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==Getting the Book==
A friend of mine gave my daughter the Leappad system an loads of books to go with it, my friends has both a boy and a girl so there were books for both sexes although more boy ones and because they are a couple of years apart there are books which cover a great range of ages too.
You can still buy the Leappad system although Leapfrog who are the makers have brought out a more up to date version so the system we have can only be bought second hand now although this does mean you can pick up the console pretty cheaply. The books vary in ages and prices, you can pick them up second hand for around £4 although you can still buy some new ones and these can be anything up to £23 which I think is too expensive for just one book.
==The Front Cover==
This book actually differs from the layout of all the others ones we have got as it hasn't got a red stripes down the side. The front cover of the book is made of really thick paper which has a glossy finish to it making it hard for it to get torn which is great in our house. The book has a large title on the front which says Pre Maths and then the book itself is called Lots and Lots of Honeypots. On the front there is a picture of Winnie the Pooh with coloured honeypots around him numbered 1 to 5. It tells you on the cover that this book teaches number recognition, counting up to 10, matching and classifying and social skills. The book doesn't actually have an age range like most of the books do but it states that the book is for up to age 5 which seems a little strange to me as the sort of things this book teaches your children are taught in nursery and therefore I would have thought up to age 4 was more appropriate.
To use the book you have to open the Leappad console which is done very simply by pushing in a button on the upper piece and then the console opens up like a book. You place the book you are going to play with inside the console and the spiral fits nicely into a gap in the console. You have to place the cartridge which matches the book into the console which is really easy as it can only fit in there one way and then press the on off button to start your play. The console is easy to work on my daughter is able to work the console and set up a new book on her own.
Inside the front cover of the book there are instructions on how to use the book and put the cartridge into the system. On each page there are a number of different symbols that you can press for different things, each page has a go button which you need to press as you begin to play on the page so that the console knows which page you are on. There is a speech bubble which when you press it reads the narrative on the page, there is a yellow bee for a numbers game and a red bee for a counting game, a repeat button and two triangles with volume controls in them.
The story follows Pooh who sees Piglet with a wagon containing the things from his house in it, Tigger comes along and explains to them that if you have things you don't want Christopher Robin can give them to people that need them. Piglet asked Pooh if he has anything he doesn't need anymore but Pooh gets confused, he struggles to find anything to give until he opens his cupboard and finds 20 empty honeypots. Pooh explains that half the honeypots have honey in them and he keeps the others so that he has somewhere to keep any really nice honey that he finds but he decides to give away ten of the honeypots.
I think the story is really nice and has a lovely message to it and even Sophie points out how nice everyone was to give things away that they don't need, I think this is a really valuable message to give a young child.
The games in the book are very simple, there are little games like finding a certain number and then there are groups of bees for your child to count and see how many there are. When Pooh opens the cupboard with all the honeypots in it they all have different shapes on them and your child can play a game to match up the shapes. The games are really pretty simple as the book is for up to 5 years and even though my daughter is only 5 this book is too easy for her and she can play all the games with ease which is why I think the book should be up to age 4.
Sophie loves playing on the Leappad and she loves the books that go with it but this isn't one of her favourite books simply because the book is too easy for her. She might have enjoyed the book more if we had been given the console a little earlier but my younger daughter will learn plenty from the book. I would say that Sophie would only give this book 4 stars as she does actually play with it every now and again so she does return to it but it just isn't a favourite.
I think the whole console and the books are fantastic, the books are great quality and they don't get damaged easily. The pages are very brightly coloured so they are inviting to a young child and the whole book is easy to use. There are many things on each page for your child to interact with that they can have hours of fun and learn many things out of one book. I would give the book 5 stars but will stick with 4 as I think Sophie's opinion is more important than mine in this case.
Leap Pad Leap Start - Lots and Lots of Honeypots
Our little one has just got to the age where she loves reading and anything interactive, so we decided to buy a leap pad from a friend for the low price of £5. A Leap Pad is an interactive learning tool which requires a cartridge and book to match. By using the special attached pen, children can interact with the stories, play games and read all whilst learning. Of course, it needed books, so I went onto Ebay and found a selection of books for children up to the age of 5. One of the books I purchased was Winnie the Pooh's Lots and Lots of Honeypots which I picked up for the small price of £2.50 including P&P which was a bargain considering I have seen these going for £11.99.
The books can be read the standard way, though to use the book on the leap pad, you must insert the matching cartridge into the slot and place the book onto the leap pad. My little one can insert the cartridge and lay the book out absolutely fine without any help which is a bonus!
This book is aimed at children under the age of 5 or preschool-K
On each page there is little button which says 'go'. This is places in different places on each page so that the leap pad corresponds correctly with the book. Throughout the book there is a story about Winnie the Pooh and friends as they give away items they don't need anymore, including Pooh eventually giving away a lot of empty honeypots.
There are various buttons to 'press' with the special pen;
Speech bubble - when pressed, the leap pad will read the story to you. You are also able to use the pen to read at your own pace by running it over each individual word.
Games - There are approximately two games per double page which all help the child learn in one way or another.
Volume control - You are able to turn the leap pad up and down in volume via the buttons on each page though beware, the leap pad turns up quite loud!
Repeat - This allows the child to hear the words on the page once again.
The child is also able to touch the pen to the characters on the pages to hear them speak as well as items on a page to hear the noise they make.
There is also some fun music on various pages such as playing a tune on the empty honeypots - this activity brings a lot of fun to my little one.
My little one absolutely loves this book, especially considering it is a favourite character in our house. I also enjoy working through it with our little one and love watching as they learn from the pages filled with story and games.
My son has had his Leappad for over a year now and loves it. We have quite a selection of books as he gets them for Christmas and Birthdays from his grandparents as well as from ourselves. We chose this one for him as it concentrates on counting and simple maths for pre-schoolers.
For those of you who are unfamiliar to the Leapfrog Leappad, it's a learning aid that requires a book and a cartridge to use. There is a pen attached to the system and children can get interactive with games, stories and learning by touching various places on the book with this pen. If you want to know more details of this system you can read my review on it too.
Before starting to use this book make sure the cartridge is pushed into the side of your Leappad so as it knows which book you are about to use. The cartridges are made of a pretty sturdy plastic casing with an opening at the side to be attached to the Leappad. In this case there is a picture of honeypots on the top of it as well as written title. This is great as my son can pick the corresponding cartridge out of the storage unit with no help from me, which makes him feel more independent.
There is always a story in the Leappad books and each page has the words written at the bottom of the page. Your child can choose to either touch the words in turn to hear the story or they can touch the speech bubble at the start of the page to hear it being read to them. On every new page your child should touch the green go circle at the side of the page so that the system knows which page they are on.
This story features the favourite AA Milne character, Pooh Bear who of course loves his honey. It starts with Pooh chatting to his good friend Piglet and Pooh is curious to know what is in his wagon. Piglet explains that it's things he doesn't need any more and so Christopher Robin is going to give them to somebody who could put them to good use. Tigger also has a wagon filled with his unwanted items in it.
Pooh can't think about what to give away so Christopher Robin decides he should give some of his empty honeypots away as they figure out that 10 is plenty to hold spare honey. The story ends in a lovely way as Pooh agrees that it would make others as happy as him to have pots to store honey in.
"His cupboard was half empty, but his heart was twice as full."
***The Learning Factor***
In this book the main learning activities are to learn and identify numbers from 1 to 10 and to learn how to count them. There are also games that encourage your child to recognise different shapes and colours as well as how to match objects. Problem solving and music are also included in this book.
Of course as well as all that, there is also the basic aspect of helping your child to recognise words for themselves and learn to read.
On each page there are simple games for your child to play along to. To access these games there is a symbol at the bottom of the page to press. In this case it is a bee for a counting game or a musical note for a music game.
The first 2 games feature numbers and we are asked to find a certain number on Pooh's front door. When you touch the correct one you are given a victory Yippee or such like, which lets your child know they have found the right one. The other game involves finding the right amount of items on the page and then finding the number that matches that number.
As we go through there are matching games that not only matches items such as a table and chair but items that are the same colours or patterns. Another good learning game is when Pooh's thoughts are mixed up and you are asked to find everything in the thought bubble that isn't quite right. These include a snowman indoors and a banana in a boot. This is a good logic game for children.
Further on we learn about size and measurement and see who is the tallest and smallest out of the 4 friends as well as seeing the size of the vegetables in the garden.
Music is also included where you can play tunes on honeypots and then play them back. Shapes and colours are also involved on the same page as you are asked to touch honeypots that are a certain colour or have a certain shape on them.
Detection is the name of the game on the next game as you are given clues to find the honeypot with the bee in. Then be treated to a song from Pooh where you have to find a number in sequence.
There are more shapes, numbers and comparison games as the book goes on before ending with a Honey Trail which involves finding items on the way as Pooh delivers his unwanted honeypots to various woodland friends.
The last page gives your child a chance to recap what he has learned by finding numbers on the page and counting the items under them before ending the book helping Pooh sing a song about them.
***Other Fun Activities***
As well as the reading and counting in this book your child will have lots of fun touching items on each page and hearing characters add bits to the story or funny noises coming from everyday objects such as trees or mirrors. This is a constant source of discovery and if my son finds a sound he finds amusing we have to put up with him touching this item over and over again as he imitates the sound or phrase.
There is also a useful little song from the fire in the fireplace reminding children that it's not safe to play with fire, which introduces safety.
***The Age Group***
This title is aimed at the under 5's and my 4 year old son manages most of the simple games on his own. Of course if he gets the answer wrong there are clues given to help him make the right choice. Each time he uses this book he gets more and more choices correct first time. The good thing is that although each game is the same format, your child will be given different things to find each time so they learn new things every time they play.
I am a big fan of the Leappad system as it encourages so many different learning aspects in one book. It can be expensive but you can often pick up the books in sales in Woolworths and Argos. Argos are selling 5 books at the moment in their clearance sale for only £14.99 although we have a few titles already so unfortunately that option is out for us at the moment. Woolworths has this one along with some others for £5.99 just now and the Leapfrog shop also has some titles reduced so it's worth stocking up the books to keep for your child as they get older and progress through the stages.
This book has been a real help for encouraging my son with recoginition of numbers although he was able to count up to 20 before he got this at Christmas. The instructions that are read out on each activity are clear and easy for a child to understand although as with most things like this, it is good to give a bit of supervision, especially when the book is new to them.
The pictures and voices of Pooh and his friends are very much like those on the films so this helps with continuity if your child loves watching these too. It is no surprise that Disney has a hand in producing these books. My son was already a fan of Pooh and his friends so we knew this would be an enjoyable part of this system for him. I love reading it with him too as I'm also a big Pooh fan.
The games are varied throughout the book so there is no chance of boredom setting in halfway through the book and the sounds are wonderful too, although some can sound pretty strange. I often catch my son touching words and repeating them as he is doing so, which is great for helping him recognise sounds and simple words.
***Price & Availability***
There are many places you can buy the Leappad books from including Argos and Woolworths but there is an online shop too at www.leapfrogshop.co.uk where you can get the books as well as other products in the Leapfrog range such as the Leapster for older children or The Learn & Groove Activity Centre.
We managed to get this on sale from Argos for only £4.99 a while back but it is available from the Leapfrog shop for £11.99 plus 75p delivery although this delivery charge is only billed once even if you have more books or larger items.