Nowadays Leapfrog educational toys create a completely different image about learning and fun than I remember about so-called 'learning toys' of years ago. In fact, nowadays this toy line covers developmental and educational toys for kids of all ages. And Leapfrog's age-specific categories take serious note of every child's learning needs.
By now you and the brand professionals know that…
Babies learn by experimenting… that's why their toys have been designed to increase visual and hearing skills and aid recognition development.
Preschoolers are getting ready for class… so there's a toy range to teach ABC's, numbers, phonics, vocabulary, and even writing.
Elementary school kids benefit from products focused on interesting subjects… their computerized toys enhance math, language arts, history, and science.
Middle school-aged kids seek personalization in everything… this toy brand's handheld computer games provide study assistance in math, science, social studies and even test prep.
Below is a list of some Leapfrog educational toys that I used for cultivating academic interests in my kids. Of course the age of the child played a huge role in the success of playing with the toy.
These babies are very young and need to develop a number of skills. The idea is to introduce them to the basics of certain essential learning concepts... which the toys below do rather well.
LeapFrog Baby Counting Pal Plush The toy has rightly been described as the 'multi sensory learning experience'. This colorful worm toy is divided into five segments with numbers from 1 to 5 printed on them. Each section is a different color and each section has its own push buttons. Apart from the basic introduction to the concept of numbers and colors, the toy also introduces the child to the world of classical music. There are songs about numbers, songs about colors and also classical tunes from the likes of Mozart. All the child needs to do is press the buttons on the segments of the worm to get the corresponding music playing.
For those of you who are wondering why such a toy would appeal to a small 3 months old, there is more to this LeapFrog creation. There are several tactical and sensory stimulators in the toy. Various materials that 'feel' different from each other, to materials that sound different too, are all part of this Leapfrog educational toy. A squeaking bird, a crinkly bee, a rattling butterfly, a lady bug bell, etc all combine to make this toy a delight for a 3 month old too, despite the fact that she has not even learnt to sit up as yet, leave alone bother about academic excellence. With four modes of play and five tactical activities to offer, the child does not bore of the toy easily. The attachment straps allow you to place the toy anywhere right from the crib to the car seat. All in all a great value for money toy that has awesome adaptability.
LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table This particular Leapfrog educational toy is suitable for kids who have learnt to sit up on their own. The table can be used with or without its legs and provides a world of sensory and mental stimulation. For the younger children there are a host of physical activities that help develop hand eye co-ordination and better understand the concepts of cause and effect. Motions like spin, roll, slide, open and close are all made available on the table. The 40 songs of the table make for great auditory stimulation while the colors on the table and the picture book is ideal for visual growth. The fact that the table offers both music and academic learning by offering the ABCD song and the number count to 10, makes the table a great learning tool and the perfect entertainment center too. This bilingual table grows with the child and works well during the 'pull up' stage of the baby.
These toddlers are inquisitive little creatures and whatever you expose them to will be copied by these kids in a minute. The Leapfrog educational toys for them need to stimulate them in mimicry, so as to help them to learn by using memory and repetition.
LeapFrog Learning Friends Phonics Bus Vehicle With 26 songs for each letter of the alphabet, this learning bus is a delight for kids. Songs like touch your toes, nose etc, helps the kid to learn about body parts without getting overwhelmed. The buttons on the bus provide for independent tactical play, while the primary colors on the bus are great for visually stimulating kids this age. Children learn to connect the visual of the letter to its name and sound too. A child's curiosity is tapped in order to build her creativity and encourage problem solving. Very well deserving of the two awards that the toy has received.
Here the age group of the child is slightly more advanced than the previous group. Now your child should be exposed to problem solving toys to learn about approaching and solving problems using her own physical and mental capacities. Below are a few Leapfrog educational toys that are ideal for this age group.
LeapFrog Fridge Farm Magnetic Animal Set The basic two piece puzzle concept forms the central aspect of this toy and helps kids to develop their cognitive and problem solving skills. There are puzzle pieces for five animals and children can make up to 25 combinations. The correct combination of the animal is rewarded with the name of the animal and its sound, while the incorrect one will get a silly name for the combination. These silly names have made my kids chuckle very often though. There are five banjo tunes for auditory stimulation and the child's hand eye co-ordination is given attention too. The storage of the puzzle pieces is convenient and the toy is great to carry along during long drives.
Leapfrog Alphabet Pal This is another toy that excites a child's sense of humor with its funny walk, giggling sound and flashing antennae. The alphabet song works well to help children memorize the letters by heart and that too in the correct chronological order. Apart from the letters and their sounds, the toy also offers music and color education. This pull along set works fantastically in helping kids understand cause and effect since the kids need to press a caterpillar leg in order to hear the name and sound of the alphabet.
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set A great toy to help kids learn the letters of the English language, their shape and their phonetic sounds. The alphabet song is very addictive and drives the chronological order of the alphabet home by adopting the repetition method. The letters are all bold and large enough to allow the tiny fingers to grasp them with ease. The color of the vowels is red, which makes the child understand the difference between the vowel letters and the consonants easily. A perfect way to brighten up your kitchen fridge.
The demands of this age group are much higher than the previous age bracket. Now your child probably knows the basics of letters and a few other vital things too. Best is to fine tune these skills rather than just put forward a basic blanket approach. The toys below will help to do exactly this.
LeapFrog Text and Learn This toy is not only about the alphabet but instead about how the letters of the alphabet can be put together to form words. The child can text to the dog named Scout in order to develop on the word building facility. The tiny buttons on this toy require the kid to master her hand eye co-ordination and work with great precision. This little mobile phone has the letters appearing in the same pattern as a computer keyboard and this allows the child to move ahead of the simple chronological pattern of the alphabet. On pressing a button, the letter appears on the screen along with a picture of what the letter can spell. The sound of the letter, its name and a word from the letter are all provided by the toy.
LeapFrog Scribble and Write A great tool to teach kids to write as well as read, this toy comes with a comfortable grip stylus that makes is easy to draw and write. The child's hand eye co-ordination is greatly enhanced while the dots allow for an easy tracing method. Practice is the corner stone of this toy that helps children to better their handwriting and also learn the right strokes by repeatedly working on the form of the letters. Since both the upper case and lower case letters are covered by the toy, it does have a wholesome approach to learning.
We are looking for some serious challenges to excite their senses and keep them engrossed in the learning process. Intriguing new challenges are required for these kids.
LeapFrog Leapster Learning Game System This interactive masterpiece comes with two built in games but offers an extensive supporting library. The screen size is ideal and the entire game is designed keeping the tiny hands in mind. Right from math, music, art, spelling and even phonetics, the game covers it all. Once the child has achieved a certain level of expertise, she can move on to the next one and thereby keep building on her learning skills. The hint button is highly beneficial and prevents the child from loosing confidence. The pause button is also welcome since it makes snack break much easier. Its easy portability makes it a great toy to carry along especially for long drives.
As is obvious, all of the Leapfrog educational toys listed above are extremely well planned and work to stimulate kids in the right direction. However, it is very important that the age of the child is in keeping with the challenges of the toy. The learning curve follows a certain pattern and ignoring this pattern can end up with the child learning nothing from the toy.