Two years ago, on Tech Savvy Mama‘s expert recommendation, I purchased for both Charlie and Eve their own Leapster Explorer handheld gaming devices. These games provided their first ever video game experiences, and I have been very happy with how LeapFrog integrates education of age-appropriate concepts with electronic fun.
Eve has been using her Leapster Explorer since age four and is now six, and Charlie has been enjoying his from ages six-eight. Thanks to the games’ designs neither child has grown out of the device, and both children become VERY excited when they have earned through good behavior or a celebration a new downloadable app for their Explorers.
And they become ecstatic when we or Grandma or Santa gift them with a coveted new game cartridge.
Charlie, Eve and I were lucky to receive the chance to see Brave at an advance screening and WE. ADORED. THIS. FILM. As a young girl (who has a strong bond with me, her mom) Eve especially and fiercely identified with Merida. She has claimed Merida as her absolute favorite of the Disney Princesses, even kicking beloved Mulan down a notch to second place. Charlie loved the action sequences, and as a bookworm who focuses his fiction reading on fantasy and science fiction, he appreciated the richness of the story.
The opportunity for Eve and Charlie to continue interacting with Brave’s Merida and her beautiful Scottish world thanks to the Disney Pixar Brave Explorer cartridge, combined with cool animated games, has been fabulous for them both! As a mother, I am impressed with the interweaving of learning and entertainment provided in the Brave/Leapster Explorer experience.
The kids like:
- The beautiful animation
- The “big kid” video game style quests and levels
- The way the excitement of the film — as well as the humor with the three little brothers (with an into-everything toddler for a little sister, the triplets really cracked them up) — is translated to the games
As a mother, I like:
- The games’ focuses on logic, reasoning and the scientific method in problem solving
- Engaging teaching of facts on the flora and fauna of forests
- Intelligent and enjoyable teaching of physics concepts such as gravity and force
This was our first experience with LeapFrog’s Tag Reader, and my new reader Eve loved it! Having just completed kindergarten and in the stage of slowly sounding out books in the first and second grade reading levels, she especially enjoyed the ability to sound out the stories along with the device.
Additionally, hearing the characters she came to love in the Brave film actually speak aloud in their distinct voices made her reading experience extra special. More than 500 interactive touch points in the book ensure new discoveries with each re-read.
As a mother, I appreciated reading on LeapFrog’s website the recommendations and tips from teachers who approve of the Tag system as part of an early reading curriculum. It put my fears to rest that the Tag would take anything away from her ongoing reading improvement or joy of reading independently.