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Leapster? Leapfrog Didj? Something Else?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So, I'm pregnant with my third child and will be homeschooling my eldest (5) for kindy next year. I also have a two year old. I'm thinking about getting her one of those "educational" handheld gaming systems to supplement my probably extremely relaxed attempts of homeschooling during the pregnancy and newborn stage. I'm just not sure what to get. They are so expensive, I'd like something that grows with her. We have done very very little formal schooling. She knows how to: add two digit numbers as long as you don't have to carry a number (for example: she can do 19+5 or 13+12; but she doesn't know how to do 19+15 yet) subtract two digit numbers as long as it doesn't involve borrowing; multiply small digit numbers; tell time; work with money; read books like the Magic Tree House. She does NOT watch a lot of TV (and isn't familiar with most TV characters) and is still "young" in terms of what she can handle in terms of scariness. Movies like How to Train a Dragon are too scary for her, so a lot of marketing tie-ins with things like Star Wars and stuff wouldn't be that appealing to her. I worry a Leapster would be too easy for her, and I'd like something challenging for her. I've not heard great things about the Didj, and I wonder if it's a good match for her in terms of her emotional maturity. Any suggestions?

post #2 of 7
Someone got one of my kids a leapster and the apps for it are ridiculously expensive - so much more than android or apple apps. I'd get a cheap android before a leapster. You'll find educational games for it. Not a kindle fire or nook tablet though because they aren't true android tablets - unless you're OK with not getting hardly any free apps (though their apps are cheap anyway) and not having as big an app market to choose from. Hmm I will somewhat reverse my position though and say that the benefit of going through them for apps is that they don't have apps that are really advertisements or are full of ads, so if you do get an app it's a complete and full actual app. There is value to that. And you can of course get loads of books for them, including free and cheap books.

I guess it depends on what you want but there are lots of options. I don't think the Leapster is a good value, though. Look at the app selection and see how much they cost before you decide on that.
post #3 of 7

We've had leapsters, a didj and the explorer.  The didj never caught on.  All my kids liked the leapster, but interest was pretty much over by age 4. I think the explorer is for kids a little bit older than leapster-age.  My dd is 6 and in k, and still plays with it sometimes (actually very rarely), but she's not put off by it.

 

If you have an ipad or iphone, my kindergardener loves the apps called "TeachMe."  They come in K, 1st & 2nd.  I think they're probably pretty easy, as my k'er has no trouble with the 2nd grade app, but the game covers math, reading and writing.   There are all kinds of learning apps you could use for homeschool.

 

If an ipad is too pricey, I'll be you could get similar apps on a Kindle Fire, which costs only about $200.  And apps are so much cheaper than the Leapster or Explorer games.  There's no way I would ever buy another LeapFrog game now that I have an ipad.

 

 

post #4 of 7

We paid about 100$ for my dd's leapPad, and she really likes it.  At 6, she's a bit at the older end of it's design, but there are still interesting things about it for her.  The apps aren't cheap, but not as expensive as the Explorer, about 7-20$ each.  The most popular stuff with her is the digital scrapbooking parts, she can take her own video & pictures, easily add voice overs and writing and make little 'books' about herself or whatever with some of the apps. 

 

post #5 of 7

I agree with the others about an ipod Touch, ipad, or Kindle Fire. My DD is turning six in May and hasn't touched her Leapster in a year. But the ipod touch gets used all the time, and I can update apps with very little money.

-e
 

post #6 of 7
I'd definitely get either a Kindle Fire, iPod touch, of iPad. My youngest just turned 5 and has mastered all 3 (plus my iPhone - which is the same as the touch). He was bored quickly with the limitations of a Leapster, and I know the same would be true for the LeapPad. Plus the games/apps are pricy; whereas, most apps we have gotten for the other devices were free and a handful were .99 cents.
post #7 of 7

If you want to stay with 'leap' products then scour ebay and such for the old ones. Circa 2000-2004.  The ones with cartridges, leapbooks etc. Otherwise just make the jump right to a Nook or Kindle Fire.

My DS 11 still likes the 'read to me' function of NOOK.  I love being able to get him a new book at 2am, etc.

 

Have you looked at nintendo DS and the educational games they offer?

 

I think we've had darn near every portable learning/game system in the past 10 years.

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