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5 Good Reasons To Buy A LeapFrog Leapster or LeapPad Game System

Updated on October 5, 2014

Leapster Games For Every Child

I am a stay-at-home Mom of 2 little boys, so I am always on the lookout for fun games with an educational twist. One of my all time favorite educational toy is the Leapster from Leap Frog.

If you have a moment to spare I will tell you why I think every child and parent will benefit from playing the fun and educational Leapster games. But before we begin, here's a quick overview of the different Leapster game systems currently on the market:

New LeapFrog Leapster Game Systems - New: LeapPad Game Tablets from LeapFrog

These are the different Leapster Systems currently sold by Leap Frog. Some of the earlier systems like the original Leapster and the Leapster2 are still being offered on Amazon as brand new.

Advantages of the older systems are the huge library of games that are all still fun and relevant for little kids. The cost for these game cartridges can really add up, so with the older systems you'll have better chances of finding used games for cheap.

LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer Kids' Learning Tablet, Green
LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer Kids' Learning Tablet, Green

The new version of the LeapPad game tablet has a faster processor, more storage, front and back cameras, and comes bundled with 5 apps. This is very much like an iPad for kids.

LeapFrog LeapPad1 Explorer Learning Tablet, pink
LeapFrog LeapPad1 Explorer Learning Tablet, pink

Leapster goes tablet! With even larger screen, downloadable apps and integrated video camera.

Games from previous Leapster generations (Leapster, L-max, Leapster2 etc.) are NOT compatible, however, most games from the Leapster Explorer platform ARE compatible.

Available in green and pink (violet/purple).

LeapFrog LeapsterGS Explorer, Green
LeapFrog LeapsterGS Explorer, Green

The Leapster GS Explorer is the newer model of the Leapseter Explorer series. The main differences, aside from a sleeker look, are the addition of a camera, voice recorder, a motion sensor, and more storage capacity.

There are more than 300 downloadable apps and games for this popular handheld gaming system.

LeapFrog Leapster 2 Learning Game System - Green
LeapFrog Leapster 2 Learning Game System - Green

Newer version of the original Leapster, with added online monitoring capability called "Learning Path". Here, parents can check on the progress of their child.

LeapFrog Leapster Learning Game System - Green
LeapFrog Leapster Learning Game System - Green

The original Leapster works just as the L-Max, except that it doesn't connect to the TV. Although there are newer consoles available, the original Leapster is still a good buy. Due to the immense popularity, there are tons of cheap game cartridges available, and the younger kids will still have a blast.

Available in pink and green.


Learning: "Gamefied"

Reason #1: Leapster Games are FUN

We all know that small children tend to learn faster and better when learning is fun. Not only that, when a game is a lot of fun kids don't even notice that they're learning at the same time.

For exciting, fast-paced action there are arcade style games that challenge your child without violence.

In addition to LeapFrog's own characters like Leap, Tad and Lily, many Leapster games feature well-known characters kids love: Thomas The tank Engine, Disney/Pixar's Cars, Nemo and Ratatouille, SpongeBob, Dora The Explorer and more.

And I have to say I love the fact that it captivates my kids' attention and engages them for an extended period of time. This can be a sanity saver on long car trips or waiting periods. No reason why Mom's shouldn't benefit a little bit as well :)

Reason #2: Leapster Games Are Educational

They teach essential skills needed for school like:

  • Letter names:
    Young children typically recite or sing the alphabet before they recognize individual letters. By preschool they begin to identify letters by name and shape.
  • Phonics skills:
    To learn to read, a child must understand the letter-sound relationship and distinguish individual sounds, or phonemes, within words. Crucial to reading, phonics skills help children sound out new words (If I can read "pot," then I can read "hot" and "spot").


The act of rhyming directs a child's attention to the similarities in words (hat sounds like cat). Because sensitivity to rhyme comes quite naturally, it is an excellent entry into phonological awareness, or the ability to distinguish individual sounds in words.Spelling:Children first learn to spell by breaking down words into sounds. But many sounds in our language have irregular spellings.


Children must learn the fundamental spelling rules and recognize commonly misspelled words.

Numbers:To begin their study of math, children must distinguish numerals from letters and shapes and to understand that numbers are symbols for amounts.Addition:Once children know that numbers are symbols for objects (2 stands for two cars) they learn to count sets, or groups of objects, to find sums.

Finally, sets of objects can be replaced by numerals and added together in equations.

Subtraction:The inverse of addition is subtraction - to take away objects and tell how many are left. Once children grasp subtraction, sets of objects can be replaced by numerals in equations.Artistic expression:Creating art is an exercise in learning how to see. With increased confidence in their skills, children discover that art is a vehicle for self-expression.

Music exploration

Encouraging children to create music deepens their understanding of music as a form of self-expression. Experimenting with basic musical elements such as rhythm, tempo and mood helps lay a foundation for parallel concepts such as those found in poetry.

The Learning Advantages Of Leapster Games

Multiple skill levels: Adjustable to let children learn at their own pace. Keeps them engaged and challenged.

Integrated tutorials: Children learn step-by-step and keeps them from getting stuck.

Grows with your child: Features games for pre-K through 4th grade.

Reason #3: The Leapster System Is Popular - Over 700 Reviews on Amazon (Original Leapster)!

There are several implications. Since the Leapster Game System is of high quality they take a bit of abuse. Which means they stand a good chance of outlasting the Leapster phase of you child. As you can see from the eBay listings, they still fetch a pretty penny even when used. In light of its resale value, the price of a new Leapster becomes really a bargain.

The same goes for Leapster game cartridges. Unless they've been damaged by brute force or liquids they're virtually indestructible. There's no reason I can think of why you shouldn't supplement your child's Leapster game library with some used ones.

Quick Leapster Poll

by terren in Virginia
by terren in Virginia

My 2 boys really enjoyed playing games on their Leapsters because they were "so cool". We had the regular Leapster, and the Leapster L-Max, and although by now they have outgrown their handheld Leapsters they think that the new LeapPad is the coolest game ever.

Do you (or your kids) have a Leapster?

See results

Reason # 4: Leapster Games are Cool!

The hand held Leapster game consoles look much like the cool game consoles the big kids have. (PSP, Nintendo, etc.). The latest tablet style Leapster LeapPad even mimics the ultra-cool iPad of Mommy and/or Daddy!

Yet all the games available for Leapsters are non violent and have an educational agenda. They are appropriate even for our littlest ones.

Reason #5: The Leapster Is Made By Leap Frog. - Many prestigious awards instill confidence in their products

Awards for LeapFrog Company
Awards for LeapFrog Company

Leap Frog is a reputable company and has garnered many recognized awards. The Leapster and Leapster L-Max Game Systems in particular has won a veritable string of awards, such as:

* 2006 KYW-TV, CBS 3-On Your Side Toy Test Honorable Mention

* 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Platinum Award

* 2006 Toy Industry Association, TOTY Award - Educational Toy of the Year finalist

* 2005 Dr. Toy, 10 Best Software/CD-ROM/High-Tech Products Award

* 2005 Dr. Toy, 100 Best Children's Products Award

* 2005 FamilyFun Magazine, Toy of the Year Award, Ages 5-7 Learning Toys

* 2005 iParenting Media, Greatest Products Award

* 2005 KTVU, Great American Toy Test Fab 14 Top Toy Award

* 2005 Nick Jr. Magazine, 50 Best Toys Award

* 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Best Educational Toys Award

* 2005 Parents' Choice Foundation, Parents' Choice Recommended Award

* 2005 The National Parenting Center, Seal of Approval

* 2005 Toy Wishes Magazine, Hot Dozen Award

* 2005 Dr. Toy, Best Smart Play/Smart Toy Product Award

* 2005 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Gold Seal Award

* 2004 Top Toy of the Year Award, Creative Child Magazine

* 2004 Teacher's Choice Award, Learning Magazine

* 2004 Great American Toy Test/KTVU, Top Educational Award

* 2004 Technology & Learning Magazine, Award of Excellence

* 2004 Parents' Choice, 2004 Parents' Choice Recommended Award winner

* 2004 Seal of Approval 2004, The National Parenting Center

* 2004 T.O.T.Y. award, Best Educational Toy

* 2004 T.O.T.Y. award, Most Innovative Toy

Leapster Game Demo: Sonic X and other Leapster Videos

The action on a Leapster doesn't quite compare to a regular video game, but keep in mind that this is for little kids and the main purpose is educational. Younger kids love this.

Top 10 Popular Leapster Explorer Games - Which ones are your favorites?

Your kids, I'm sure, will love some games more than others, depending on their interests and skill level. But certain games seem to perform well with a majority of kids and parents and it would be interesting to find out which ones. It helps to decide which Leapster game to buy next and which ones to pass. So feel free to change the order by voting games up or down.

Leapster Carrying Cases

The Leapster Carrying Case protects the Leapster console whenever it is not in use. Especially if your kids take the leapster along on trips this will protect it much better than a regular bag. Since no other items can be included there's nothing that can scratch it. It also helps to minimize the impact if it gets dropped.

LeapFrog Leapster Carrying Case, Pink
LeapFrog Leapster Carrying Case, Pink

Girls will aprreciate the pink version, of course.


LeapPad2 Explorer Disney Princess Bundle

LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer Disney Princess Bundle, Purple
LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer Disney Princess Bundle, Purple

This new learning tablet from LeapFrog will surely top the wish list of many little girls this Christmas. And I for one have to agree; this is definitely one of the better toy choices for girls age 3 to 9.

The LeapFrog toys all have an educational agenda, but this device will make learning so much fun. It is also one of the few toys that (with some care) can grow with your child for several years. Since the LeapFrog products are also very durable they have an excellent resale value if your child outgrows it. This makes it one of the best toy dollar investments in my book.


Leapster Games Compatibility

What Game Systems do they work with?

For the older generation Leapsters, there are 3 types of Leapster games: The regular Leapster game, the Leapster L-Max game with TV connectivity, and the arcade-style game.

All of these Leapster game types work interchangeably on any of these Leapster Game System!

The earlier Leapster Systems are:

  • The classic Leapster Game System, triangular (older) or rectangular (newer).
  • The Leapster L-Max Game System (added features when connected to a TV)
  • The Leapster2 Game System
  • The Leapster TV Game System
  • .

In addition, US-bought Leapster games also work on Leapster Systems in Canada, the UK, Australia, and on other country versions. This I know for a fact, as I have sold a lot of games to the UK and Australia, even to France. I also mailed the Leap Frog company directly with this question, and they confirmed this.

The current Explorer family of Leapsters is different. Previous game cartridges do not work with these systems!

Post a note in my Blurb Book - You bet i want to hear from you

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    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      What a great lens, itâs so full of helpful information. Thank you for sharing, I learned a lot here. ~Blessed~

    • Karicor profile image

      Karicor 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Martin,

      The games should definitely work on either models. Since I don't have a Leapster GS at hand I cannot tell you about the language option, I'm sorry. Your best bet would be to try it out in a store while you are in the US. Most bigger stores will give you this opportunity. Or you could ask that question on LeapFrog's facebook page where lots of people will see it. Hopefully you will get your answers this way.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi there, I would really appreciate it if you could help me out.

      I am from Ireland and visiting the US for Xmas. I want to purchase the Leapster GS and a few new games while I'm there for my 4 year old and cannot find answers on the Leapfrog site relating to my queries as below:

      1. Will any of the GS games I buy in Ireland/UK work on the US model?

      2. Can the language option within the games be changed? e.g. change from US English to UK English for pronunciation/dialect reasons?

      Many Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Karicor profile image

      Karicor 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Without knowing the exact model number you are referring to, I have a feeling that you are talking about the Explorer add-on. If so, you will still need a Leapster Explorer. I am not aware that there is a standalone Leapster camera.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, im from south africa, would like to buy a leapster camera/video recorder for my daughter. Would like to know if this camera works without the leapster explorer, or is it just an add on, which you will need a leapster explorer for?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, I want to buy a replacement Leapster 2 console from the US (cheaper than Australia), I noticed that you mentioned earlier in your blog that games bought in US are compatible with systems in Australia. Is it the same for consoles bought in US being compatible with games from Australia??

    • christinsword profile image

      christinsword 5 years ago

      I just bought a Leapster! The advertising is a tad bit annoying, but no reason not to get this toy. My 5 year old nephew loves it

    • profile image

      heavenlyhands 7 years ago

      I love your lens! Its very thorough! Good work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I love Leapster games - and so does my son! Nice lens. :)