LeapStart Review (LeapFrog)

What It Is

Always looking for new ways to engage and educate children, LeapFrog introduces its newest learning system, LeapStart. This interactive device is designed to help kids build key skills, both for school and for life. There are more than 400 activities across a library of 16 books, sold separately, divided into four levels with 50 key skills per level. Kids can progress from preschool to pre-K to kindergarten and then first grade with the four levels of LeapStart books. 

The interactivity comes into play whenever kids touch the LeapStart stylus to the pages of the books. The stylus reads invisible dots on every page, triggering engaging audio, such as questions, challenges, songs, jokes, and more. There are more than 30 activities in every book ranging from touch-and-talk games and creative challenges to problem-solving puzzles and math mazes. And each activity is designed to be played again and again. Most of the activities are designed with two levels so that kids can play and learn at the right level and then move up when they're ready.

There are actually two different LeapStart Learning Systems, and each comes with a sampler activity book. One LeapStart is for younger kids ages 2–4 and the other is for older kids ages 5–7. The only difference is the look of the device and stylus. Both systems work with all of the activity books across the entire LeapStart line, so if you buy the younger version for your 2-year-old, he can still use it with the first grade activity books when he's 5. This also allows kids in multi-child families to use the same LeapStart device.

There's also space on the back of the LeapStart for storing one book so you can play on the go. And for quiet play, use the LeapStart's headphone jack.

Is It Fun?

The LeapStart's stylus technology sort of reminds us of LeapFrog's LeapReader, but the LeapStart encompasses so much more than just reading skills. We like the combination of school and life skills throughout the LeapStart library, and that each is presented in a fun, engaging, and kid-appropriate way. Kids will like that the device is easy to use and hearing the activity books “talk” to them while they play.

A recent U.S. Department of Labor report found that 65 percent of the jobs preschoolers will have when they grow up haven't even been created yet, so it's no telling what skills today's preschoolers will need tomorrow. But all the skills in the LeapStart program are valuable no matter what a child decides to be when he or she grows up.

Who It’s For

The LeapStart's curriculum is available for kids between the ages of 2 and 7.

What To Be Aware Of

The LeapStart comes with two AA batteries and a USB cable for downloading audio content.

Activity books are sold separately.

  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    None or Very Easy

    2 AA batteries required