Unboxing the LeapFrog Leap Start pad is actually extremely simple. It’s packaged in a large box which is opened quickly by cutting through a few pieces of tape. Inside you’ll find the item sealed in its own plastic bag with the instruction manual and interactive book.
The Leapstart opens up to show two interactive pages which are always at the ready. There’s also a stylus attached right to the unit, with its own spot for storage inside the Leapstart itself. On the inside you’ll also find the power button and volume adjuster. The ability to adjust the volume is a nice feature, with multiple levels to choose from depending on the situation. This makes it perfect for traveling in the car and occupying their time while out and about . The unit does not come with batteries, and requires two AA batteries to operate.
When you turn the Leapstart on you are instructed by a very friendly voice to interact with the pages using the attached stylus. The stylus is the perfect size for small hands. Once you press it to any picture on the LeapStart pages, the item you touched is described and you are prompted to continue to interact with the page. The included interactive learning book has many activities on both front and back pages. This one book alone gives them multiple ways to interact and learn, a big plus.
This toy is perfect for traveling and is actually very entertaining. I love the volume control feature and the fact that it has versatility depending on when and where your child is playing with it. I also love that when it closes up, everything is contained securely inside. There is no risk of losing the stylus, since it’s attached directly to it. The interactive books are easy to store inside, which means that little hands can switch these out with ease, and buying new books makes the LeapFrog Leapstart new and interesting all over again.
If I am being totally honest, there isn’t much I don’t like with the Leap Start pad. The only improvement that I could suggest would be having it clip closed when traveling, but the truth is it really would just be an added bonus and isn’t really necessary.
This toy is marketed for “curious 2-4 year olds” and I really do think it is great for those age ranges. Since the younger side of that age range is an age where coloring is a fairly new skill, the LeapFrog Leap Start has a great stylus for these tiny hands. Plus it keeps young children engaged, with interactive points on nearly every inch of the pages. The older side of that age range is getting better at following directions and can use the other features to solve puzzles, match, and learn.
I think that the LeapFrog Leap Start may continue to have value beyond age 4, but the interactive pages will get boring more quickly for these older children and there may be more value in another educational platform.
My final thought for the LeapFrog LeapStart Learning System is that for a toy that is reasonably priced you do get a lot for your money. I really like the education benefits and how with a small investment the books both grow with your child as they develop. This keeps the toy “new” for a longer period of time, adding to its value. The portability features are great since it’s lightweight and easy for small children to handle on their own. The durable design sets my mind at ease as a mom because I know it’s going to get dropped more than a few times, but I don’t need to worry about my investment.
LeapFrog did a good job with the LeapStart Interactive Learning System. I had fun playing with it and can confidently say that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again.