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LeapFrog's new handhelds offer educational gaming and web connectivity

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 07 Jul 2008 17:45 User comments (7)

LeapFrog's new handhelds offer educational gaming and web connectivity LeapFrog Enterprises, manufacturers of a number of educational themed electronic toys, appear to be eyeing the more mainstream handheld game console market with the introduction of two new products, the Leapster2 Learning Game System and Didji Custom Gaming System.
Besides their emphasis on educational titles, the new cosoles are unique because they each target a specific age group. The Leapster2 is oriented toward 4-8 year olds, while the Didji is intended for kids between 6 and 10.

Like other handheld consoles the new LeapFrog models will have games featuring familiar properties ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog and SpongeBob SquarePants to Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Of course instead of the typical gameplay they'll feature educational problems and puzzles.

Besides copying the look and feel of other handheld games, the Leapster2 and Didji are also revolutionary for the educational market because of their web connectivity. In August LeapFrog will be launching a new online tool called Learning Path that will allow parents to keep tabs on how their kids are progressing with each game title.

"This summer, we are taking learning to a new level with the Leapster2 and Didj handhelds, offering parents and kids even more choice and capabilities. We have ramped up the gaming appeal and added online connectivity and new licenses that kids love, to provide parents a great way to get kids engaged in, and enjoying, learning," said Nancy MacIntyre, LeapFrog's executive vice president of product, innovation and marketing.

The Leapster2 retails for $69.99 and features games that sell for $24.99 each. The Didji sells for $89.99 with games priced at $29.99.

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7 user comments

18.7.2008 1:04
susieqbbb
Inactive

the games are priced at 29.99 for web based content as well not worth the money if you have kids.

28.7.2008 8:37

My son was certainly fond of his Leap Pad when he was younger, and i liked him using it based on some of the fun and educational properties.

I think this will sell to those who are more into educational type formats for their children.

38.7.2008 11:47

Want to teach your kids then, find some time and teach them yourself.
Sure this is good and all but it does absolutely nothing, in the long run. especially when they got to go to school there not going to hand you a leap frog, there going to hand you a textbook a paper and maybe a pencil.

Teach your kids yourself, it does a lot more then just helping them learn. it builds bonds that will last forever.

48.7.2008 12:12

This is not meant to be a substitute for the responsibilities that a parent has to teach their kids. I have 3 kids. My newborn came a month ago. My wife and I thought long and hard as to how we could help our 5 and 3+ year old adjust to everything. No matter how much you plan to give more attention to the kids who need it, something always comes up and it never works out the way you want it to. They each have different needs and they cannot all be addressed when trying to balance the needs of a newborn, work, home maintenance and other urgent family matters. My wife would love to sit with each kid and read to them and play with them all day. But in reality, she is only able to do less than what she wants to - and she is a stay-at-home mom.

I bought Leapsters (one for each kid) and they are priceless and well worth the money if you have kids IMO (you don't have to by 10 games). Because for the times that we just cannot address their needs, it's nice to know that at least some of the time (when I need them to temporarily stop destroying the house with their toys), they are in front of their leapster learning something and not mindlessly watching Squidward club Spongebob. This is also a great device for those long trips in the minivan when the baby is screaming. I cannot believe how this device allows my kids to mentally block a babies crying and screaming. My guess is that they are using more of their brain to focus on the puzzles in these games. Whatever....it works and it was a great purchase. My kids only have 1 game each now and it's enough.

As for the "this does absolutely nothing in the long run" comment, you really have to understand how a childs mind works. Any type of mental stimulation does something to a child in the long run. Whether it's with a paper and pencil, or with an educational video game, it's still something, and it's meant to be a learning aid - not a teaching substitute. Kids need entertainment, and there are many ways to give it to them. My kids get tons of outdoor play time and use their wild imagination with toys and crayons (my house walls are a testament to that), but every kids wants to watch television at some point in time, and there has to be a balance. Substituting their TV time with an educational video game will absoultely have a lasting effect in the long run.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Jul 2008 @ 12:23

58.7.2008 12:16

Personally, i've found it works best as a recreational form of education.

Not a substitute for teaching him myself. Instead it provides "play-time learning."



68.7.2008 12:25

Originally posted by 7thsinger:
Personally, i've found it works best as a recreational form of education.

Not a substitute for teaching him myself. Instead it provides "play-time learning."
That sums it all up perfectly - "play time learning"

78.7.2008 13:08

Quote:
Originally posted by 7thsinger:
Personally, i've found it works best as a recreational form of education.

Not a substitute for teaching him myself. Instead it provides "play-time learning."
That sums it all up perfectly - "play time learning"
Agreed.

But at the same time, when did things like legos, action figures, and going outside and using your imagination go? Heck, I am in my mid 20's and still play with legos. It seems like kids are using TV and video games to entertain them. To sum it up using food, gaming and TV is suppose to be dessert, not a the main course.

A good example, my friend kid kept bugging us to play the xbox360. The father is push over but I told the kid to go outside or read or play with his toys. He started crying, over not playing the 360. It was so sad, I couldn't believe that he was acting like such a baby.

While I am no doctor, I still wonder that kids growing up with constant TV and video games and little to no using imagination or just doing something not on the TV is making our children more prone to being ADD or similar conditions. That comment was not meant to offend anyone, I am only speculating.

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