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Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer – a thumbs up from us

Ok its no secret that in this household we are mostly in the camp of the techno-geek rather than the Luddite.


Its probably no surprise that actually we don’t totally enjoy our darling offspring playing with our nice new shiny gadgets.


Actually that’s  a lie.  We really don’t like having grubby little small child fingerprints all over our lovely gadgets.  I mean who on earth wants toddler slime all over their nice shiny new thing of wonder?


When we were offered a chance to give them a tablet of their own we leapt at the chance.  Obviously.


Leapfrog are launching their much anticipated LeapPad Explorer tomorrow and were kind enough to send us one to review.  First impressions were that its more rugged than an iPad and seems to put up with grubby fingerprints a bit better.  Our two love playing on my iphone or the ipad and they are deceptively technologically savvy despite being only the knee height of an elephant.  I was worried that this would not compare to the ipad.  I shouldn’t have worried.


The LeapPad will have over 100 different educational apps that can be loaded onto it.  The one we played with had an ebook that goes far beyond the ones we’ve seen before – the complexity of the story can increase as your child learns to read more words, or you can add your own narrative to it although since I’m still explaining to Bigger that its Lightening Macqueen not Lightening and the Queen this might be a little different from the real story.  I suspect we’ll be downloading Thomas and princess stories on it as soon as they come available.  The downloads are compatible with the rest of the Leapster range too.


Children can also make up their own story about themselves and their life, adding in pictures of friends and family from the integrated camera or video recorder.  The pad can store 30,000 pictures and 120 hours of video.  Yes the quality isn’t absolutely brilliant at 2 mega pixels but neither of mine complained.


The girls loved the rolling ball game, collecting food for a picnic by tilting and twisting the pad – its very responsive and the games are intuitive.  Like other Leapfrog games the pad remembers what you have achieved before so you don’t have to go back and start from the beginning every time.  You can also set up multiple profiles so if you have more than 1 child they can have their own set up, unique to them, trust me this is a great thing.


There’s an art studio where you can colour, paint and draw using your fingers or the stylus that comes with it (AND has bit of string to keep it attached to the pad plus a spare because you know unless its attached you are going to lose it).  You can also use the stylus to write letters whilst teaching your pet to do tricks in the pet care game.


This gets a big thumbs up from our girls.  It had to be wrestled off them so they could go to the zoo.  Its educational, seems to be rugged enough to cope with the demands of real life.  Yes its expensive at £79.99 but its going to get a lot of play and its going to grow with them as they get older.


Would you like the chance to get your hands on one of these lovely little things?  LeapFrog are running a marathon giveaway, commencing at midnight on Monday 15th August.  The event gives LeapFrog fans the opportunity to win a LeapPad package, complete with the LeapSchool Rading cartridge game and a free download card, on the hour, every hour.  You can also be in with a second chance to win by sharing the link on Twitter and Facebook.

LeapFrog’s instant win online event will run alongside the launch of the LeapPad Explorer at Hamley’s in London. On the day of the launch lucky shoppers will also be able to win a LeapPad every hour.
For more information check out the LeapFrog website.
Good luck and enjoy getting your phone or iPad back from the clutches of your child if you win one!
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