We are a family of gadget users, the eldest has his own Nook and the two youngest children regularly fight over my iPad. One of the things which worries me about letting the younger children use the iPad is whether they will be a bit heavy handed with it. It’s always a bit of a worry which is why the Leapfrog LeapPad Ultra is a great solution.
We found the LeapPad Ultra to be really robust and it has withstood several bouts of heavy handedness on my ceramic kitchen floor. The chunky feel to the tablet is perfect for little children, however there is a payoff in that its quite heavy. I’ve found that although they tend to wander about the house with my iPad, the LeapPad is used when sitting down. I think that’s quite a good thing.
One of the things I have to admit I’ve always had a few issues with is setting up the LeapPad products, its always proved quite time consuming and fiddly. Although, once you’ve done it once generally you are alright. The LeapPad Ultra can connect to WiFi so that makes it an awful lot easier than connecting it to your computer. I’ve found that this makes a big difference and we have uploaded a lot more games than we probably would have done.
One of the brilliant things about the LeapPad Ultra is that all the games and designed with the infant/ junior age range in mind so you don’t need to worry about them playing something inappropriate and there is plenty of choice. All the games seem to have an educational slant which for me is quite important. I’m impressed with them and I really like the fact that you can go into a parent area and have a look at what they have been learning about.
The biggest drawback to the tablet is that it is quite slow, things do seem to take a while to load up and this has proved a challenge for my kids who can get a little frustrated as they are used to fairly instant access to apps. With a little bit of practice they are used to waiting for things to load up and I don’t think its necessarily a bad thing (waiting whilst a cassette loaded into my spectrum did me no harm), however, this would be an improvement I’d suggest.
There are lots of other benefits to the LeapPad Ultra it has its own web browser which is child friendly and safe. My children have been really enjoying using that. It also has its own camera with associated app which has allowed for endless fun and comedy pictures. Whats more it actually comes with 11 apps, Fifi particularly likes the pet app, but there are plenty of others to choose from.
If you are looking for a great little robust, educational tablet for your children (particularly those in the 3- 7 age range- I would say). Then this is well worth considering, it is reasonably priced considering the apps and the build quality and is a great introduction into tablet use something which is an increasingly important part of your child’s education. If you want to find out more have a look at the LeapPad Ultra website.
Disclaimer: Fifi was given a LeapPad Ultra for review purposes