Leap Frog Leapster
Leap Frog has been making quality educational products since 1995. I believe all of them are educational, and they have recently entered the handheld video game market with the Leapster.
Considering all the handheld video game systems that are available, such as the Nintendo DS and Playstation PSP, the Leapster hasn’t really had that much impact on this particular market.
Then again, the Leapster is targeted for a young market, specifically for ages 4 to 10 years of age. You’ll find their particular brand of games on peghook in the toy section, rather than the DS and PSP games found under lock-and-key in the electronics section.
Still, the two big names in handheld gaming can learn a thing or two from the Leapster. First of all, the Leapster comes with games already build into it. The first game involves a rabbit jumping from log to log in a running river. Some of you probably think this sounds familiar, and yes, the game is a clear rip-off of the popular arcade game Frogger from the eighties. The difference between Frogger and this rabbit game is that the rabbit has to land on certain letters or numbers on these logs.
I believe that this game is able to promote learning, and I found that my three-year-old is filling in multiplication problems. The concept of multiplication is probably to complicated at his stage of development, but I think that the letters and words are getting into his head.
The second game that comes with the unit is a drawing game of sorts. Think of it as a paint program that comes with certain pictures that a child can color using the included digital pen. The pen also allows a kid to add details to the pictures, such some interesting ghosts that sing “Boo-boo-boo-boo” as if they were Elvis. You’re going to have to see this to believe it.
Unfortunately, the Leap Frog Leapster isn’t one of those toys that has adult appeal and can be played at any age. However, my three-year-old is addicted to it, and I can barely get his eyes off of it. I’m not certain that is a good thing, but we often take away the Leapster as disciplinary action, and give it to him as a reward for good behavior.
In short, this toy is perfect for a young child on long trips. You can purchase the Leapster at the Leap Frog site for about $59.99. The cartridges will run about $12-20.