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I was in two minds as whether to buy this for my three year olds birthday as usually Im not a fan of too much technology too young. After seeing one of my friends children using one etc I decided to bite the bullet and buy it. They are not cheap at £80, plus £15 for extra games oh and another £15 for a case etc. But I guess considering the prices of adult tablets its not too bad.
First of all you will need a computer with internet access to set it all up, downlaod apps etc. You need to download thw leapfrog centre onto your computer, this is where you can purchase apps and keep a track of what you child has learnt whilst playing on the leap pad. This is all very simple and straightforward (i would do this before giving it to the child for a birthday etc!). I found the variety of apps and ebooks on the leapfrog app store fantastic and alot better value then purchasing the seperate character games.
My daughter at 3 had no problems with using and navigating around the leap pad, she found no problems selecting apps, taking photos and reading ebooks. This probably down to the simple bright layout, the icons are vey large and easily recognisable to children. The stylus helps with precision, and the touch is responsive although can be a little slow.
I would say this has been a good value toy(?), its been used for around nine months and still looks and works great. I would definately recommend getting a plug in charger otherwise youll need shares in duracell.
My 4 year old has always had an amazing imagination and has never been near a "computer or games console" but i thought i should get him one as all his friends have some kind of console so i looked into this and it is amazing, it teach things like reading spelling and writing it opens the door to lots of avenues depending on the games you choose for your child, it also has learning songs built into it which he sits and sings to his 5 month old sister, he has learnt lots of new things since having it and it hasnt spoilt his imagination
you can download games from the site for as little as £3.50 which is amazing, download books, songs etc
It has a built in pet which he feeds and washes daily
My son would play on it for hours if id let him that is
Excelltnt buy for Christmas and although its a high price, it a toy for life as the games come in age ranges
We bought a power lead so my son can only play it plugged into the socket as batteries only last minutes
My mum is looking after three foster children at the moment and at Christmas she decided to buy the Leappad 2 for the eldest, Bruce who is seven and the Innotab 2 for the two younger children who were five and three at the time, she also bought the Innotab 2 for my son who is three (If you're reading this thanks again mum it is a great present. X). Mum managed to find both tablets for just under £50.
Bruce was as excited at his Leappad as the younger boys were about their Innotabs, the Leappad looks a lot more like an adult device than the Innotab and is definitely geared up to slightly older children. I was given the enviable task of setting up the tablets. The Leappad only took a minute to set up and once Justin had taken his profile photo and entered a few details he started to get to grips with it while I set up the Innotabs.
The Leappad has a directional button which makes some activities a lot easier such as some of the games which is an improvement on the Innotab but it doesn't have buttons to change the brightness which is unfortunate if you are trying to save energy or letting your child play with it at bed time. The stylus can be attached to the Leappad which is fiddly to do but very handy.
Setting up the Leappad on the computer was very easy as we already had Leapfrog connect installed for 'My Pal Scout', the computer just ran a quick update and we were good to go. the computer interface is very straightforwards and anyone with any computer experience should be able to use it.
The Leappad comes with Pet Pad, LeapFrog Learning Songs, Cartoon Director and Art Studio apps pre-installed, it also has a video recorder/camera that works with front and rear facing cameras and an eBook reader. All of the included apps are great fun and very well made. Cartoon director is probably the app that bruce has enjoyed the most.
Apps vary in cost, from three to twenty pounds, and quality so check out a review of the app before you purchase it. Many of the more expensive apps are also available as cartridges which are often cheaper than the digital copy. You get one free app with the Leappad and Bruce chose Jewel train which is a puzzle game and is great fun.
The cartridges cost around fifteen pounds. Mum bought Bruce the 'Ben 10' game cartridge. All Leapfrog explorer cartridges are also compatible with the Leapster GS and unfortunately that means they are often designed to be used with shoulder buttons. The shoulder buttons are available on the touchscreen interface but it feels a little untidy.
The Leappad is less battery hungry than the Innotab but when the low battery icon pops up you only have about two minutes as opposed to about quarter of an hour with the Innotab. As with the Innotab I would recommend investing in a set of decent rechargeable batteries.
The biggest negative point I have with the Leappad is that you can't put your own songs, videos or books on it. There is no option to upgrade the limited storage capacity but as you can't put on any of your own content it isn't too much of a problem.
The Leappad is much more of an educational toy than the Innotab, being able to track your childs progress through leapfrog connect is a great touch but would be better if it conformed to the UK key stages. The Leappad has an american accent whereas the Innotab has an English accent, this is something that I have often found slightly annoying about some other Leapfrog products.
The Leappad is advertised as being suitable for 3-9 years but in my opinion is more suited to 5-9. As the Innotab is more appropriate for 3-5 years it isn't really a question of which is better but which is more appropriate for the age of your child. If the Innotab or Leappad had Wifi it would be a major advantage and I would imagine that it would be included in the next generation.
As you may have gathered from my previous review (of the Innotab 2) I bought a Leappad 2 for my 4 year old daughter for Christmas (I bought the Innotab 2 for my 6 year old daughter). The Leappad 2 is a handheld tablet for kids, made by the well known brand Leapfrog.
First impressions of the Leappad 2 were that it was compact (significantly smaller than the Innotab 2 but with the same screen size), nice to hold, and easy to navigate. As with all of these sorts of toys, set up was required before any sort of play could begin. So with it being a Christmas present, I didn't want to be spending Christmas Day attached to the computer trying to figure out how to get the thing going.
I remember having to download some software from the Leapfrog website onto the computer and then having to connect the Leappad 2 and sync it all together, and I seem to remember having some issues with this, and if I recall I had to uninstall and reinstall several times before I could get it to work. But after much frustration I did get it sorted and could then begin inputting my daughter's details - such as name, profile pic and age. You can also select an age range because I believe some of the games for the Leappad 2 have different levels relevant to the age of your child. You can have up to 4 profiles on the Leappad 2, so both my kids have their own profile set to their own age range.
Games and Apps
Once I had that sorted I started to have a browse around the Leappad 2 to see what was already on it, and this is quite impressive (better than the Innotab 2). You get PetPad which is a really simple game but both my kids love it, it's basically a pet that you can feed, wash and play with. There is also an Art Studio already on the tablet, which is also very good with various tools and techniques you can use, and again it's something which both my children enjoy using. And if I remember correctly I also had the opportunity to download a free app (but only from a limited selection).
I wanted to add a few more games to the Leappad 2 for my daughter before she opened it on Christmas day, and on browsing the downloadable apps and games, I realised that the selection was a lot more varied than that of the Innotab 2. I also noticed that the prices were pretty varied too, ranging from £2 to £20, but the price reflects how complex (or not) the game or app might be. So once I had realised the games were quite pricey, I had a look on Amazon for one of those App Centre Downloadable Game Cards, which are £15 full price, and act a bit like a gift card, giving you a code to download £15 worth of games. However, they are sometimes on offer, and I got one for less than £10, so I was able (once it had arrived through the post) to download £15 of games onto the Leappad 2 for less than £10. And although it seems like the games are expensive, they are far better value and much more visually appealing than the games for the Innotab 2. The other good thing about the Leapfrog brand is that a few familiar characters pop up every now and then, such as Violet and Scout and Tag. So when I saw the Violet and Scout game I downloaded it without a second thought, and it cost just £5.
With the Leappad 2 I was able to provide my daughter with a more varied selection of games, than I was with the Vtech Innotab 2. This is because it was possible to select a couple of basic and simple games which are relatively easy and provide 5 or 10 minutes of instant fun. But I was also able to download a couple more complex games which have an extended game play and are something that my daughter can go back to and carry on where she left off as the game progress is saved each time she plays.
So although I think I ended up spending more on the games for the Leappad 2 than I did for the Innotab 2, I do believe it was worth it because they provide much more enjoyment and variety for both my children and it is the Leappad 2 that they argue over more than the Innotab 2!
The games are more detailed and just generally better, whereas the Innotab 2 tended to focus more on the educational side of things a little bit too much and had perhaps a 'dated' feel to them, the Leappad 2 games tend to be educational but there is a lot more enjoyment around the education. For example one of the basic games I downloaded was Roly Poly, and you have to guide a worm or caterpillar (I've no idea what it is to be honest) using the motion of the Leappad 2 around a maze making sure you don't fall down any holes, and at the same time you are collecting letters and spelling words. My daughters love the fun element of this, and don't even realise they are picking up letters along the way. This is especially beneficial to my 4 year old who will be starting school in September.
We also have 1 cartridge game for the Leappad 2 which I believe you can also download from the website for £20, and the cartridge retails at £19.99 but can sometimes be found on offer. My daughter enjoys this game, but from what I have gathered, both my kids have had plenty of enjoyment from just the downloadable games, without the need for purchasing additional cartridges.
With there being such a massive range of things you can download for the Leappad 2 from the Leapfrog website, there is no real need for purchasing cartridges (which let's be honest will more than likely go missing anyway!). I had not actually realised until today how extensive the range of downloadable apps for the Leappad 2 is. Not only can you download games, but you can purchase ebooks, videos, creative apps, music, flashcards, short clips from your favourite tv character shows....and there is something which fits into each price range, so although you can pay up to £20 for a single app, you can also pay as little as £2.
Both of my children were able to use the Leappad 2 straight away without needing any real help from me, the menus are really easy to navigate and everything they need is available on the home screen, there's no hunting for a particular app through different menus, everything you download you can see in front of you. The stylus is easy to hold and use, and is attached to the Leappad 2 with a piece of string, so it will never go missing! There doesn't seem to be any delay or lag when you are waiting for games to load, and when you turn the Leappad 2 on, it is ready to go within a few seconds (unlike the Innotab 2 which takes significantly longer). The screen is also very responsive so game play is not interrupted by a frustrated child jabbing at it over and over again. The colours on the screen are bright and colourful, and the camera seems pretty good too, although it does not have the quality of your average digital camera! Also, this belongs to my younger daughter, who, let's say, isn't the most ladylike and delicate of creatures, so it has been dropped, dribbled on, caked with food, left on the floor, stood on...the list is endless...and on inspection it has survived! I haven't even (much to my husband's disappointment) put a screen protector on and the screen is fine.
There is also (as with the Innotab 2) an online learning path where you can gauge your child's progress and it tells you how they are doing with particular areas of learning. I have looked at this once but I don't feel it is useful because I know how well my child is learning through everyday play, so I don't need an electronic device to tell me how clever they are.
As with the Innotab 2, I'd heard that the Leappad 2 was rubbish with battery life. It requires 4 x AA batteries, which do not come supplied with the unit, but I do believe now that you can actually purchase a charger pack with batteries designed specifically for the Leappad 2, and allows you to play whilst charging, but again this is an additional cost (at the moment the pack is £29.99 on Amazon). I'm not entirely with the brigade of people who say that this charging unit is an essential purchase, because there is no real need for a child who has been playing on the Leappad 2 long enough to wear the batteries out, to continue to play whilst it is charging up.
As with the Innotab 2 I have not had an issue with the battery life of the Leappad 2. We purchased a pack of rechargeable AA batteries and charger, and this has been adequate for us. My kids don't play on the Leappad 2 constantly, so the batteries can last for a very long time, and I have not had to charge up any batteries for weeks now. Yes if your child plays on the Leappad 2 for many hours at a time, then you can expect it to need charging up regularly, but if your child likes to do other things such as play with toys and draw pictures, then the battery life will not cause you any problems.
I have been really pleased with the Leappad 2, especially when you compare it to the Vtech Innotab 2. Although moneywise it seems more expensive, with the initial cost being anywhere up to £90, and then the additional games, batteries, charger, case (I made my own), you could possibly be looking at a total spend of nearly £200, which does seem a bit excessive for a child's toy. But I would much rather my children have one of these which I can control, than let them borrow my phone or Google Nexus and then accidently download some rubbish from the internet, or hack my Facebook account! And this way they are playing on things suited to their age range and remaining children for as long as possible.
If you are considering buying an electronic tablet for your child, I would definitely recommend the Leappad 2. It is fun, easy to use, looks modern and feels nice to hold, the variety of the games & apps is massive and suits a good age range. Some of the games are suitable for very young children, but there are games which suit a much older child as well, so I think this is going to be part of my daughter's life for a good few years (until the next gadget comes out anyway!). The range in prices of the apps is also impressive because there is something to suit every budget.
I suppose the only downside to the Leappad is that you cannot expand the memory, it comes with 4GB of memory (I've no idea what that means) which has been perfectly adequate for my daughter's needs, but some people may find this limiting.
Oh and one last thing which may annoy some people but doesn't particularly bother me, some of the games have american style voices.
Currently available on Amazon for £72.99 (in green) and £73.49 (in pink). Prices correct March 2013.
Whenever I get my tablet out my daughter asked to play or will try and lean over me and press the buttons, because of this I decided to get her a tablet of her own. After looking around I decided on the Leap Pad 2. Normally it is priced around £80, but because I bought it in November I managed to get it for £64 in John Lewis.
The tablet is for ages 3-9, my daughter is almost 2 but as she is already quite handy with my phone and tablet so I thought she would manage to work it fine. The tablet comes in 2 colours green and pink. It requires 4 x AA batteries to work and these aren't supplied. You can get a rechargeable battery pack however before christmas this was sold out. I got some ordinary rechargable batteries Leapfrog recommend 2600mHa for best results.
The Leap Pad 2 can be customised and because of this I opened the box to set it up for my daughter so it was ready for Christmas day. The tablet has a 5 inch screen which is encased in a child friendly surround which measures 2.6 x 13.3 x 17.9cm it also weighs around 998g. The tablet is contoured to fit comfortably in your hands. At the front of the tablet is the on/off button, the volume a home button, the left, right, up and down button, the speaker and a camera at the top of the tablet. On the right hand side is the stylus which fits into a slot and can be adjusted to suit right or left handed children, at the top there is a micro usb port to connect it to your computer a slot to put in a game cartridge and a headphone socket. Finally on the left hand side is a port for the power cable and a microphone. There is also a camera located at the back of the tablet.
To set the tablet up for the first time you need to switch it on and create a profile for your child. The tablet enables 4 profiles including a guest profile. You can chose a picture for your child and also a level to meet their age requirement. Once this process is in place you need to connect the tablet to your laptop and download the Leapfrog software. This is a straightforward process and as we have other Leapfrog products I was able to add the Leap Pad on easily.
The tablet is designed to help your child learn with the help of 2500 apps from the Leapfrog store and also games that can be purchased separately. It comes with a 4GB memory which will hold a lot of apps for your little one. You can either use a debit/credit card to pay for apps or you can purchase and app care which I did on Amazon for £10 giving me £15 worth of downloads.
You get a few apps on the tablet as standard including a Pet Pad which allows you to customise a pet and then feed, bathe and play with it, you also get a camera which is fairly decent at 2MP and more than adequate for a child it also enables them to record videos, finally there is an art studio which allows drawing and colouring. I also downloaded my daughter a ebook of Finding Nemo, some videos including Pocoyo, a Finding Nemo reef builder game and a colouring app with Scout and Friends.
The tablet was easy to set up and I was impressed with the quality of the screen. I had read reviews that had said that the screen was difficult to work and not very responsive however I found it to be fine with and without the stylus. The only difficulty I had was getting it out of the box it was so difficult and once it's out there was no chance of putting it back in to wrap it.
My daughter was thrilled to receive this for Christmas and the first thing she wanted to do on there was play with her pet, she chose a cat which she was thrilled to discover could be any colour she chose so he is now green! you can choose the food that you feed to him there is a choice ranging from bananas to cakes and carrots. You can also was the pet and then blow dry him by blowing into the microphone.
The eBooks that you can download are brilliant they read the story to your child and allow them to press charaters on the screen and interact.
The Finding Nemo reef game that we downloaded which is for ages 3-5 teaches your child about different sea creatures by collecting them. It also encourages them to learn to count. My daughter has no problem opperating this game and moving Nemo along the screen using her finger.
Her favourite app on the Leap Pad however is the Scout colouring and friends you can chose from pre drawn pages and tap to colour choosing a colour from the pallet or you can start on a blank page and customise it using stamps and different drawing tools including a paintbrush and a marker. The stamps are brilliant my daughter loves them as they are interactive so for instance if you choose a spider he will walk and make a noise, bubbles pop and the animals move and make their noises.
The Leapfrog store has a lot of choice for different age groups the apps are catagorised depending on what they teach there are some for reading, writing, science, maths, geography, drawing and just for fun to name a few.
As my daughter is very small the apps for the first age group are very basic, she can already count to 5 and enjoys counting along, she also likes to take lots of pictures of herself using the front camera which is a decent camera and takes clear pictures.
I was concerned about the battery life of the tablet as the reviews I had read said it eats batteries however the rechargable batteries I bought last a few days and we have two sets.
Since Christmas the Leap Pad has had a lot of use, my daughter takes it to her nan's and to her great nan's as she doesn't have many toys there. She likes to watch videos on it in the car too even though I have bought her a dvd player for the car.
You can also get accessories for the tablet including a case which for us was an essential as we take it with us most places there are also headphones and gel cases.
I would recommend this, I can see my daughter using it for many years it also saves my phone and tablet getting a bashing and it has been a godsend when we go out for food or on a visit and my daughter gets restless. You can also connect it to your computer and it will show how many stars your little one has collected and their progress on the games and apps.
The only downside is some of the apps are expensive but once you have purchased one it can be shared on other Leap pads which is ideal if you have more than one in the house.
For me this was well worth the money as it has provided my daughter with hours of fun.
I do not like children been stuck in front of a computer screen! They should be having fun!! Until my twp daughters aged two and three got obsessed with the alphabet app. A few days after they learnt the alphabet. So to save my phone battery we looked around and seen the new leap pads that had come out! They looked fab. Only problem is that you have to purchase the adapter separate and batteries dont last long. The games are a bit over priced, but you can buy an app download card, where you can purchase the apps off your profile that you set up via the internet. All the games you buy are put onto your account and you can put them on both leappads!!! So you do not have to buy two of everything (a big mistake i made) The apps range from £3.50-£20. Some apps have previews on so you get a rough idea. In all honestly the leappad is a bit old for my two year old, but she loves playing with the pet, drawing and the camera. The camera is really good as the child can take photos of other people and of themselves without turning the leappad the other way round. They can listen to music from princess to the alphabet song. (We brought headphones separate). They can use their fingers for the touch screen or use the pen. The children have fun but learn things at the same time which is fantastic! Learning is fun!!
The downsides of this product is that you have to buy the adapter separate and it is a bit heavy.
Im 23 and i love this! The games are fab and so much fun!! Lovely product.
Many people feel that giving a touch screen pad to a young child takes away from them learning and playing and this was what we were worried about while looking at the Leap pad for our 31 month old son, however having eventually got one we have learned that it is infact the opposite. The type of touchscreen technology that is used by leapfrog in the leappad2 is very similar to that which is used in everyday life for adults in things such as phones, computers and touchpads so is good for learning how these touchscreen applications work in a fun and educational way.
The Leap pad2 is not only fun and modern but has many learning applications suitable for the younger child, these are available to buy from their online app store at a slight extra cost, these include reading, writing and songs as well as a number of games which are just for fun. The age range for the Leappad2 is 3-9 years, however I feel that most of the applications at the moment are aimed at younger children, there are many which are learning to write letters and count etc so would maybe be a bit too young for the average 9 year old.
The Leap pad2 its self is very sturdy, comes in a range of colours and includes a number of applications that are free to download once connected to a computer. The initial download does take quite a while so is worth doing before giving it to the child so that they are not sitting waiting.
My son has found it extremely easy to use and enjoys having the freedom to use his own touchpad whenever he wants without having to use my husbands and I feel happy that most of the applications that are present on it are educational and that he cannot purchase any 'top-ups' by himself.
Overall I feel that the Leappad2 is a fun, modern and educational toy which would be most suitable for preschool age.
Bring learning to life with the green Leapfrog LeapPad2 . This new and improved version of Leapfrog's amazing kid-friendly tablet is packed with learning games and activities . It has a better battery life and memory capacity than the original and it's faster too - but it still looks great and has all the features that made us love it the first time round, including: Video and music player Cameras on the front and back Video recorder Compatible with over 150 game cartridges and apps On top of all that, the stylish touch-screen tablet comes with built-in apps that allow you to: Look after a virtual pet Direct animated cartoons Learn and sing along to songs Make masterpieces in the art studio The LeapPad is about combining fun with learning, so while the high-quality content will wow tech-savvy kids, mum and dad will be pleased that it boosts all sorts of skills, from spelling to drawing. There's even the option for parents to check up on progress or enter maths sets and spelling lists for extra practice. You'll need 4 x AA batteries to work the LeapPad2, which are not included.