REVIEW: LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate

This is the latest (2017) version of the LeapPad – your child’s very own first tablet. LeapPad Ultimate is a child-safe tablet that is sold pre-loaded with web content carefully curated by learning experts to develop a range of key skills and give children a head start for learning. The core skill activities include the curriculum subjects of maths, reading and science. In addition, there are lots of other developmental activities such as puzzles, logic and creativity activities,. The extra-tough frame and shatter-proof screen mean the LeapPad can withstand the rough and tumble of daily life and this is really important with a product that offers a potential six years of use.

The friendly and intuitive controls controls make this really easy even for 3 year olds to use. Our youngsters today are so technology-savvy that they will quickly work things out. We found they need a little help initially and then they are off on their learning journey with plenty of activities they can carry out independently – although for younger users, parental input remains really valuable. The responsive touch screen works well and is clear and bright. The tablet is a good size for children, easy to take out and about as required. Ideally, I suggest you get everything set up before giving it to your child. This way, you get the chance to review what is available and children won’t have to wait to get going. Obviously, the response times are slower than the equipment adults are accustomed to, but this should not be an issue for the recommended age group. Children can write, draw, take photos, make videos and have access to 700+ games, eBooks and music which have all been approved by LeapFrog learning experts, available through the LeapFrog Learning Library Just for Me.

A really essential consideration in today’s world is internet safety – you can be assured that the LeapSearch web browser allows access to carefully vetted child-friendly content. For even greater peace of mind, use the cartridge slot and library packed with educational curriculum for offline play. The level of parental control shows a real concern for children and their safety; there are parental controls with password protection, the ability to set play time limits (this is a really good way to ensure screen time is limited and hard for children to argue with). On a practical note, the rechargeable lithium ion battery lasts up to 6 hours and the LeapPad includes Wi-Fi, peer-to-peer play, front and back camera/video recorders and MP3 player. The camera is perfect for this age group and allows children to take early steps in photography simply but with perfectly acceptable results that will satisfy their creative instincts and build enthusiasm to develop this skill. The LeapPad Ultra comes with 15 pre-loaded apps including: photo fun ultra, art studio ultra, pet pad party, utility suite, pet chat and LeapFrog learning songs.  There are a huge range of additional apps which can be purchased from the Leapfrog site, ensuring that the LeapPad gives your child many years of use with a huge resource base covering all the recommended years.

The recommended age is 3 to 9 years so this really is excellent value for something that will be used for so many years.  An excellent educational toy which you won’t regret buying. First impressions are that it is durable and robust. I foresee many hours of fun and learning with this well designed tablet that is the ideal introduction to tablets, and provides a whole host of carefully selected software.

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