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Leapster LeapPad Explorer vs. Kindle Fire

Updated on February 16, 2013

There are just too many to choose from!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the gadgets and gizmos available today. Electronic devices can be a great source of entertainment and even education for your kids when used in moderation. The big question is which one is best for your child? In my opinion the top contenders are the Leapster LeadPad Explorer and the Kindle Fire. In this lens I'll be giving you my opinions on these two electronic devices.

Leapster LeapPad Explorer

My 3 year old received the Leapster LeadPad Explorer for Christmas last year. I have always been a fan of Leap Frog toys. We have had Leap Frog toys in the house since my oldest was little. Leap Frog combines fun and learning with lots of colors and music. The LeapPad is no exception. The LeapPad Explorer is a handheld touch screen game. With the Leap Pad Explorer your child can play games, listen to music and even watch videos. The LeapPad also includes a camera which takes still pictures and videos. The LeapPad Explorer runs about $99.

The biggest downside in my opinion is the price of the games. You can find them sometimes for a little cheaper but in general they run about $20-25 a game. The device does include 4 apps. The LeapPad Explorer games are very appealing to the little ones featuring lots of popular character such as Spongebob, Dora and Toy Story. The apps are a little cheaper but not a whole lot and they also take up memory on the device instead of being on their own cartridge.

Another downside for our family is that the LeapPad games and Apps only go up to about age 8. I try to get game systems that more then one of my kids can enjoy, especially when they are on the pricey side. Since my kids are spaced apart in age, my 3 year old loves the LeapPad and the 8 year old plays it a little also but he will soon grow out of it.

I definitely think the LeapPad is a great learning tool for younger children and wish that they would come out with more games for children in the higher age groups. The LeapPad is a great option if you want to make sure your children are doing something educational every time they turn on there electronic device.

Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire by Amazon is often over looked as an electronic device for kids. It's usually thought of as a device for adults. I can tell you that I certainly love my Kindle Fire and it's definitely great for adults but it's also wonderful for children. One of my favorite things about the Kindle Fire are all the options it gives you. In my opinion the Kindle Fire is a better investment the the LeapPad Explorer.

The Kindle Fire has been upgraded to be available in HD but the original version gropped in price so now it's very close to the LeapPad at only $119! So still slightly more expensive then the LeapPad Explorer but in my opinion it also offers a lot more. The Kindle Fire uses WiFi to connect to the internet. This allows for easy access to the app store with out needing to hook to a computer and also allows streaming of tv shows, movies and browsing the web. Many of the apps are free or very inexpensive and there are a wide variety. Amazon Prime is free for one month with the purchase of a kindle fire which includes free streaming of many tv shows and movies and also one book a month from the Kindle lending library.

Kindles are best known for their ebooks. Kindle fires are no exception. The Fire gives ebooks a boost for children with it's beautiful children's books. Where the original kindles only offered the black and white text the kindle fire offers full color children's books. As your child develops there reading skills they can move on to beginning reader and chapter books. The Fire also offers magazines.

The Kindle also offers many educational apps on any learning level and also has apps that are in no way educational but still fun like Angry Birds. Some are kind of dumb, especially if they are free but there are still many that are very useful. The biggest downfall I feel with the apps is that you have to have a credit card linked to your amazon account in order to download any apps, even if they are free. I learned the hard way not to leave the cc hooked to the account. It sure didn't take my 3 year old long to figure out how to buy apps. lol My 8 year old always asks before downloading anything that doesn't say free but I delete the cc from th account after they have downloaded there new approved apps. This also gives me more power over what they are downloading but it can be a pain adding and deleting the cc each time.**

**Since originally writing this lens I discovered that if you add an Amazon Gift Card to the account, even if it is only .50 you do not need a cc linked to download free apps!! YEAH!!

All photos used in this lens were taken by Betsy Wooters

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