Archive for the ‘Leapster 2’ Category
Parent Review of the Leapster 2
Have you seen the Leapster 2? As some of you may remember, my daughter had a birthday this summer. The grandparents put together a very large, fun water themed birthday that was an absolute blast for everyone! During the party, she got so many gifts! Worried she was going to get spoiled, I didn’t let her open the gifts that came from relatives that couldn’t come to the party. Everyone in my family knows this and appreciates it since it means that their gift won’t just get thrown aside. I usually let my kids open a new gift every two to three weeks, and then write a little thank you note. Now, in October, we got to the final box of gifts from one of my brother in laws.
When we first saw the big box, I had no clue what was going to be inside since they usually like to pick out gifts on their own. What makes this neat is that they always get educational games for the kids. Once the box was opened, however, I was surprised she didn’t get one gift, but two – the Leapster 2 and Leap Frog Leap Pad 2. Both of my girls have been playing with these two little learning game systems for the past two weeks and I have to admit, they haven’t been easy on them! Here is what we think so far of the Leapster 2!
Leapster 2: Set Up
Like most Leap Frog toys, the Leapster 2 does require a laptop or computer for the first setup. Unlike some children’s toys, the setup isn’t painful or confusing, but it is a bit time consuming. Having owned Leap Frog products in the past, I was expecting it from the moment I opened the box. It took about twenty to thirty minutes to get the entire toy set up. Most of this time is waiting for the software to update and setting up your account if you don’t have one. To hook the system up to your computer, just use the provided USB capable and the software. Also, if you are a Mac user, don’t worry, the Leapster 2 is compatible with Macs and PCs.
One of the things I love so much about Leap Frog product is the parent account (Leapster Learning Paths). Through this account, I can see my daughters progress in each of the games, along with their strengths and weaknesses in different subjects. Since I love games where I can monitor both of my girls, I was happy to see that the Leapster 2 is capable of having 3 different profiles, allowing children to share this fun toy. Also, you can log into the Leapster Learning paths to show your children their achievements and let them play extra activities. My only complaint with this Leap Frog system is that it does not come with an SD card, which you need to save anything on the Leapster 2.
Even though it didn’t come with our system, we also purchased the Leapster 2 Battery Pack. This rechargeable battery keeps you from having to constantly buy AA batteries. Without this pack, the Leapster 2 requires 4 AA batteries. After seeing how quickly it ate batteries, I thought this battery pack was a must!
Leapster 2: Kid Friendly
I am very happy to say that the Leapster 2 is very kid friendly! For the past two weeks, you never see my daughter not playing with this little learning system. Out of the box, it comes with two games – Dragons to the Rescue and Creative Castle Art Studio. These games focus on letters, numbers, spelling, and multiplication. While my daughter loves these games, I have also purchased some other games for this system, including Tangled, Disney Fairies, and Penguins of Madagascar. Currently, you can buy games for this system as cartridges or by downloading them online. Let me warn you that you cannot download games, however, unless you have an SD card. With over 30 different learning games for this hand held system, it is easy to keep kids busy. I especially love that all the games focus on a variety of subjects, including language arts, reading, math, and science.
One of my only concerns with the Leapster 2 when I first saw this handheld system was the size. It seems to fit very well in both of my girls’ hands, but is a bit bulky for younger children. With the curved shape, however, it is fairly easy for most children to hold. My youngest daughter especially loves that it has a touch screen and a video game style D pad and buttons. Right now, she doesn’t view it as being any different than her Nintendo, making it a big win in my opinion!
Leapster 2: Durability
To every parent, this is really the area of judgment for any kids electronic. Will it survive my child? I will be honest with you, my youngest daughter kills electronics. She throws them off the side of the stairs, drops them, and has even tried bringing them in the bathtub with her. While we haven’t lost a toy to water just yet, we have lost plenty to heights. So far, the Leapster 2 has survived being knocked down the stairs and thrown across the room. The screen hasn’t cracked or shown any signs of damage. If it does, however, it does have a one year warranty. If your child is rough on toys like mine, you should be find with the Leapster 2!
Leapster 2: What Other Think
So far, the Leapster 2 seems to be surviving my children. Not only that, they are excited about playing learning games. It’s fairly impressive that they have pulled my youngest away from her Nintendo DSXL. With how my daughter loves this little system, I can easily give it a 5 star rating. Currently, this system has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, making it one of the most popular toys on the site! here is what others saying about the Leapster 2!
” The leapster 2 is fantastic, great quality, my son has dropped it several times and nothing has happend to it. He loves the new games that came out to go with it and even the ones that are already on the system. It’s very educational too, he’s learned to write all of the letters in the alphabet and do addition and subtraction. It really makes learning fun. Better than a game boy.”
” Had the Leapster for about 6 months and my almost 3 year old really digs it. He plays with it about 30 minutes sometimes. I am amazed how quickly he figured out the controls (better than Mom). He has not put this to a true limit but thus far must say it is pretty sturdy. He has the Disney Cars one and Nemo game. He can use them both with limited interaction from me. I had intended for this to be a toy for longer car rides but it eats batteries very quickly so its now permanently in our living room plugged in (buy the cord it will pay for itself in a week), and will be packed with extra batteries for limited really long car rides. All the games are somewhat educational at least and have different levels. I had issues with the software download so I have never gotten the free game or tracked my child’s progress so I can’t say much about that but it isn’t really necessary to play. This is a great idea for someone who’s older brother or sister has or is getting a Nintendo DS, but isn’t old enough for it yet. Unlike many computer type things I have bought for my child, I am quite pleased with this one. It works. The graphic are not great but acceptable, there is more than one game on each disc and stories too. Many of the interactive toys in this price range have a slow reaction time which can frustrate a small child. This system is quite responsive. Oh ya, it isn’t broken yet! One note, if you buy this for Christmas or a gift I would take it out of the box and try the software downloads and put the batteries in BEFORE you give it away so it can be instantly played with because the software and battery install takes a very long 20 minutes for a child excited about a new computer.”
” Bought for my 3 year old for her birthday. She loves it! Especially the Read & Write game. It’s great for car trips, waiting rooms, etc. and is teaching my daughter reading and math and having fun at the same time! Only problem I’ve ever had is that if she drops it, sometimes the screen loses it’s ability to function with the pen. However, it is very easy to recalibrate. Can be done in like 15 seconds on the help menu and good as new!”
Where to Purchase the Leapster 2
Since they have a great return policy, everyone in my family gets toys from Amazon.com. We have tried buying things from big box retailers and found that they can be a bit difficult when it comes to returning toys. I have even in the past had to pay restocking fees, which seems ridiculous to me! At Amazon, we enjoy the lowest prices online and free shipping to anywhere in the United States. While I didn’t buy the Leapster 2 myself, I noticed that they were selling it much cheaper than many of the stores in my area. If you are wanting a fairly inexpensive learning toy for your kids that will keep them busy, I highly recommend the Leapster 2!