't an issue. I like how both my girls get something different from this toy and think this toy has had something to do with the improvement of Sophies letters although obviously she is learning these in other ways I think 4 months of play with this toy has helped. I would really recommend this toy and know that although Sophie probably won't have much use for it for too much longer Emily can still get another couple of years of play from it.
Summary: Fantastic learning aid