Finding a good balance with kids and technology is a tricky part of raising children. There are SO many great things kids can use technology for – communication, learning, creating, and having fun. Today I want to share some tips and great new products that our family is using to teach our kids using technology!
I have been holding in a little secret for a few months that I can’t WAIT to tell you about today! I (Nat) am super excited to announce that I am part of the LeapFrog Mom Squad this year! We have always been big fans of LeapFrog’s fun and educational products, so I’m thrilled to get the chance to work with them and share some of their newest and most innovative products yet.
Every month (or so) I will share my honest reviews of products including tablets, games, and toys for kids ages 2+. (Hello, perfect for our family!) My hope is that you’ll get a real mom’s review on the toys your kids may be asking for this year and some great ways to keep your kids learning at home and on the go.
This fun handheld game has kids spin, twist, and tap to practice recognizing letters and sounds and build words in a active, engaging way. My preschooler knows all of his letters and is working on letter sounds, so this toy is spot-on for his stage (Kindergarten Prep.) While the letter identification is easy for him, the building words is just challenging enough to keep his interest but not frustrate him.
- Age Range 4-6 (I felt it was perfect for my preschooler, a little too easy for my 1st grader, but she still liked it)
- 3 different games and 5 learning levels (that automatically adjust based on user)
- make over 100 different words
It might sound strange when I say this, but one of my favorite things about this game is that it’s NOT internet-based. I love it’s “old-school” feel like the handheld games I played as a kid (pre-tablet era!) Because it’s simple and doesn’t require wi-fi it’s a great game to take in the car or throw in the diaper bag for my older kids while we’re waiting at doctor appointments, etc.
Anyone else have a love-hate relationship with the technology available these days?
For example, I love the convenience of having so much information available at the click of a button, but hate all the junk that’s out there that my kids could be exposed to. In the past, I’ve been hesitant to hand over a tablet to one of our kids, who are way too young to navigate the internet, YouTube, etc. by themselves. Here is my absolute FAVORITE thing about the LeapPad Platinum – Kid-Safe Internet. You read that right! LeapSearch includes age-appropriate content that is handpicked by experts and is easily customizable through parental settings. Kids can choose from categories including, funny, pets, and how-to.
For my 4-year old, that means he can watch sports highlights (he loves Football) without ads or anything inappropriate. My Bella LOVES to watch the videos in the how-to-draw section!
Here are some of the other great features of the LeapPad Platinum:
- 8GB memory to hold up to 40,000 or 100+ game apps
- two camera and video recorders
- 10 apps: Music Player + 10 songs, Pet Pad Party, Pet Chat, Photo Fun Ultra, 5 Utility Apps and a choice of 1 app download
- Kid-tough and durable with a shatter-safe screen and wrap around bumper (it’s been thoroughly bump-tested!)
My kids went absolutely NUTS when they saw these brand new interactive cards called Imagicards. These cards go beyond the digital game by implementing a physical interactive element. With LeapFrog Imagicard, children use the camera to capture photos of the cards to bring a favorite character into the game and unlock the magical gameplay. It just so happens my Will LOVES Paw Patrol and Ninja Turtles right now, so we were beyond thrilled to see that those characters were included in the launch of these new games. Here is a little info on each set.
- for ages 3-5
- curriculum includes: number recognition, counting, shapes, patterns, addition, and subrtraction
- Just for Me Learning that personalizes and automatically adapts to child’s learning level
- for ages 4-7
- children take photos of 26 letter cards, and go on quests to find items that begin with each letter
- curriculum includes: phonics, spelling, consonants, word sounds, and sight words
- for ages 5-8
- bring your favorite TMNT turtles and characters to life in 3 New York environments, solving math problems along the way to unlock doors and solve challenges
- curriculum includes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, number composition
This is by far my son’s favorite. He is really into math and numbers lately and this was a challenge for him, as it is slated for an older age range, but he kept up really well! He said it’s fun because, “You solve math problems!”
Something that is helping us find a balance with screen time are these printable Screen Time tickets. The kids get a certain amount per day and earn them by doing chores and other responsibilities. I love using the built in timer on the LeapPad Platinum to keep track of how much time is spent!
As a LeapFrog Mom Ambassador, I receive products, promotional items, and educational material to use and share as I see fit. However, any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience. This post includes affiliate links.