LeapFrog's range of educational toys is exceptional, and this interactive flipbook really has that "wow" factor. In the box it looks like an innocent book, but once assembled it provides absolutely hours of entertainment with a preschool teaching focus. The book reads the text to the child, then its magic pen allows the child to touch the text and reread difficult words. Rather like a computer game, the pictures in the page also respond to touch. Each page has two to three games on it where the child has to answer questions on the text or the pictures. The child only needs to respond with the pen, so children as young as 3 can easily play all the games. LeapFrog has made sure that this two-sided book packs in all the elements of a balanced preschool curriculum. Numbers, phonics, prereading, and numeracy skills come alive through the activities. Both nonfiction and fiction text are included with a variety of musical activities. There is even a volume control on each page for weary parents on those long car journeys! Be prepared with four AA batteries (not included) and a small screwdriver. The instructions included are not specific, but the illustrations on the box are self-explanatory. Perfect for a rainy day or a long journey, My First LeapPad provides great value for the money, as your child will be entertained and educated for hours. --Jo Fitzgerald
My First LeapPad is a sturdy unit with an integral speaker and a magic pen, which reads the spiral flipbook included with the set. Other books and cartridges can be bought and used with the same unit. My First LeapPad flipbook consists of both an interactive story introducing the characters of Leap and his family, and (once you have flipped the book) a selection of interactive games pages which encourage learning of numbers, colors, shapes, and music making. A pleasant and encouraging voice reads the story, which is written on the page, or if just one word is touched, the voice says that one word, encouraging word recognition. In game mode, the voice asks the child to find a specific number, color, or object and gives praise when the child succeeds. The pad is easy to use, provided children remember to always touch the Go button with the magic pen every time they turn a page. If they forget, the pen will read from another page, which causes much confusion! After a few tries, mine soon got the hang of it and could play independently. Everything is worked using the pen, including the volume control, and the pen is impossible to lose as it is attached securely to the unit. In comparison to their interactive PC games, the LeapPad failed to hold my childrens attention for prolonged periods, and although I found it amazing that the pen could recognize so many different words and objects, they were less easily impressed. There is no movement, unlike in a PC game. On the other hand, the unit is portable, so can be played anywhere, unlike the PC. The unit certainly has lots of educational value and is well made and durable. A large selection of interactive books can be purchased separately, so once the children are comfortable using the magic pen, they can try other activities. They can also choose more difficult material, ensuring that the pad grows with your child. --Rachel Elvidge
In common with other LeapFrog products, My First LeapPad is exceptionally well designed to be both educational and fun. The unit itself and attached pen are chunky enough for little fingers, and the single large button, integral carrying handle, and bright color will make it appealing and easy to use for preschoolers. My First LeapPad comes with a ring-bound book and accompanying cartridge which fit easily into the unit (you also need four AA batteries, not included). Placed right side up the book reads through a simple story, and when turned over the reverse sides contain a wealth of activities and games to play. For anyone who hasnt previously seen the unique way that simply touching the pages with the pen produces voices and noises of all sorts, it seems like a miracle! Even for those who are familiar with it, it is still endlessly fascinating, and each page has lots of scope for discovery. The clear English voices read the story in sentences or single words as well as introducing games and activities involving music and instruments, shapes and color, reading, numbers, counting, matching, and much more. Each picture reveals a whole world of sound effects, voices, and speech from the characters according to the individual touches the child makes with the pen on the page. This makes play genuinely interactive and absorbing, and hugely valuable in terms of learning and pleasure. I recommend this product highly; it is suitable for all levels of learning between under 3 years and over 5, with each age range getting different benefits at different stages of development. --Caroline Parsons
My First LeapPad learning system by LeapFrog is a portable electronic toy incorporating the format of a flip-over book which teaches children to master skills such as writing, basic numbers, ABCs, phonics, listening, and comprehension. The desk layout includes a side handle and a special touch-sensitive pen which gives children the opportunity to develop the coordination required when they begin to write. With the pen the user can activate the different activities such as touching pictures to hear them come alive, touching words to hear them read aloud, playing a game by pressing the lily pad sign with the magic pen, activating a new page, listening to music, or adjusting the volume. The unit comes with an activity book, Leaps Big Day. Leap is a frog with a happy voice and an English accent who introduces us to his family and different activities on each page. Although the toy is labeled for children aged 3 years and over, the activities are not incredibly difficult and would also suit a slightly younger child. For example, number work only goes up to five, and the page on what Leap will be when he grows up gives the child a number of pictorial choices and they have to select just one answer to say what a firefighter would need at work (hose, hat, boots), or what a doctor would need (stethoscope, white coat, etc.). All activities require use of the pen, which does require a steady hand at times. More books are available to buy separately, with titles such as Leap to the Moon, featuring Leap again, and Pooh's Honey Tree, which features Winnie the Pooh. The books are double-sided with a story side, which is interactive, and an activity side. The battery-powered toy provides preschoolers with a good introduction to interactive learning aids, including computers, and promotes readiness for reading and writing. --Sarah McNamara
This is a nice-sized interactive electronic learning game by LeapFrog. It consists of the LeapPad unit with carrying handle and a small, easy-to-maneuver electronic pen attached. There is a compact microchip unit which plugs into the side and a cardboard flipbook which attaches to the front. The book has two sides: a story side and an activity side. The sound is activated by touching the green Go circle on the page with the electronic pen. On the story side of the book this triggers a female English voice which reads aloud the words on the page. Your child can then touch each word with the pen to have these read aloud, or touch objects and characters on the page to hear them speak. There is a lily pad and a note symbol at the bottom of each page. When touched with the pen, the voice leads your child through games such as finding objects and people on the page. The activity side is centered on learning games such as parts of the body, colors, shapes, and counting. My First LeapPad is designed for preschool children to teach prereading and premath skills. It contains over 30 games and activities and is indicated to be suitable for ages 3 and over. My son will sit and play with the LeapPad on his own for a short time, but is only 3 and a half, and prefers me to help and guide him a little. My First LeapPad is a good learning aid and value for money as the flipbooks can be replaced with different books in the range to keep your child interested in learning. --Julie Illingworth
Learning to read has never been so fun, until now. This interactive system is an ideal tool for teaching various skills important in early years. My First LeapPad teaches ABCs, numbers, phonics, prereading skills, and premath skills. When children encounter the LeapPad for the first time, they may choose to participate in an interactive story book Leap's Big Day (included) or alternatively they may play 30 games and activities. If they choose a story they will be amazed at how involved they can become and how much they will learn. The games and activities on the reverse of the flipbook feature counting and singing songs as well as a section on parts of the body. The LeapPad comprises a spiral interactive flipbook that when used with the integral magic pen enables the story to come alive! The child may touch words and hear them read aloud or if they touch pictures in the story they too will make appropriate sound effects. This system is certainly an innovative concept that makes learning to read exciting while also challenging. --Tiffany Prescott
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
I think this is an excellent educational toy, May 15, 2023
My daughter loves it. She is 3, and we got this as part of her Christmas this past year. She has no problem pressing the Go button, knowing what to do, etc...it challenged her each time...and she found it very interesting. She has not tired of it yet and it has been nearly 5 months. now though, she is ready for another one, as she has mastered all of it. It is great for learning numbers, colors, shapes, etc., and has lots of games that they can play. I love the fact that is has music too.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Malfunctions after about 6 months-both of ours did, May 12, 2023
We bought this for Christmas 2002. Our daughter was a little young for it at the time, so we didn't give it to her right away. When she started using it, it wasn't long before the stylus cord wore down. LeapFrog replaced it for free, but then other problems started. The cartridges weren't being read properly. Again, LeapPad was helpful to get it working again. Now even cleaning the cartidges as recommended doesn't make it work properly. Either the pen isn't working again, or there is an error message about wrong cartridge.
We bought the pink version in 2004, thinking surely it would have improved by that time. We ran into the same problems right away, within 4-6 months.
Now we have about 7 books that might or might not work...very disappointing.
We have the bigger kids regular LeapPad in pink, too. We have not had trouble with that one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Great educational toy, but issues with product quality, Apr 14, 2023
I agree with other reviewers about this product. It is a good educational toy for 2 - 3 year olds. My son played with it all the time. However, I have had issues with the quality of the product.
As mentioned by another reviewer, sometimes the cartridge is not accepted by the machine and it says "Oops, this isn't a Leap Frog cartridge." I spoke with a customer service representative from Leap Frog about this and he said to blow in the cartridge slot of the machine, as well as the cartridge itself in case any dust had settled on the connections. We still had the same problem and I was able to return the product to Leap Frog and get a new one. Then we had the same issues with the replacement.
Another problem was teaching my son to carry the Leap Frog by the handle and not dragging it around while holding onto the pen. The cord of the pen is now almost torn out of the machine and now it no longer works. I don't know whether I will be purchasing another My Frist Leap Frog again, so that my 2nd son will be able to play with it when he's old enough. We have a lot of the books and cartridges.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Good for a toddler, but there are minuses, Apr 12, 2023
I bought this for my daughter when I realized the Leappad she got for Christmas was too advanced for her. She found this much easier to play with, the books were sturdier and she was more interested in the stories, but there are a few downsides.
1. It isn't exactly 'plug & play'. It's not a very intuitive toy for a toddler to use. You have to instruct them. After a few times supervising them, though, they usually get it well enough.
2. It's hard to a toddler to clip the book in. The books are spirl bound at the top and 'clip' into two knobby things on the Leappad. That's nice, because then the books can't move around like in a regular leappad, but a toddler can't physically do it. Usually, my daughter just lays the books on top of the leappad, and as a consequence, the stories are a little messed up, so when she uses the leappad, I have to clip the stories in for her.
3. For some reason, this leappad doesn't work at times. Somedays, the leappad decides that it doesn't want to accept any cartridge. On those days, it'll tell you 'Opps! This is not a My First Leappad cartridge' when it is! It not only frustrates my daughter, it frustrates me! I still can't figure out why these things sometimes do this.
4. The cartridges are small, hard to store, and easy to lose. I wish the cartridges were a little bigger, and there really isn't any way to store them where they'll be easy to find. Unlike the regular leappad cartridges they don't come with a clip. Lately, they come with a plastic case where you can store the book & the cartridge, but I don't really feel like repurchasing all the titles just to get that. If your child is a 'chewer', only use the Leappad with supervision, because they cartridges could be swollowed or at the very least, destroyed. Also, they are very easy to lose. I've had to replace several of these because my daughter like to use them as building blocks and they get scattered and misplaced.
It's not a bad toy. It can be a lot of fun if used properly, but I would recommend a parent supervise a child when using it. It seems very delicate, and I doubt it would be able to take a lot of rough play.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
My daughter loves it but also finds it frustrating, Mar 23, 2023
My 2.75 year old daughter loves it but also finds it frustrating.
The way it works is you insert a cartridge for the book and put the book you want on the Leappad. Then you press a button to turn on the Leappad, then you turn to the page you want, use the pen to press Go on the page you want and then you can use the pen to play the games on the page or have the Leappad read the page to you.
What she loves:
It took her a few tries to master the Go Button, but she has really gotten the hang of it and how to use the pen to "read" the words. She loves being able to have a book that she can read herself. She will play with this by herself for 15-20 minutes, which is a long time for her. The book that comes with it has a lot of different games and activities that she enjoys.
What she finds frustrating:
In order for each page to work correctly, you need to have the page lined up fairly precisely on the Leappad. And that's her big frustration. The book opens from the top with a spiral. Each page has a front and a back. To read the back, you have turn over the book to the other side. However the cardboard doesn't line up properly, so you have to open the book to the cardboard to flip it around to the other side, or the page is not lined up correctly. It's perhaps hard to explain in writing, and definitely beyond my daughter's capabilities, though it's easy for an adult to do. If she wants to flip the book, she has to ask me for help again. Also the clips that hold the pages in place are not that stable, so sometimes the book gets askew when she turns the pages and she needs help again. I wish Leappad had designed it like a regular book that opens in the middle, so the flip problem wouldn't be there. I understand that the Leappads for older children open in the middle.
In addition the cartridge is too small and fiddly for her to remove or add it by herself.
And my frustration:
This Leappad is only good for ages 3-5 years. Then you have to buy another Leappad for older kids that's incompatible with this Leappad.