Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2016 Toys
Ages: 2 - 7 yrs.
Price: $39.99

LeapStart is an interactive learning system that works with sixteen progressively leveled books for children aged two through seven years. Much like the original LeapPad, books are placed into the unit and children navigate their games and activities through an attached stylus. The books are divided into four levels: preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade. At the preschool and prekindergarten levels, the chunky stylus makes it easy to learn and practice fundamental skills such as shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and daily routines. In the pre-kindergarten-level books, children move onto early reading skills such phonics and writing as well as STEM topics and problem-solving activities. For the next two levels, the sleeker stylus promotes a proper writing grip. At the kindergarten level, children work with books that teach reading, math, logic and reasoning. And, finally, in the first-grade books, they work on vocabulary and STEM. Each level is designed to teach over fifty key skills.

The activities themselves feel more like games than learning exercises, so children quickly engage in them. For example, in Reading Adventures with Health and Safety, they are asked to help find camping gear, sing a campfire song, create their own story, and so forth. Or, in Spy Math with Critical Thinking, they add and subtract to navigate a maze, crack a safe using simple equations, and serve properly portioned pies by working with fractions. Each "game" teaches and hones important skills. And, once children have mastered the books in one level, they can move onto the next; or, if appropriate, they can alternate between levels to customize their experience to their own level.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

Look for this product at:
Leapfrog Enterprises, Inc

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