LeapTV from LeapFrog is a great Christmas gift idea! #LeapTV

Recently I was selected by BSMMedia and LeapFrog to host a sponsored MommyParty introducing the new LeapTV. I was given free product to host the party and as always I will be giving you my honest thoughts here.
LeapTV product

What is LeapTV?

LeapTV from LeapFrog gets kids into the action while teaching core skills across a variety ofsubjects including: reading, mathematics, science and problem solving. Designed for kids ages 3-8, the system uses a motion-sensing camera and controller that fits small hands. Audio instruction makes it simple for even the youngest kids to play solo or with a friend!

LeapTV Games

With a library of 9 cartridge games at launch and 100+ LeapFrog educator-approved games and videos available by year-end, kids never run out of fun! Games adapt to each child’s level-starting with the most basic skills and then automatically adjusting the learning for the perfect challenge. We were able to play with both the LeapFrog Sports and  LeapFrog Dance & Learn games at out party.

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On the day of our party, we got our system all set up with plenty of space in the living room and it didn’t take long! That part was a such a blessing. Have you ever had an experience where you are trying to get a new game or tor set up and by the time you are finished your child is frustrated and completely uninterested? That will not be the case with LeapTV. It does require you to connect with your wifi *( You can register it with your LeapFrog account- we already had one from our other LeagFrog products) but getting it out of the box and set up took less than 5 minutes.  Our 8 year old helped with a majority of setup. It really is that easy! LEAPTV setup

I will recommend that you set up in the part of your home that is most well-lit. To get the best quality for some of the games we required more light. To fix this we brought in another bright lamp in the room. After we did that the kids were ready to play!

LEAPTV fun

The kids that were able to come to our LeapTV party were the perfect ages. We had 3 and 4 year olds who had never had much experience with video games, 5-6 year olds, and 7-8 year olds. The boys liked playing the sports games quite a bit but EVERYONE loved to dance!

LeapTV dance party

We had a great time and at the end of our party several of the kids asked when they could come back and play LeapTV again. I assured them with many chilly days coming up we would have many more LeapTV play dates. This system keeps everyone moving, is educational, and the kids are excited to These factors make the LeapTV an ideal Christmas gift!

Check out our video for more of our LeapTV MommyParty Fun!

A video posted by alicechase (@alicechase) on

Be sure to like LeapFrog on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest LeapFrog products!

Why Educational Toys Matter – 5 Things to consider

educational toys

It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks gift giving season will be upon us. Along with holiday gift exchanges, we also have several birthdays thrown in as well. This really made me consider the types of toys we will purchase and what purpose they serve in our family. Do educational toys really matter?

Do Educational Toys Really Matter? 

Educational toys don’t necessarily have to be labeled “educational”, in my personal opinion. However purchasing toys that support areas where your kids are currently learning and developing is something to really consider when thinking about what you will purchase this season. Different toys certainly impact children’s behavior in different ways. Toys can influence children’s thinking, interaction with peers, and creative expression. Some toys have incredible design but are not particularly engaging. So how do you know what to buy?

What should I look for in an Educational Toy?

Like I mentioned before, I believe that play has purpose if it is enriching the life of your family and engaging to your child’s mental process. There are a variety of ways this is done.  If a toy or game encourages one of the 5 areas below I consider it to be educational and a good fit for our family.

Language and Vocabulary Development : There are so many toys and games that can be used to learn new vocabulary and reinforce words that your child is currently learning. I loved playing scrabble with my family growing up but there are so many more games on the market now. Bananagrams is another one our kids adore and is perfect to pack along  for a holiday trip.

Imagination and Creativity : Kids have the best imaginations! I love encouraging their creative play. I frequently offer the children several art supplies, markers, poster board and tell them to come up with something. I am always impressed with what they create. Another thing I make sure to have available is props and costumes. A simple cape or extra fabric can be transformed through the eyes of a child. We have enjoyed several “productions” that our children have scripted and performed. These double to supporting their literary skill and can include children of varying age ranges.

Math and Problem Solving : Banking and money oriented toys are wonderful for encouraging math and problem solving. Children love to “set up shop” and put together a grocery story or fashion boutique. The addition of a cash register with currency and coins helps to reinforce concepts of addition, subtraction, and place value.

Physical Abilities : Bike riding, hula hoops, jumping rope, stacking blocks encourage not just physical development  and balance but cognitive development as well. Research is currently being done to discover the link between physical activity and brain power. You can read more about that here. It’s always amazing to me the way physical activity helps people of all age work through emotion. From pounding out tensions with play dough or releasing energy by jumping on a trampoline, everyone is more focused after some physical play.

Social Skills : Almost all educational toys encourage social skill development. Playing in a group helps children to work as a team and learn group dynamics. This helps them to become aware of what others think and feel. There will be times of conflict with all teams and groups but this is a great opportunity! Providing opportunities to teach our children proper techniques of conflict management and resolution early on is so valuable.

All kids love to play! We can help make the most of every opportunity with just a few considerations as we select games, toys and supplies to help them along the way.

Do your kids have favorite games that have helped them grow- share them with me! What other games and toys are you planning on buying this season?