I don’t know about you but Back-to-School as a homeschooling mother can be tough! This year I have a preschooler and a toddler in addition to three formal school grades as well, in Kindergarten, 3rd and a 3rd-4th blend. It’s never easy to deal with multiple age groups, and keeping the curious minds of a preschooler busy can be especially difficult.
LeapPad3 – the Perfect Tablet for Preschooler Hands
We are fans of LeapFrog products in our house – we’ve had LeapPad Explorers and even the LeapFrog Little Touch Leap Pad when my oldest was a little guy. I’ve always found the LeapFrog products to be some of the most durable products out there – our first Little Touch is still in working condition four kids later! This LeapPad3 Tablet is no exception to the durability – it’s easy-to-hold, the screen won’t break easily, and it’s built to take the inevitable blow or two.
Preschool Educational Games and Learning Videos
Your tablet comes pre-loaded with a couple games and videos, plus you can purchase and download additional titles. Our Leapster Explorer cartridges were compatible and we could download additional items and apps. Here are a few of our current favorites.
Interactive eBooks – My kids are currently in love with Frozen so we picked up the Frozen interactive ebook first thing. If you’ve never used the LeapFrog interactive ebooks they are similar to the design of their physical LeapFrog Explorer books. You can have each page read aloud to you, or you can practice reading it yourself and only touch the words you are stumped on. When you touch a word with the stylus it will read just that word. The kids also like to touch the characters in the pictures of the book to hear their names.
LeapFrog Learning Videos – We also have two of the learning movies on the LeapPad3 now. My kids love the LeapFrog series cartoons and I love how easily they learn their letter sounds as they listen. Warning – the song “every letter has a sound” may get stuck in your head. The price you pay for having preschoolers in your home.
Educational Games – Of course every child loves computer games and these learning video games make you feel not-guilty about giving them screen time while you work on math with an older child. The current favorite is a puppet game that teaches colors and shapes and foundational math skills like pattern recognition.
What You Should Know Before Buying
What parents will want to know before buying a LeapPad3 for their family is that there’s one major “con” on my pro/con list – the limit on user profiles. I KNOW that my family is unusual because we have more-than-average number of children, but I do find it frustrating that the LeapPad3 allows 3 user profiles only. The LeapPad3 is so versatile – the age range is from 3-9. I have FIVE children in that age range (well technically Vivian is 2 1/2 but do NOT tell her that.)
Our solution was to give Adam, Micah, and Evan each a profile since they represent the three learning stages (Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary) in our home. Then we told Vivian to play on Adam’s profile and Brianna to play on Evan’s profile. But as any mother of kids can tell you – they much prefer to see their OWN NAMES on something than to have to “share” with a sibling. They already do so much sharing that it’s nice to give them each their own log in to a program like that.
Otherwise, this LeapPad3 is a huge improvement over the Leapster Explorers we picked up a couple years ago. The tablet is easily rechargeable by plugging into my laptop with a USB cord (also allowing me to monitor the useage). Additionally, there’s a new kid-safe web feature that allow my kids to watch funny YouTube clips of animals and sports and things without me worrying about what inappropriate “related videos” will lead them to something I don’t want them viewing.
Altogether, the LeapPad3 is a fantastic new offering in the LeapFrog line up. I know this will have a lasting place in our school day routine as a reward for finishing assignments on time and for “quiet time” during periods in the day when I need the littles happily entertained.
Disclosure – I was sent the LeapPad3 so I could review it accurately for you guys through a campaign with MomSelect. My photos and opinions and dirty-kneed kids are all my own.