Our family loves LeapFrog. We have pretty much all of their educational toys . . . Leapster Explorer, My Own Storytime Pad, Tag Reading System, and now the LeapPad. The LeapPad looks like a kid-friendly version of the iPad where you can purchase and/or download tons of games, books, videos, and apps. There’s also a built-in camera so your little photographer can take pictures and videos to their heart’s content.
To use the LeapPad, you’ll first need to install the LeapFrog Connect Application using the included CD. Follow the easy step-by-step instructions to create a parent account as well as accounts for each of your children. This account will keep track of all the various LeapFrog toys you have registered and makes it super easy to add on more. It also keeps track of your child’s progress as they move through the various game levels.
Once you have your LeapFrog Connect Application and your LeapPad synced up, just create a user profile for your child on the Leap Pad by entering their name, grade, background, and profile picture. The profile picture can be a pre-installed generic image, one that you’ve downloaded, or you can take a picture using the LeapPad’s camera. Now you’re all set to go!
Our LeapPad came with pre-installed apps like camera, Pet Pad, My Stuff, and My Books. All these apps can be viewed on the home screen for easy access. You can purchase more game cartridges at the store or purchase apps from the LeapFrog Connect site.
We also received 2 Disney Ultra eBooks – Cinderalla & Cars 2. Both of these ebooks came on cartridges which is placed into the card slot on the top of the LeapPad. When the unit is turned on, you’ll see the coordinating app on the home screen. Just touch that app with the stylus and you’re on your way. These cartridges can also be used in the LeapFrog Leapster unit.
Cinderella Ultra eBook (Pre-K to 1st grade) Cinderella and friends set off on an adventure. See the story animate and touch words to hear them sounded out. Play games and learning activities to help Cinderella get ready for the ball. Teaches: Listening & reading comprehension, vocabulary skills, phonics skills and word recognition.
Cars 2 Ultra eBook (Pre-K to 1st grade) The wheel-blazing adventures of Mater and Lightning McQueen come to life on every page. See the story animate and touch words to hear them sounded out. Play learning games to help Cars 2 friends get caught up in a top-secret spy mission. Teaches: Listening & reading comprehension, vocabulary skills, phonics skills and word recognition.
courtesy of LeapFrog
The Disney Ultra eBooks were a big hit with both Kiana and Kaila. And since you can select the story’s reading difficulty (3 levels) the same story was appropriate for both of them. For example:
Level 2: Cinderella was nice and kind.
Level 3: Cinderella was sweet.
Level 4: Cinderella was sweet and kind. She cared for the animals around her.
But there’s more. What I really liked about the Ultra eBooks is that they’re more than just a story. Your child can get a real understanding of the words used as well as the proper way to pronounce each one. When you touch an image, you’ll hear the corresponding word. In addition, when you touch a word the matching image will light-up as well. There are also specific words in the story (underlined) that when they’re touched will bring up a pop-up screen explaining what that word means.
And when you get to the end of the story, you’ll find a glossary of the story’s more complicated words. Here your child can listen to the way the letters are pronounced to form the word as well as the word’s definition.
There’s also a game at the end of each story which allows your child to earn fun badges. These badges are used as points to customize games and make them more personal and interactive.
Some of the other features of the Ultra eBooks are:
- Reading Mode – Have the entire book read to your child with the pages turning automatically, have the book read page by page, or have your child read the book on their own.
- Story Map – Select a specific page you’d like to read
- Games – Each eBook comes with 3 games for your kids to play and enjoy
- Record – Record yourself reading the book
We found these Disney Ultra eBooks to be not only fun but very educational as well. And since the kids already love the characters they don’t even realize that they’re learning something in the process. I love the LeapFrog LeapPad because it means I can finally get my iPad back from the kids. They think it’s so cool that they have their own unit that looks like Mommy’s one and fits in their tiny hands. And with a wide variety of apps available online for immediate download, our LeapPad will always be our #1 source of entertainment and education.
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This post was written for LeapFrog who provided the complimentary product in exchange for our honest review.
Owner of An Island Life. A mother to 3 beautiful girls and flight attendant . . . living a blessed life in Hawaii.