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Can someone please explain innotabs/leappads etc to me in very basic terms, and are they any good for reception children?

(20 Posts)
HappyAsEyeAm Tue 16-Oct-12 10:52:30

Bit of background - we aren't really into up to date technology in our family. We are happy with our ancient mobile phones (never had or wanted a smartphone) and our small-ish TVs.

But I think DS would like some sort of electronic thing to play games on. I don't know the differences between any of them, or which one would be best for him, or anything.

Any advice please on which one we should get? We would like to get him one of these devices for Christmas and a camera for his borthday in Jan.

RillaBlythe Tue 16-Oct-12 10:53:10


peacypops Tue 16-Oct-12 11:11:00

Our 4 year old dd has a leap-pad and seems to like it (although she hasn't got lots of games etc on it yet). She practises writing her letters on it, takes photos with it (normally of her toys!) and particularly enjoys a game where you have to feed, groom and entertain your pet! Don't know much about the innotab but would recommend the Leap-pad.

SavoyCabbage Tue 16-Oct-12 11:21:27

We have a leapad2. It has a camera and a video camera.

You can buy cartridges for them with different games. All the games are educational. Some are related to tv/films and some are not.

You can also connect the leapad to your computer and download apps on to it. There are books, videos, games and song apps.

Cheddars Tue 16-Oct-12 11:30:18

Wondering this myself. Everyone seems to think the iPad is much better and the apps for it are cheaper, but iPads are just too expensive for us to consider.

Haberdashery Tue 16-Oct-12 11:59:40

DD has a LeapPad. She got it for Christmas when she was in Reception.

It is true that the apps and games are fairly expensive, however, they are aimed explicitly at children so you absolutely know that all content is completely appropriate and at a sensible level, and there are a lot of things with characters from films (Tinkerbell, Toy Story etc) which appeal greatly to children. DD adores it. She takes tons of photos, makes videos, draws, listens to (awful, cheesy) music, writes her own music, makes her own speaking books. It's a lot of fun but she has just turned six and I'm not sure how much longer she will like it for. She really really likes it but I think in another year or so, she's going to want to do a bit more (for instance, be able to type stories on it). The difficulty of puzzles can be changed, which is a plus point, but the lack of a keyboard and ability to play with text is a downside IMO.

I think if I were to go shopping again, I'd go for something like this with a really robust case, which has greater longevity, IMO. If your child is a bit rough on toys, then the kids' tablet option is probably better. The Android store has plenty of child-friendly apps. There are also even cheaper Android tablets out there.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 16-Oct-12 12:45:06

Looks like the Leappad 2 is recommended. Thanks for the advice.

What is a kids tablet please?

Haberdashery Tue 16-Oct-12 12:47:39

Something like a LeapPad or Innotab, I meant. That is, a tablet specifically aimed at children rather than a tablet aimed at adults which could easily be used like children (like the Nexus).

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 16-Oct-12 12:54:38

Thanks. As I said, I'm clueless. I'll get the Leappad 2.

Leoboy Tue 16-Oct-12 13:04:21

My DD (6)and DS (4) both have leap pads. They are great, they can draw on them and take photos. If you get one, mr pencil has been really popular with my two. It allows them to practice letter formation and is good for pencil control. Mine also like toy story which also has educational parts and tangled which is a bit harder but you can actually put in your own spellings for them to practice in the game. My DS loves the Ben 10 game which has bits of geography but he tends to ignore anything educational and goes for the fighting baddies bit!! Scooby doo game isn't popular here and neither is the globe one. Hope that helps a bit.

Haberdashery Tue 16-Oct-12 13:06:13

Mr Pencil was highly popular with my daughter, too. She also loves the Dora the Explorer one.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 16-Oct-12 13:33:37

We will get the Leappad 2. Is the Mr Pencil game "Mr Pencil Game" or "Mr Pencil Learn to Draw and Write game", and do you know whetrh Leappad games worlkl on a Leappad 2 (I assume they do)?

I think Ds will really love it.

Leoboy Tue 16-Oct-12 13:33:40

Oh yes, we love the Dora one here too!

AbbyR1973 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:21:48

DS1 aged 4 got his last Xmas and DS2 aged 3 got one for his birthday (leappad) I'm quite impressed- they are intuitive to use and hence both DS can use with minimal input and seem to be reasonably robust. Interestingly both prefer the downloadable games to the cartridges. As well as game apps you can download e-books, videos, etc with an educational slant. DS2 is a whizz with Jeweltrain which is a logic based downloadable app in which they have to rotate bits of track. The game cartridgescan be pricey but the downloadable apps less so.

simpson Tue 16-Oct-12 22:31:20

DD (4) in reception is getting one for Xmas....

GoldenPeppermintCreams Wed 17-Oct-12 09:26:36

We made the decision to get a family ipad instead as it was something that we all use, and instead of a third computer, second tv, ipod, digital radio etc, so it worked out good value for money for us.

If we were on a really tight budget, we'd probably get a cheaper android version instead.

3rdnparty Wed 17-Oct-12 09:35:23

I would get a tablet (like an ipad) and then a good cover for it grin Tesco had a good offer on the Samsung 7" last week less than half the price of an ipad...or if you can afford it an ipad - we got a family one and its fantastic loads of different apps/games for all ages and lots for free
Can also get stylus/pencil games i am a childminder and have kids from 3+ using it quite happily...
battery life is good as well

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 17-Oct-12 09:56:29

Thanks. We don't really want or need an ipad for the family. Me and DH simply wouldn't use it. So I think we will just get the leappad 2 for DS.

noramum Wed 17-Oct-12 16:11:21

I would still go for an ipad. I think the kids outgrow the tablets just too fast.

Haberdashery Wed 17-Oct-12 22:49:45

If it isn't going to be mainly used by adults, an iPad is a crazy expense. Get a Nexus or similar and save several hundred quid. Most decent apps tend to be available for both Android and Apple, IME.

Also, DD's LeapPad has been a sensible expense for us. It cost less than £100 and has happily covered the space of time when 'being careful' doesn't mean exactly the same to a child as it does to an adult. DD will have used it for more than two years by the time she's moving on to something else I think (and I bet we'll be able to resell it on eBay, plus the games which they seem to make compatible with any future hardware, v sensibly).

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