I get asked about the Leapreader a lot by parents of toddlers. I do want to make it clear that I don’t get any kind of endorsement from Leapfrog.
Sophia has the Leapreader. She received it for Christmas last year when she was 1.5 years old. It was from her grandparents so I knew nothing about it when she got it. The package said 4-8 years and I was a bit nervous that Sophia would break it. It came with a demo book and the pen and Sophia was having a blast with it right away, everything she poked at said something or played a short tune.
I went to buy a few books for it and found I had a lot to learn. I was all excited when I found Minnie Mouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates books until I realized they were for the Leapreader Jr and wouldn’t work. I considered purchasing the Jr but decided that Sophia would out grow it soon and got some Disney Princess books instead. I would still make the same decision a year later.
How it works:
You will need to download and set up Leapfrog Connect to your computer. When you get a new book you will need to plug the Reader into your computer and download the audio file for that book. The downloads take maybe 30 seconds per book, depending on your internet speed of course. Unplug and it’s ready to go, pretty simple if you follow the instructions it comes with.
LeapReader VS LeapReader JR
LeapReader and Leapreader Jr books are not interchangeable.
The LeapReader holds a ton of books, music, and trivia. I’m told that the Leapreader JR only holds the audio for up to 4 books at a time.
The JR reader pen is shaped like a puppy
LeapReader VS Tag
Tag and LeapReader are not the same thing.
Some of the Tag books will work with the LeapReader. If you see the audio file for it in the Leapfrog Connect then the Tag book will work with the LeapReader for that book.
Tag and Tag Jr are the older outdated versions. All the LeapReader books I’ve seen being sold say “works with Tag” and I’m not sure when they plan on not adding the audio of the new books to the older version. I’ve considered getting a Tag reader when it’s been bundled with other books I’ve been looking at getting on ebay or craigslist but so far I haven’t done so. Most books I’ve wanted to get for Sophia are available for the LeapReader.
LeapReader for a toddler?
It depends on the toddler since it is for older kids it’s more delicate and definitely needs supervision a lot in the beginning.
If your child is good at handling paper pages with out ripping them then I would say they are a good candidate for the regular LeapReader.
Most toddlers won’t be doing the games and understanding all the concepts in the books. Sophia loves them for the stories and the character interactions. We do have the Get Ready for Kindergarten book and she does like playing with the alphabet and counting things. Other than new vocabulary I feel that she hasn’t specifically learned anything from them so far. Mostly they just help reinforce previously learned things, like the alphabet and letter sounds. She really mostly uses it for entertainment.
If you want something that they can do by themselves with out supervision then the Leapreader JR would be the better choice.
We have not tested out any of the writing books (you use the pen on special tracing paper). I don’t think Sophia is ready for those yet.
TIP: ToysRUs has Black Friday 2014 sale for the regular LeapReader. They have the reading system with the pen for $29.99 and $7.49 for all the books.
Incase anyone is looking Walmart has the LeapReader on their pre-black-friday sale for $29.00 now through next Thursday. Get the sales prices with out the crowds of Black Friday!