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Our Reality Road Test of the LeapPad Ultra. Episode 1.

By JO ABI

My kids have been given the wonderful chance to trial the LeapPad Ultra.  This is part 1 of the things they love the most thus far:

This is a Reality Road Test for LeapPad Ultra

It’s very disconcerting to watch your 18-month-old pick up your smart device, swipe their finger across it, choose an app game and then sit down and start playing.

What kind of freaky robot child is this?

It was my daughter who did this at a very young age (she must have watched her brothers do it). Seriously, I half-expected her to turn to me and speak with an old woman’s voice.

We’ve always been a tech-friendly household. My children have game players, computers and portable devices.

Jo Abi with her daughter Caterina

One of my closest friends has a tech-free household and we debate it constantly. I always explain that I want to raise my children with technology so they can be ready to take on the jobs of the future, which will all require technology. She counters with the fact they will learn to use all these devices at school so at home they should have a break from all of that.

I must confess that having lots of technology in our home does help to entertain the kids while I work and cook and clean. But they normally just play games, and although I know there are benefits to certain games they play, I was concerned they weren’t choosing ones that were educational enough.

I heard that LeapFrog was introducing a new device and was interested to find out more about it. We were asked to try out the LeapFrog’s LeapPad Ultra and were pretty excited. Except I am completely tech-challenged. My children are way more proficient at devices like these than I am. How on earth was I going to figure out how to work them?

I was going to wait until my husband came home so he could set them up but Giovanni, 5, and Caterina, 4, opened them seconds after we had walked through the door, after promising to wait until their dad came home. Cheeky kids. Lucky they’re cute!

They were so excited (Christmas in September?) so I decided to give it a go. If it was too hard I could always ask Philip, 9, to help me.

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They were set up and ready to go in minutes. The LeapPads took me through simple set-up steps which included connecting to our home WiFi. There were some preloaded games and activities and we could buy more. They had different difficulty settings and I chose ‘pre-schooler’ for my kids. It’s so great that I can change this setting as they get older.

I didn’t hear a peep out of them for the next hour.

What I like about the LeapPad Ultra is that it is fun, educational and durable. My son dropped his within the first thirty minutes and my daughter carries hers around by the pen, leaving the pad dangling from a string. And they still work perfectly.

I now have custody of my smart phone back which is fabulous and the kids have a device of their own which is portable and pretty bloody fabulous. Wherever we go people ask where we got them. At my son’s soccer game a little crowd formed around them as they played games and videos and took photos of the game on them.

Don’t worry, they aren’t on them constantly (although they would be if I let them). Thankfully we recently got a cat so when I say, “Let’s find Milly,” they put down whatever they are doing and we run around outside trying to find the now, slightly terrified new member of our family.

The new LeapPad Ultra from LeapFrog is the ultimate kids’ learning tablet. It’s got the graphics, the camera, and the looks – and it’s kid-tough! LeapPad Ultra is the only children’s tablet with an integrated, kid-safe, Wi-Fi and web browser; LeapSearch powered by Zui, letting children explore the content they love. Enjoy instant access to 400+ fun apps, games, videos, eBooks, music, and more! Write. Draw. Snap photos. Make videos. And enjoy new peer-to-peer play that’s safe out of the box.

With so many ways to create and explore, LeapPad Ultra inspires a love of learning!

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