We are big fans of LeapFrog products in this house, having had a few over the years for the boys, the latest one being the Ice Cream Cart, which Benjamin had at Christmas and loves still now. We were pretty damn excited when an email popped into my inbox asking if we wanted to be ambassadors for the brand – of course, we said yes!
If you’re not familiar with LeapFrog, they are a brand that is well known for their educational toys and games and are fantastic. Being a former teacher, I’m a big fan of toys that are not only fun for little ones but have some sort of educational value.
As part of our LeapFrog ambassadorship this year, we’ll be telling you all about Leapfrog’s brilliant products and we are very excited that we get the chance to review some of LeapFrog’s educational toys and games and share them with you.
The boys were recently sent the LeapPad Ultimate to try out. I’d heard so many good things about it, and we couldn’t wait to put it to the test. We’ve had various tablets over the years, and with three boisterous little boys, a tablet needs to be robust and durable. Thankfully, the LeapPad Ultimate is perfectly designed for small people. It has a shatter-safe screen and a rubber bumper that wraps around the screen, which makes it bounce when it drops – which the boys have confirmed works on multiple occasions.
The LeapPad Ultimate is available in green or purple and is aimed at children aged between 3 and 9. It’s much more child-friendly, and in my opinion, a much better choice for kids than the other tablets on the market. It has a decent sized processor (1 GHz), a 8GB memory and a 7-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution, delivering big, crisp, sharp graphics. The screen is touchscreen, which can be controlled with fingers or the soft-ended stylus, which is handily attached to the tablet. On the front of the tablet, there is a directional pad and home button, making it easy for kids to navigate.
What I particularly love about the LeapPad Ultimate is the secure parent controls. With internet safety being at the forefront of my mind, I want to monitor what my children access. On the LeapPad, I can create a profile for the children, disable wi-fi (brilliant at bedtime!), limit access to particular apps and set time restrictions. If I only want them to play for an hour, I can set it so it turns off after their time is up.
What the LeapPad does well is games and apps. It comes pre-loaded with plenty, and there are over 800 available to download at a cost from the LeapFrog App Centre. The apps that come loaded include the PhotoFun app, which lets kids add stickers and funny filters to the photos they have taken on the LeapPad (did I tell you it has a 2-megapixel camera built in?). My kids love messing about with the filters on my Snapchat, so they love this! It also has a pet chat app which allows them to chat with friends who also own a LeapPad – you can check the messages before they send them. As well as the apps, you can also purchase cartridge games for the LeapPad Ultimate – the boys have had a Paw Patrol game, which they love! I also really like the ‘Just For Me’ learning technology, which personalizes some of the games, remembers progress and automatically adjusts some of the learning levels.
The tablet has a web browser which is much safer to use than the ones on other tablets. It gives the children access to pre-approved content which has been put together especially for children. It isn’t as wide-reaching as Google, but it allows the children to explore the internet safely.
The kids (and us!) really like the LeapPad Ultimate. Whilst in the summer, the kids are too busy playing outside to want much in the way of screen time, I’m conscious that in the winter, we sometimes rely on them when the weather is too rubbish. The fact that these aren’t just fun, but are educational takes away a lot of the guilt!
The LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate costs £122 on Amazon (click here to buy). which, if you compare to it Apple prices is cheap, but compared to devices such as the Amazon Fire, it is quite pricey. However, it is much safer, much more educational and much more robust, so is a much better option for a first tablet.
*We were sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own and have not been influenced in any way. Contains affiliate links.