My fairy blogmother apparently took pity on me since my last product review was for bleach. Granted it was the sexy Tom Jones of bleaches, but she decided I needed a little excitement in my life, or at least some toys to distract my girls during the holidays. A PR representative for LeapFrog toys e-mailed me before Thanksgiving and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a couple of hot holiday toys. I wrote her back as fast as you can say, “Mama needs a personal shopper and a pitcher of margaritas, stat.” (Although, who am I kidding…a pitcher of margaritas would leave me comatose and subsequently hungover like a freshman the morning after her first frat party.)
The LeapFrog brand toys are already favorites at our house so when the box from LeapFrog arrived it was like Christmas in November. Caitlin instantly took to the Lightning McQueen game for the Leapster Learning Game System (or Lightning the Queen, as she says.) And as I type this review she is playing with the Backyardigans game, which is enabling me to have a few minutes to blog! (Bonus!) I was a little concerned at first that it might be too complicated for her but after about 10 minutes she was glued to her Leapster and maneuvering the controls with ease. It was great to bring along in the car Thanksgiving day while we traveled to see our parents. The only problem is that I have had to limit her time playing with it. But for rainy days or road trips or those times you need a few minutes to yourself, it’s a hit.
LeapFrog also sent us the Little Leaps Grow-with-Me Learning System for Amelia to test drive. It’s targeted for children ages 9 to 36 months. The system works via your television and DVD player and the interactive learning discs come in either baby or toddler level. The controls actually flip over so that the toddler version has a joystick for your child to maneuver the games and the baby controls are colorful shaped buttons. Although it’s geared toward babies and toddlers, even Caitlin has enjoyed helping baby sister play with the First Steps disc, which helps introduce numbers, counting, shapes, and colors.
Now these toys are not inexpensive and the discs and cartridges are also a little pricey (Caitlin already has her eyes on the Dora game). If I had to choose between the two, I’d pick the Leapster, geared toward older children.
p.s. LeapFrog has a great lineup of educational and interactive online games on their website that are free and are quite entertaining.