TOY REVIEW: Leaping to LeapPad 2


If you liked the original LeapPad, then you will love the new LeapPad 2. It’s a lot faster, with the new CPU improving it noticeably. Another improvement is the one stylus that comes with the unit is can be connected to the unit with the included string. It comes with five included apps and, like the original LeapPad, you get to pick one free application from a group of four. Plus, within the connect app, you can install all the applications that you purchased for the original LeapPad – you cannot, however, install the free app you selected when you purchased the original LeapPad unit.

The idea behind the LeapPad2 is to inspire kids to explore and create. It has back and front cameras, video recorders, 4 GB of memory and there is a library of over 325 game cartridges, along with the downloadable apps. It can be used with the included stylus or simply as a touch screen with a finger.

Education experts who are designing innovative and captivating experiences for your child, keeping him or her inspired and challenged, create the learning games and applications for LeapPad2. From friendship to creativity, from science to math, your child can explore skill sets that are set for his or her age and ability levels. It also provides an exciting way to encourage your child to read. The characters come to life with animation, as the reading levels adjust to your child’s skill level. Touching a word sounds the word out, helping to improve pronunciation and vocabulary skills.

The front and back camera, along with the video recorder, encourages your child’s creativity. He can create Art Studio masterpieces, edit the pictures he has taken using the Photo Studio, and create his very own animated movies using the included Cartoon Director application.

Keep in mind that the LeapPad2 is still selling at close to its list price of $99. Not only that, but the recharger packs, that allow the unit to be used while plugged into an outlet, sells for about $40. The applications are not cheap and it would have been extra nice if it came with a case. That said, this looks like a fantastic holiday gift for any child aged 3 to 9, who will probably spend many happy hours with it.