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463 of 465 found the following review helpful:
Great features, tough to useSep 26, 2003
By Melissa Jersild
We, like many of you, were REALLY excited to see a LeapPad for little ones and bought it as soon as we could, with extra books. It is an amazing little toy that will grow with our son (now 18 months old).
That said, be warned of a few things:
1-the effects on the pages are tough to activate by little hands--you really have to push hard to make them happen. But once you do, they're really great, easy to understand and add to the enjoyment of the story.
2-the on/off and volume buttons--are on the front and if your little one is manic about the remote or phone or any other button intensive thing, this is too much for them to resist. I simply put my hand over it to take it out of his head as soon as we start.
3-this is NOT a let your child play with by themselves kind of toy (as least not mine, not yet). It's meant to be an interactive experience between parent and child--in fact, there are even helpful hints on how to better use the book in the back of each book. The GO button must be pushed for each page, something I doubt most small children would grasp in order to keep the story going.
4-the clarity of speech in the stories is fantastic--the variety of voices and sounds is really quite remarkable considering the price. But it is not your voice. And, frankly, nothing compares to you reading to your child.
All in all, I think this is a fantastic toy to expose children to, learn with them, and then allow them to learn on their own--when they're ready.
113 of 122 found the following review helpful:
Not for Active BabiesNov 07, 2003
I bought this for my daughter (9 months old) before a big plane trip when she was 8 months thinking it would keep her entertained while we were on the plane. Bad idea on my part. She is so active and busy all the time that she hated looking at this book. She rips out the little book all the time (in my opinion it comes out way to easy) and throws it. She also couldn't push hard enough on the book to make it do anything. I found I really had to poke it hard to get anything to play. I didn't take it back thinking she might like it later but everytime I take it out she moves right on to something else. She loves books so I was really surprised she didn't like this but she didn't at all. I would save my money and buy board books that you can read with your baby.
One good thing is that the pages really are tear resistant, she has tried many times to rip them apart and chew on them and besides for being a little bent they are still in good shape. If you are going to buy this save it for 1+ years.
210 of 232 found the following review helpful:
Needs work.Oct 17, 2003
I really like the leap pad products for my children. However, this one needs allot of work. The pages are really flimsy and is difficult to operate. My 18 month old toddler wanted just to push the on/off button. They need to make several adjusments to this item. It was hard even for me to push the touch system. I am hoping that they will change this item around to be more user friendly to the specified age group. It is a great
idea but poorly made. The touch is nice and should be more sensitive or have less pages, or something to the fact that they don't have to pound on the pad to get a response. I know leap pad can do better. We took this item back to the store ASAP! The pillow in the back is a nice idea.
53 of 55 found the following review helpful:
Difficult for the kids and parentsOct 08, 2003
We were very excited about this product, but due to following things returned it.
1. The touch does not work, you have to push the finger for it to work
2. The ON-OFF button is in front and "fun" for the kids, so they tend to press that more often.
3. To start on the next page the kid has to tap on "Go", not intutive for 15 month old.
4. The paper book is easy to tear-off.
May be we will wait for LeapFrog to fix some of these problems, or better wait for our son to grow and use "My First LeapPad" instead of this product.
47 of 49 found the following review helpful:
So Far So GoodJul 15, 2004
I'd read a few reviews about this toy and the Fisher Price Power Touch toy (which is for older kids) and had just about decided to buy the Fisher Price one because of all the bad reviews this one had received here, when I saw this toy in a store. It didn't seem all that bad and, most importantly for me, it had a volume control button (my 9-month old daughter is easily frightened by loud noises).
I must say that I have to agree with all those people who said that this toy is GREAT! Firstly, I think people need to remember that the toy is for 6 to 36-month old babies / toddlers. So I believe the whole intention is for you to play the toy with your child and not leave them to try and figure out the instructions themselves or even push the pad themselves. Of course once they get closer to 3 years of age, they may be able to do it - all the better for them. Secondly, I don't think this is intended to replace reading of regular books to your child. On the other hand, not all parents have a natural knack for making story-reading a fun experience (e.g. making different voices or sounds, singing etc.) and so for those parents, this could be a God-send.
In fact, I would recommend that this toy be bought sooner rather than later (i.e. when the child is closer to 6 months old than 36 months old). This is so that you can begin playing this toy with your child before they reach their active stage. By the time they do reach that stage, they will have learnt that for this particular toy, they are required to sit still. (I regret that I did not get this toy for my daughter much earlier.)
The toy is good for various reasons :
- it's durable - although my daughter will sit with me to play this toy, she has also climbed all over it (and has in that way managed to activate the sounds), crushed, yanked and drooled on the pages of the books and they still manage to flatten out some how on their own;
- there's volume control (important for keeping everyone else sane and for not frightening a timid child) and the sound quality is actually quite good. I have definitely heard worse at higher prices;
- there are good tips given on how to encourage your child - e.g. the "Guess How Much I Love You" book suggests that you ask your child to point out the butterfly that appears on every page. It took my daughter less than two minutes to learn this game. She points it out to me and I press the butterfly for her and the Touch Pad rewards her with a tune. She loves this and gets really pleased with herself. I have done this with the "GO" button too and she is also getting the hang of it. Having done this with the Touch Pad, she now points out recurring objects in regular books (sometimes without being asked)even without a tune as a reward;
- there are lots of things to press / do on each page. I cannot understand how anyone can be confused as to when to turn the page! There is no need to do all the activities on a page before you turn it. That's the beauty of such a toy - every time you and your child come back to it, you get to discover something new or rediscover something you enjoyed last time!
- it reinforces other things the child learns elsewhere - for example, my daughter learnt to wave and say "bye bye" by 7 and a half months and generally we have little doubt that she knows what it means. But I was amazed when the first time I turned the Touch Pad off, it said "bye bye" and she replied in kind and waved to it. She does this each time and she knows that it means it's time to move on to another activity.
With regards to the problems other people have had :
- my daughter also took great interest in the on/off button (she touched it but didn't press it). However, after a couple of times of telling her not to do that, she has stopped doing it.
I completely agree with Melanie Gamble from Oklahoma and also the "Toy Enthusiast" from PA who said that parents should give their kids a chance and not set an example of "giving up" when things are a little tough.
The only complaint I have is that the Leap Frog website does not sell online to customers outside the US, which means I will have to hunt down the other books and cartridges I want for my daughter. (In case anyone wonders, Amazon doesn't sell / ship these "toys" to this part of the world either.)
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