LeapPad Ultimate review: We’re on the LeapFrog Play Panel!

Toys & games
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We’re really excited to to announce that we are official LeapFrog Play Panelists!

This means we’ll be testing out some of the new and exciting developments for the LeapFrog brand and we’ll be testing out some of the new games for the kid-safe LeapPad Ultimate tablet (also suitable for other models of LeapPad).

Now they’re a bit older, I am happy for them to use tablets more. The screen-based guilt has long gone. They can be really useful on journeys, and for filling the witching hour before bed, and most of the apps are brilliant and educations.

However I always worry a bit when they are using their dad’s iPad because they’re not particularly careful and it could be easily broken (they have form).

There are also a lot of apps that turn out to be unsuitable for children so you have to be careful about what you download or let them have access to if it’s a shared tablet.

Leap Pad Ultimate review

We were sent a LeapPad Ultimate tough, kid-safe tablet for review.

It arrived a few weeks before my youngest’s third birthday so we wrapped it up for him, although the LeapPad Ultimate is a tablet designed specifically for kids aged 3-9 so actually it would be ideal for either of my children.

You can change profiles so that each user has their progress recorded separately so they will both use it, they do tend to share most of their toys (willingly or unwillingly).

What do you get in the box?

The tablet comes with a charger (standard micro USB), a USB lead (in case you don’t have WiFi) and simple instructions as well as a quick start guide. It has an internal 8GB memory, front and back cameras and an attached stylus.

Leap Pad Ultimate review

The LeapPad Ultimate tablet comes preloaded with apps and content to help children develop maths, reading and science abilities as well as games and puzzles to stimulate music, logic and creativity. I’ve talked about our favourite apps below.

As well as the apps already on the tablet, you can purchase over 1000 additional games and learning apps through download and there are game cartridges which you can slot into the side.

These are not included but we did receive ‘Crayola: Art Adventure’ with our LeapPad Ultimate.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate (4)

What does the LeapPad Ultimate look and feel like?

The LeapPad Ultimate is really tough and ‘kid safe’. It has a large colourful plastic bumper casing (it comes in blue and green or pink!) so is thicker and heavier than adult tablets but still light enough for easy use.

On the front there is a ‘home’ button and a D-pad, as well as a speaker and a front camera. The volume button is undeneath, it also has a stylus which pops into a hole in the bottom.

It has an on/off button, cartridge slot and charging point on one side.

Leap Frog Leap Pad Ultimate games

The screen is bright enough to be seen even outdoors and isn’t difficult to see if the tablet is angled.

Why is the LeapPad Ultimate different to other tablets?

With a shatter-resistant 7-inch touch screen and a tough casing it’s made for standing up to the average abuse dished out by young children.

The games are all age-appropriate and many have an educational angle.

It connects to wifi and there is a child-friendly web browser called LeapSearch which lets them explore suitable online content such as pictures and videos by browsing categories labelled with pictures.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate (14)

Pre-loaded apps

Some of the pre-loaded apps include:

Photo Fun: Take and alter photographs and add masks.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate (2)

Faintly terrifying shot of me as a dog…

Music: There are two albums pre-loaded

Games: There are two games; Planet Goop Cosmic Clean Up (helping to put rubbish in bins) and Pet Pals Puppies Hide & Seek. There are also demos of new games available for download.

LeapPad Ultimate review

Ebooks: There is one E-book included which you can read along with.

Videos: There are a few videos, including one with an annoyingly catchy song about fractions as sung by a group of frogs. Do check it out.

There is also a calculator, notepad, calendar, voice memo, which are pehaps a much for a 3 year old but will definitely be useful as they get a bit older.

Sibling harmony - sharing the LeapPad Ultimate. Kind of

Sibling harmony – sharing the LeapPad Ultimate. Kind of

What did we think of the LeapPad Ultimate?

Although it was ostensibly a present for my youngest, it piqued the interest of my oldest (age 4.5) straight away, who has been begging to use it ever since. My two can now usually be found arguing over it, so that’s nice. Perhaps we’ll get her her own one for her birthday.

I liked the attached stylus. Firstly it won’t get lost, and secondly the stylus itself it makes the tablet very easy to use. I think it will be perfect for helping her learn to draw letter shapes.

The battery was charged overnight and lasted about four days on fairly heavy use (including us setting it up).

The screen was bright enough that it could be seen outside. It’s chunky enough that small hands can hold it without risk of it slipping and the bumper will no doubt come in very useful!

Leap Pad Ultimate review

Crayola Art Adventure

Included with the bundle we were sent was Crayola Art Adventure, which is for teaching colours and shapes and developing drawing in younger children (3-7).

There are music games and puzzles to complete and activities each have three levels to work through.

Children can colour in pictures which they can save, copy music patterns, solve games by tracing objects, learn to draw, complete mazes and fit shapes into larger shapes. It is a good game for younger children as the games are short and fairly simple particularly at level 1. It is slightly repetitive without progress being saved, but younger children won’t mind this.

Leap Frog Leap Pad Ultimate games

Anything we’d change?

The voice is very enthusiastically American. I would love some English apps because I won’t lie, although the children don’t mind it annoys me!

The stylus, sadly, did not stand up to my children. Someone may have chewed it and the end is now gnawed through to the rubber. As much as I’m annoyed with whoever the culprit might be, I can’t help but feel they should be prepared for this kind of thing!

However the feedback from the children is overwhelmingly positive; we just have to agree on how long they can use it for!

Leap Frog Leap Pad Ultimate games

How much and where to buy

LeapPad Ultimate tablets (both green and pink versions) are available from online toy stores and in-store at bigger shops. You can also get them from Amazon (link below). The RRP is £129.99 but currently they’re less than that on Amazon. Crayola Art Adventure has an RRP of £19.99.

We received this LeapPad Ultimate and Crayola Art Adventure as part of the LeapFrog Play Panel. All pictures and words are mine. You can find out more about the LeapPad Ultimate on the LeapFrog website and you can follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Agree? Disagree? Never felt so much unbridled rage? Leave a comment!

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