We’re big fans of LeapFrog around here, and they have lots of fun, new products for the holidays. First up is the newly updated LeapPad 2. This award-winning, kid-friendly tablet was first released in 2011, but has been improved and updated for 2012 with lots of new features and content.

– a hi-resolution front and rear camera and video recorder making it easier for kids to take pictures and movies of themselves and their friends.

double the memory (from 2 to 4GB), improved battery life, and a faster processor which means that games, videos and transition all move faster and smoother

– a built-in, motion-based accelerometer to add another layer of fun to many games

more than 325 games, apps, music, and books, including the new Ultra E-books that offer 3 different levels of reading for the same story. As your child advances, so does the difficulty of the story. Brilliant.

The LeapPad 2 comes with 5 included apps – Pet Pad (a writing game), Learning Songs (a music player app with 5 included songs and others available to download), Cartoon Director (create your own animated cartoon with your photos and recorded sound effects) and Art Studio (a Disney-themed drawing app). For the 5th app, it’s your choice! You can go to the Leapfrog App Store and download a book, game, movie or song of your choice.

I’m still a fan of the original LeapPad, but the updates and improvements have made for a faster, better, more varied device. Plus there are dozens of new apps added to the store to help you choose those games, books and activities that are best suited for your child.

Also new to Leapfrog is the interactive Touch Magic™ collection geared for kids ages 2-4yrs including the Touch Magic Rocking Guitar, Touch Magic Counting Train, and Touch Magic Learning Bus.

Amusing, entertaining and educational, these hands-on toys teach preschoolers about colors, letters and music in a toddler-friendly format. Each Touch Magic device offers three modes to play in as well as other activities. My 2-year-old had a blast trying out the different games and sounds on the Touch Magic Learning Bus, and I liked that he was able to learn about and practice his letters and sounds in a variety of formats. (Plus, they are on sale now for $21.99!)

LeapFrog always seems to offer the perfect blend of fun and educational value in their toys and this year’s LeapPad 2 and Touch Magic collection are no different.  Kid and parent-approved!


Kate Bayless is a writer, editor and reviewer based in Southern California. Visit her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Contently.

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