Sunday, November 2, 2008

Children's gifts ideas

Christmas gift for kids
LeapFrog® Leapster® Learning Game System - Green

Product Description
Now parents and kids can both feel good about time spent playing electronic games with the Leapster Learning System by LeapFrog. An exciting library of educational games (sold separately) turn this handheld device into a conduit of exciting learning adventures that teaches reading, math, critical thinking, vocabulary and more. Kids can play fun games, read electronic books, create cool art and watch interactive videos. Color display on backlit screen is gentle on the eyes while the jack for optional headphones is gentle on other people's ears. Ages 4 to 10 years. Imported.


Product Details
Amazon Sales Rank: #42 in Toys & Games
Color: Green
Brand: LeapFrog
Model: 20200
Released on: 2006-06-12
Dimensions: 11.00" h x 11.00" w x 3.10" l, 1.40 pounds

Portable interactive system with action-packed games focused on learning essentials for preschool to fourth grade
Comes with 2 games built in.
Expandable with large library of games
Teaches phonics, spelling, math, art, music and more


Editorial Reviews
Here is one handheld gaming system that both parents and kids will be able to agree upon. The Leapster Learning Game System takes the brain-building principles that Leapfrog laid out in its earlier electronic learning devices (which have an interactive book format) and applies them to a video-game format. Leapster draws kids in with familiar video game templates—all of which have a secret weapon: a built-in learning component. LeapFrog hopes that kids will become so engaged in the gaming aspects and familiar television and movie characters offered by this toy that they won’t even notice that they’re learning and reinforcing valuable reading, math, and language skills.

Aimed at 4- to 10-year-olds, the 6-by-4-inch Leapster is sized for little hands and comfortably shaped with safe, rounded edges. The 2-1/4-inch touch screen is ample for most of the gaming activities; although a little cluttered when used for the art and drawing modules. Buttons are suitably placed on either side of the unit for thumb-operated control. The right side features "A" and "B" buttons for selecting settings and answers while the left has a multi-directional gamepad for game play. A pen is also attached for drawing, selecting tools and settings, and dragging and placing objects. The 3-inch backlit display makes games visible in the dark (although parents will prefer that the Leapster is shut off at bedtime) and the animated graphics, while not completely state-of-the-art are well done and suitable for this age range.

The Leapster Learning Game System takes the brain-building principles that Leapfrog laid out in its earlier electronic learning devices (which have an interactive book format) and applies them to a video-game format.


As with the manufacturer’s LeapPad products, the Leapster does require the purchase of additional cartridges to expand its capabilities. Kids can choose titles with their favorite characters to play educational games with. The star-studded list of celebrity narrators includes TV personalities, such as SpongeBob Squarepants, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Dora the Explorer; and movie stars, such as Nemo, Cinderella, Ariel (The Little Mermaid), and Batman. Leapfrog’s own cartoon star, Tad, is narrates a few as well. While stocking up on the extra software titles can get expensive, it also gives parents some control and input on which characters they’d like their kids to learn from. And, characters for these titles are appropriately matched to the maturity of the targeted grade level (pre-K through 4th grade).

Starting up or hitting the Home button takes players to the main menu. There is one staple pre-loaded game that children will likely come back to again and again. Rabbit River is based on the Frogger game format, but with an additional learning element. In letters mode, kids guide their bunny to hop floating logs to the other side of the river while jumping on specific letters to identify them or spell out a requested 3- or 4-letter word. In numbers mode, the bunny must land on specific numbers on the logs to skip count by twos or form a correct equation. The other pre-loaded activity is Color Corral, an interactive coloring book designed to boost creative problem-solving skills. This module is like a kid’s version of Photoshop and offers a variety of scenic templates, colors, tools, and moving icons that kids can combine for an infinite number of possibilities. The included manual gives suggestions on how to reinforce these math, reading, and art concepts in the real world. .

Each game offers multiple skill levels so kids can ease into new territory at the beginner level and challenge themselves with more advanced learning problems as they understand the concept. If kids are stumped at any point during a game, they can hit the Hint button and receive a friendly push in the right direction from an animated tutor, Edison the firefly. Edison also appears automatically if kids answer a question incorrectly several times in a row and coaches the child to reach the correct answer. The Pause button lets kids stop the game for a snack break and pick back up again where they left off.

Designed for portability, the Leapster fits easily in a backpack or tote bag and is ideal for more purposeful edutainment on the go, whether it’s a quick game on the bus ride to school or hours of playtime during vacation travel. This learning system runs on four AA batteries or on a rechargeable battery pack when combined with the Leapster L-Max Recharging System (sold separately). Leapster covers this handheld device under a 3-month warranty. --Cristina Vaamonde

From the Manufacturer

Play Anywhere . . . Learn Everywhere! The Leapster Learning Game System teaches in the way your child loves to play! Kids can play action-packed games that teach skills for preschool through 4th grade. Multiple learning levels, tailored tutorials and a wide variety of learning games take advantage of both the multi-directional control pad and the easy to use stylus. This ensures that children are learning skills while playing the video games they love. With Leapster, the name of the game is learning! Appropriate for ages 4 years to 8 years. All Leapster games work with all Leapster systems.


Customer Reviews
Breaks easily
Having 3 leapsters in our house, I can say with certainty- they break. And for something so pricey, it's disappointing. And I wish I learned with the first one and registered it with them, as when it broke and called them, I wasn't sure if it was within it's one year 'warranty' period.

They did offer to replace it for about 3/4 of the current price, which I accepted. I received a refurbished one which stopped working the second time it was used. Very disappointing. Especially since I could have bought a new one for $9 more.

The first time one broke it was dropped from about 3 feet. The second one broke and the sound stopped working without any trauma from my kids.

Best money spent so far
This toy has already provided my son with hours of entertainment. He doesn't even have a game for it yet. We decided to see how our 3 year old would do with the system's games first. HE LOVES IT. He picked up the concept very quickly, and to my surprise, knows exactly what buttons to push with very little help at the start. We also look for durability in a product, as he is only 3, and his sister is not yet 2. (She tends to pick up his toys). He has dropped it by accident a few times; again, pleasantly surprised... no scratches, dents, and still works fine!

No complaints.
We bought this for my son's third birthday, and almost two years later he still loves playing with it. It has been very durable, and most importantly doesn't drain batteries at a ridiculous pace. Some of the games available for this system are better than others, but overall we've been extremely happy with our purchase.

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