Leap Frog has created their own gaming system that is great for younger children, LeapTV. Leap Frog is known for creating games and toys that are entertaining and educational. Recently, Jack has watched some of his older cousins at family gatherings play some video games. He gets mesmerized and it is very difficult to drag him away from watching the older kids play. He likes to pretend he is playing. Unfortunately, the games the older kids play have almost no educational value and requires almost no physical effort. What was difficult was finding an attractive alternative for Jack and the cousins his age that wouldn’t seemingly turn him into a mindless zombie. Jack’s cousins his age are mostly girls, so I encouraged him to play ‘house’ with them. He quickly brought in some toy dinosaurs and knights to their pretend house. Later, we played a matching game. These games kept him occupied for awhile, but not for the 8 hrs we were all at the house together. It is good to have a variety of activities. What I realized later is that I should have brought our new LeapTV over for some of the little kids to play with for a little while.
The games are simple and easy enough for them to play even as three year olds, and they would learn something in the process. The LeapTV has motion sensitive controllers and camera in order to incorporate the child’s physical actions into their games. During the wintertime it can be difficult to send the kids outside to play. It can be very cold, there can be snow, and it can dark very early in the day. Kids don’t do well with nothing to do. In a packed house with a lot of people talking and socializing, you don’t want kids to be running around the kitchen and living room playing their own games. LeapTV can be a good way to entertain kids while keeping them active and educating them.
There are different games for different age levels, so older and younger kids can take turns playing. Some games are made for three to five year olds-like Jack, and other games are made for four to seven year olds. Jack really likes the Leap Frog movies with the Letter Factory, so we have played the Letter Factory game a few times together. It seems perfect for his age and learning letter, and it seems to do well reinforcing his learning of letters in different ways. The Leap Frog sports game has a fun soccer goalie game that Jack and I really enjoyed.
Different games focus on different subjects such as: science, math, reading, creativity and life skills. There are games with their own LeapFrog characters, which has motivated Jack to pick some of their more educational cartoons for his short time of television watching. There are games with Nickelodeon and Disney characters, as well. Kids are like sponges, especially when they are engaged and excited. I am a big fan of the concept of learning through play. LeapTV and the LeapFrog approved and created games are simple tools to helps kids to be excited about learning. As evidenced by what I have written in this post and elsewhere, I am not a person who feels that technology is going to turn kids into bumbling idiots. Parents just have to be wise in their choices of the contents that their kids consume and how much of it they consume. To me, LeapTV is like a healthy cookie. Healthy cookies are my favorite, because they’re delicious and I don’t feel bad if I eat a few more. I think LeapTV is the same way. LeapTV essentially is a video game system, but it is okay to let your kids really enjoy it because they’re getting more benefits out of it than they realize.