Leap Frog Learn and Groove Musical Mat and Leap Start Learning System

Leap Frog Music MatLeap Frog is one of those companies that has a pretty good brand going on. You can associate the company with educational toys with a technical twist. I’m going to be reviewing two of their products today, one for the very young and one for a little older than that.

The first is the Leap Frog Learn and Groove Musical Mat, and it is a mat about 4 feet with ten buttons on it like a weird version of Dance Dance Revolution. It’s made for those ages 3 to 5, and it has lot of great play for someone of that age range.

Each of the ten spots has a number, animal, and an instrument. There are games so the kid can follow the lead and learn some beats, as well as the possibility of Free Play.

I don’t see this particular item on the Leap Frog site yet, but I found it on the Bed, Bath, and Beyond site for about $29.99.

Leap Frog Leap StartAs for the LeapStart, this is one of two that are sold from the company, and this particular model that you see in the image on the right is the one of Kindergarten and 1st Grade.

This educational toy is made for creative thinking as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). It has a set-up like a portable gaming system, but the “cartridges” are these books that can be placed within the Leap Start.

From there, there is this stylus on a wire that can read invisible dots on the pages. This allows for questions, challenges, and all kinds of things to help speed along learning. They are designed to teach school and life skills, with levels of Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and then First Grade.

The Leap Start itself costs $39.99 on the Leap Frog site, with the books costing $12.99 each.

Leap Frog presents the LeapReader Reading and Writing System

21301_LF01If you are familiar with Leap Frog, then you probably know it as a company that makes education electronic toys, usually with a green and white color scheme. I recently had a chance to try out the LeapReader, which isn’t really made for my age group, but for those learning to read.

The LeapReader would best be referred to as a smartpen. This isn’t one of those pens that you can write on a board, and then save it to your computer. This would be a pen that allows you to tap on a special book, and it will literally read to you.

There are over 150 plus books, workbooks, and audio books in the LeapReader library, and I would probably recommend it on a long trip. It even has a headphone jack so the adults don’t have to hear it. In addition to the “read to me” feature, the LeapReader also has a nifty feature of making a game of the book. For example, there is this one game that I played where you had to identify countries in Africa by placing the tip of the pen on the individual country. It is actually pretty tough, and I am an adult.

There are also workbooks that allow the young user to learn how to write letters by tracing them on a page. As I mentioned before, playing audiobooks is also possible, and the controls on the pen resemble that of an MP3 Player.

I honestly believe that the LeapReader could be more improved, but this is only because I see the potential of linking a computer with a pen. The pencil is one of the first tools that young people wield, so why not make it electronic, and able to teach.

You can purchase the LeapReader on the Leap Frog site for $49.99.