- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Kindle Fire vs. LeapPad Explorer for Kids
Kindle vs. LeapPad Explorer: Tablet or Toy?
Touchscreen technology appeals to kids of all ages, and to adults, as well. Toy companies have been incorporating touchscreen technology into kids' electronic learning toys for several years, but with the popularity of the iPad, the technology has also become a preferred means of interaction in tech tools for the adult world.
When you are dealing with your child, and choices in tech tools, it can be a challenge to decide on the latest tech toy, vs. hot tech tools, and following are some points in favor of, and against each.
Touchscreen Tablet Toys for Kids
is developed with kids in mind. The games and software are recognizable, and popular. The games target specific learning objectives, consistent with the ages represented. Additional apps, likewise, are geared to kids in the 4-9 age range. The 4 year old may find some challenges with advanced material, while the 9 year old may find some of the games childish. However, there are a variety of options, provided you do your research...games for each end of that spectrum.
LeapPad Explorer is equipped with digital camera and video recorder, a great bonus in that it permits kids to experiment with photography/videography, while using a sturdy tool developed for a child's use. Music playing is possible, as well.
Apps are available to download, and progress reports can be generated by syncing with a computer. The touchscreen tablet toy is sturdy in construction, much more likely to withstand the mishaps that would put an iPad out of service.
On the negative side, costs can add up for software and apps. Also, when your child has outgrown the touchscreen toy, he's done with it, unless you have a younger child to pass it on to. The usefulness of the toy is limited by the age of a child, and older children will outgrow the toy more quickly. My 9 year old may pay a passing bit of attention to LeapFrog toys, but is much more drawn to video games and real tech tools. My 6 and 7 year olds still have the potential to enjoy this medium of entertainment for a few years.
Where to Buy LeapPad
Online Sources: Inventories are becoming limited on LeapPad Explorer tablets, the article linked here has a few remaining sources.
Limited Supplies of LeapPad Explorer Tablets?
If you just can't track down that elusive tablet toy for your child, Ebay is a viable alternative, at the moment. Black Friday, our WalMart had prominent postings of items that were not in stock, and explained that there were inventory problems related to the LeapPad Explorer touchscreen tablet...check the auctions listed here for leads.
Kindle Fire Touchscreen Tablet
More than an Ereader
is one of the newest releases for the Kindle family...well, due out Nov. 15, 2011, it's available currently for pre-order. The $199 tablet is more than an ereader, with the capability of streaming instant video from Amazon, along with digital music. Ereading of Kindle books is an obvious benefit, as well as apps from the android app store on the site. Web browsing and email are also available with the color tablet. This at a really nice price, as tablets go. Kindle Fire Tablet
Kindle Fire doesn't include a camera, and is not kid-tough, like the LeapPad. At double the cost, it's more expensive. However, there is quite a bit of free content for the tablet, whereas most, if not all content for the LeapPad Explorer comes at a price. While LeapPad Explorer does not include web-browsing, it also doesn't require as much parental oversight of the content viewed, because the device is only going to handle compatible software. Kindle Fire carries the same risks that use of a family PC does, when it comes to the access your child has to online content.
If your child is at the older end of the 4-9 suggested age group that the LeapFrog tablet targets, the Kindle Tablet has the potential to meet your child's tech needs into the tween years. With a good accident protection plan for your child's Kindle tablet, your older elementary aged child can put the Kindle Fire to good use without serious worry over accidental damage.
Order Kindle Fire Tablet
The Nook Color has a new, lower price, comparable with that of Kindle Fire, and is another great alternative to the LeapPad, for an older child, as it provides in color ereading, web browsing, and apps. The Nook Color is compatible with interactive Nook Books for Kids, and is going to continue in usefulness when your older child outgrows the children's books and materials, whereas LeapPad is going to be useful to your child until he or she outgrows the device.
Read more about New Nook Color