As a teacher I am particularly interested in toys that claim to be educational.
In my opinion all toys are educational in their own way; they teach children to problem solve, use their imagination, improve their coordination and develop social skills and much, much more.
Some toys however can really accelerate these skills.
I received a number of toys to test and review.
The first to arrive was the Leapster Explorer and Camera attachment
LeapFrog toys, creators of the award-winning Leapster handheld, delivers a unique experience in mobile learning with its innovative and popular gaming console, Leapster Explorer. The Explorer delivers the most powerful gameplay LeapFrog has ever offered—including Flash and 3D graphics as well as state of the art camera and video accessory.
Designed for four to nine year olds at a price of £59.99, the future of gaming is captured in this one-of-a-kind device that brings mobile learning and educational gaming to the millennial generation. Offering auto-level game play, Explorer allows for a truly personalised learning experience that is tailored to each child’s unique needs and skills.
With the new click-in camera and video accessory, Explorer fans can now turn their Leapster Explorer handheld into a high-tech digital and video camera. The coveted camera and video accessory, priced at only £14.99, allows users to take pictures, record videos and edit their creations whilst learning all about reading, mathematics and science. Children can also transform their pictures using funny stamps and borders and transport them into games or music videos to further customise their play.
The leapster explorer seems to be a great alternative to some of the other handheld games consoles on the market for younger children. It is more robust, has a stilo that cannot be lost and the buttons are easier for small hands to manage.
The wide range of games makes the console appropriate for the entire 4-9 year recommended age group and beyond. My niece who is 3 ½ quickly worked out how to use the games and liked the fact the instructions were read out to her so she knew what to do. She really enjoyed the games and her parents were happy that the games were more age appropriate than some other brands. A friend’s son who is 7 thought initially that the console was too babyish for him but he quickly took over from his brother who is 5 and enjoyed it immensely.
The camera attachment is great – allowing doodling on photos which kept all the children entertained for ages!