Loving Leapster Explorer

9 Mar

Children these days are already exposed to a plethora of technology. In fact, they are probably constantly trying to play with your touch- screen phone, tablet or any other electronic device that is lying around the house. My son is no different. That is why I jumped on the opportunity to get him a Leapster Explorer this past holiday season. Although it was quite the splurge for a 2 year-old ($69.99) it was worth EVERY PENNY!

I wish I would have investigated the setup before letting my son open it, but my husband said I shouldn’t play with his toys before he does. It’s just not fair. Well, we definitely paid the price. Once you get the Explorer you must plug it into to a computer to set everything up, and my son was not having it! So, I had to wait until he went to bed that night to really investigate all of the fabulous features of this touch-screen wonder.

The Explorer is portable, yet the buttons are large enough for children who are still developing their fine motor skills. It also includes a stylus that is ATTACHED to the game console so little fingers are less likely to lose. But, the best part about it is you don’t have to use the stylus if you don’t want. You can use the touch screen with your fingers. This was a must for my toddler, because he was used to playing on my IPod touch and Pop Pop’s IPad.

Leapster really did a phenomenal job of incorporating all of the familiar features of other touch-screen products and made them kid-friendly! They have an e-book feature using the Leaplet Learning Apps. We downloaded the Dinosaur’s Roar book, which is completely interactive, and the pictures on the page come alive with just one tap of a finger. The Leaplet Learning Apps allows you to purchase more reasonable games than the cartridges (which can run around $24.99/ cartridge), and they are just as fun! My son loves the “Jewel Train” game in which you have to rearrange the tracks so the train can get into the station. He struggled with this game at first, and originally I thought this way out of his reach (academically), but he soon came to successfully completing several levels!

My son’s favorite cartridge game is “Toy Story 3”, but it was a little challenging for him at first. It has an interactive board game layout, and your little learner can navigate through various activities on the board without having to complete or pass the level previous. This made for a happy mommy, because I didn’t have to go through and play the levels he couldn’t pass! It touches on skills such as letters, phonics skills, rhyming, word recognition, word building, spelling, and Physical Science. Of course, this is all the while that your little learner thinks they are Buzz Lightyear or Woody, which truly does give them a thrill.

All of the games, accessories, and console itself can get pricey, but they are worth it! I put all of the items on my little guy’s Christmas list and that helped a lot. So, I would definitely suggest making this a “big” gift and suggesting things for fellow family members or partygoers. Everyone loves to get a child a gift that is not only educational, but a gift they will love and treasure for many years!

About The Blogger:

In addition to running her own blog, Running on Empty Mom,  Rebecca Gillis is a full-time college student, job coach and teacher’s assistant for special needs children, wife—and, most importantly, a mommy. Rebecca started contributing to an online town newspaper for Collingswood and Haddonfield this past January for AOL, which has also kept her quite busy! She is finishing up her teaching and writing degrees at Rowan University and hopes to make a difference in the lives of her future students and readers.

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2 Responses to “Loving Leapster Explorer”

  1. Patty Kennedy March 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    This was a great introduction to the Leapster product. Reading this prior to or soon after purchasing the Leapster can aid many Parents in using this product.

  2. LeapFrog March 17, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Thanks for the review of Leapster Explorer. We posted (and linked to) this review on our Facebook page today.

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