Leap Frog LeapPad 2 Reviews
A Mommy's Review of the Leap Frog LeapPad 2
If you are looking for the best education toys, tablets for kids or just looking for LeapPad 2 reviews then you have come to the right place! Here you will find Leappad 2 reviews, specs, games, and much more.
As a mom, I understand the importance of choosing games, books and devices that are educational and yet, still fun for children. My 3 year old daughter just received Leap Frog LeapPad 2 for her birthday! What a great present. Prior to her birthday and had been reading all the LeapPad 2 reviews I could find in hopes of deciding on whether or not the LeapPad 2 would be good for toddlers. From what I had found I finally chose to get her one... the only problem is that Nana beat me to it.
If you are considering buying a tablet for your child then I would suggest you check out these LeapPad 2 reviews! You will find my own review along with several others from visitors who have shared their own reviews and suggestions for the best kid tablets.
Image Source: Goodreader.com
Leappad 2 = Happy Child & Happy Mommy!
As I stated earlier, my 3 year old, Katelynn, received her Leappad 2 from her Nana for her third birthday. So far, it has been the best toy she ever received, not only from that birthday, but honestly, out of all the toys she ever received for birthdays and Christmas. She plays with her Leappad 2 more than any of her other toys, and for longer periods of time each session.
At first I was little concerned that it may be a few months or even a year before she could really enjoy her new toy since, after all, she had just turned three. I do think it is important to mention that Katelynn isn't your typical 3 year old- she already knew all her shapes including octagons, hexagons, and the ones that even as adults, we occasionally forget. She could also count to 100, count by tens, knew all her ABC's- visually and verbally, all her animals and much more.
While I didn't think she would have a hard time grasping the game on an academic level, I was afraid that she may not be able to comprehend how to use the game such as turning it on and off, choosing and selecting the apps, and actually playing the game using the stylus and touch screen. Boy was I wrong! I showed her how to turn it on played with her about 30 minutes showing her different games and the general idea of how it all worked and after that, she rarely needed my help with anything regarding her Leappad.
Needless to say, Katelynn has a great time playing her Leappad 2 and has exceeded my wildest expectations very quickly. I do believe that has a lot to do with the game itself including the software and the time that Leap Frog put into developing a kid-friendly tablet that would recognize even the faintest touches, the slightest shake, and using big buttons on the touch screen.
Do You Have a LeapPad?
Do You Have a LeapPad 2, Leap Pad 2 Power or LeapPad Ultra?
My Leappad 2 Reviews
Ease of Use for Toddlers and Older Kids: Excellent!
Easy to use for toddlers and big kids. However, when profile settings and the correct skill level games, it still challenges bigger kids for exceptional learning.
Educational Qualities: Excellent!
Teaches a variety of skills including shapes, colors, letters, animals, numbers, and social development for toddlers, and reading, writings, science, social skills, math, spelling and many others for bigger kids.
Variety of Games & Characters: Good
There are over 300 different types of games, videos and ebooks with different characters including branded characters such as Disney & Nick Jr. I would like to see MORE branded characters in the toddler range to encourage younger kids to get excited over their favorite shows.
Variety of Skill Games: Excellent!
As mentioned above, the skills include anything you would find in an 'school' setting. Each game has a specific age range, usually 3-5 years, 4-7 years, 5-8 years and 7-9 years.
Battery Usage: Excellent!
The device is great on batteries... when using the correct batteries. Most of the negative Leappad 2 reviews that I have read were related to battery usage and them lasting about 30 minutes. That's because they were using the WRONG batteries. You must use NiMH or lithium batteries. I personally use the Energizer rechargeable batteries. They last 8-10 hours if longer. A pack of 4 runs about $10 or you can by the charger and 4 batteries for about $15 at Walmart.
There are not a lot of accessories... but there are not a lot needed.
Price of the Leappad 2: Excellent!
The Leappad 2 ranges from $79- $100 depending on where you buy it from. Amazon seems to have the cheapest prices in comparison to department because they keep up with the current 'offers' from Leap Frog.
Price of the Games: Good
(They range from $5-25 with the majority being $15-25. About what you would expect with a name brand handheld game such as a Nintendo DS.)
Colors and Customization: Good
(The Leappad 2 comes in a purple/pink color and green. You can buy gel skins and carrying cases in a variety of styles and colors.)
LeapPad 2 Games
The Best Educational Toy that Grows with Your Child
The LeapPad 2 Age Level Ranges from 3-9 Years Old or Early Pre-K to 6th Grade!
Another great feature, and one that I really like, but didn't consider when reading any of the LeapPad 2 reviews, is that the devise practically grows with the child. The LeapPad 2 age range is from 3-9 years old. This means, that unlike most toys, she can play with it for several years before growing out of it! We have all bought that perfect toy that she played with for a few months and then it quickly became boring and too 'babyish' for her. While Katelynn is still a toddler she can use it for learning typical toddler skills such as shapes, numbers, colors, letters and socially development. As she gets older, say in Kindergarten, she will continue to work up to the next level of games and start learning more about writing, reading, math and spelling. These academic levels will increase with her age and with the addition of new games and by increasing the profile setting.
The LeapPad 2 goes from Early Pre-K all the way up to 6th grade!!! Now, tell me what other toy will take a child from 3 years old to 6th grade? Not many! Best of all, you choose when to bump it up to the next level. If your child is doing great and excelling early, you can simply increase the skill level with a single click. If your child is having difficulties in a particular area, you can lower it, or leave it on the same level until you feel your child is ready to advance. Not sure if your child is ready to advance? That's no problem, you can connect the LeapPad 2 to your computer and get a full report of your child's progress! This helps to address weaker areas and increase levels on areas they are currently excelling in.
I currently have Katelynn's profile set on the Early Pre-K level, but I will soon bump it up to Pre-K so that she can work on more skills for the learning level.
LeapPad 2 Battery Usage
When reading the LeapPad 2 reviews, the most common complaint I found was 'the batteries don't last'. Well, that's not quite true. They last for 8-10 hours if you use the CORRECT batteries, which would be a battery of quality such as NiMH or lithium batteries. Leap Frog specs state 9 hours, but ours has lasted longer than that.
The LeapPad is no different than your digital camera and other electronic devices that do use a lot of power. If you put in a normal alkaline battery then don't expect more than about 30 minutes of play time. If you use a quality batteries it will last several hours! Lithium and NiMH batteries can be a little bit more expensive but if you buy a charger you will save yourself hundreds of dollars on batteries. We use the Energizer NiMH batteries and battery charger.
For less than $20 you can get the with 4 AA batteries. I HIGHLY recommend this set, not only for a LeapPad but, anything else for that matter. I actually have two sets, one for my camera and one for Katelynn's LeapPad. Energizer Lithium Battery Charger
The Best Batteries for Your LeapPad 2
This Energizer Smart Rechargeable Charger comes with 4 rechargeable lithium batteries to keep your LeapPad 2 energized for hours and hours! The handy charge recharges batteries in a few short areas and has a digital meter showing the status of the batteries. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I used these batteries in my camera, the LeapPad 2 and other battery operated gadgets!
The LeapPad 2 Battery Pack
LeapPad 2 Chargers, Battery Packs and AC Adapters
Aside from using rechargeable batteries, you can also power your LeapPad 2 with the LeapPad 2 rechargeable battery pack created specifically for the device. LeapFrog also designed a LeapPad car charger and AC adapter for powering the device while on road trips or stationary near a wall plug. I will tell you that I have found these items to be the cheapest on Amazon. I paid $14.95 for the same car charger at Walmart when Amazon had it for only $8.
LeapPad 2 AC Adapter
What Do You Think of the LeapPad Tablets?
What Do You Think of the Leap Frog LeapPad Tablet Series?
LeapPad 2 Apps
Games, Videos, Ebooks & More
There are over 300 apps including games, videos and ebooks available for the LeapPad 2. The age levels range from 3-9 years old and have a variety of categories and skills including but not limited to:
Just for Fun
LeapPad 2 apps, games, videos and ebooks can either be downloaded from the internet or by using a cartridge. I personally have downloaded her games but would suggest using a cartridge, which I will soon start doing, so that use don't waste on-board memory plus, you can always sale, trade or giveaway the cartridges once your child outgrows them. If you download the app, then your are stuck with it- the only option is to delete it when you need the space.
The Different Versions of LeapPads
There are 3 different types of LeapPads; LeapPad Ultra, LeapPad 2 and LeapPad 2 Power.
The LeapPad 2 and the LeapPad 2 Power are virtually the same except the latter obviously includes a power source. The Power version runs about $20 more but includes 9 apps instead of 5, an A/C adapter and a NiMh rechargeable battery, which usually runs around $40.
The LeapPad Ultra runs about $70 more than the basic LeapPad 2 and with good reason. It has Wi-Fi capabilities and features a 1024 x 600 resolution- 7" screen which is 2" bigger than the basic or the Power version with only a 480 x 272 resolution. It also has 8GB of on-board memory instead of 4GB, it includes 11 apps, it has a built-in lithium ion battery, peer-to-peer capabilities.
Both LeapPad 2 versions would be fine for a child of any age but the Ultra would be better for kids a little older. Leap Frog recommends the Utlra for children 4-9 years old. While it does cost most, it also has a few more perks which would be better for older kids. If you are buying a LeapPad for a child that was 3-6 years old, I would suggest going with one of the basic 2 models unless you are specifically intrigued by the larger screen or Wi-Fi cabilities.
Leappad 2 for Toddlers! A Great Idea!
My 3 Year Old Little Girl Loves Her LeapPad 2!
When suggesting the Leappad 2 for toddlers, I would have to say it is perfect! I wouldn't suggest it for children under 2 years old and would suggest the child being closer to 3 years old... it makes a great present for a 3 year old, too!
LeapPad 2 is Extremely Durable!
So far, from what I can tell, the Leappad 2 is very durable. It has made it through a few tantrums, being drug around by the stylus, dropped and there is no telling what else. It does have one very fine scratch on the purple part of the cover but nothing on the screen. Mind you, I do make sure it gets put up when she is not using it, but she is three and less face it... it gets put to the test!
Things I Really Like & Don't Like About the LeapPad 2
As with anything, there are things that you like and don't like, right? Well, here are the things that I did like and didn't like, I guess you could say the pros and cons of the LeapPad 2...
Things I Do Like
- It's a great educational tool. More like LOVE this one...
- It teaches Katelynn how to use computer and electronics.
- She seems to really enjoy playing with it.
- It keeps her occupied when in the car, doctors office, grocery shopping and around the house. She even takes it to daycare!
- The price was great!
- The battery usage (with lithium batteries) is very good.
- There are a variety of games, books and videos.
- The cameras and video recorders. It has one that faces the user and one that faces outward. Katelynn loves taking pictures of herself and making silly videos.
Things I Did NOT Like
- There really isn't anything I don't like, but there are a few things I would prefer to be a little different...
- Some of the individual games are a little more expensive then you would typically pay for a 'toddler' game. However, for bigger kids, it runs in comparison with other video games.
- There aren't a lot of customization features. It comes in the green or pink/purple color, and there are currently two 'bundles', one Disney Princess and one Monsters University that comes in a different color and includes stickers and a few accessories- either way, those two bundles are for younger kids and may not interest older kids that would still fall within the age range for using a LeapPad 2. Aside from two common colors an the two bundles, you can purchase colored silicon covers from Amazon and Walmart.
(Amazon was MUCH cheaper, about $15 at Walmart and less than $10 on Amazon.).
What Comes with the LeapPad2 Explorer?
LeapPad2 Explorer Learning Tablet (4GB Memory)
2 Built-in Cameras & Video Recorders- One on the front and one on the back.
LeapFrog Learning Songs App - 5 Songs
Pet Pad Writing App
Cartoon Creativity App- It's free but does have to be downloaded when you set up your account.
Art Studio App- Free but has to be downloaded.
Free App Download- You get to pick a free app of your choice when you set up your account.