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LeapFrog Leapster 2

by T Akery | October 13th, 2011 | Product reviews

Leapster 2 by LeapFrog is a handheld video learning game system for kids. It comes in two basic colors, green and blue for boys and pink and purple for girls. It is recommended for ages four to eight years old. There are two basic preloaded games that do not need a cartridge to play. One is an alphabet game where kids are required to collect letters. The other is a number game where kids are asked to recognize the difference between letters and numbers. There is also a template that kids can choose to color.

The game says ages four to eight, but most of the games on the system are in fact for older children who already have a basic understanding of what their letters and numbers are. Don’t expect playing the two preloaded games to help kids learn the difference between what a number and a letter is. They may be simple games, but they don’t explain much. However, the coloring part will suit the four-year-old kids. About the age of six or seven, kids will have outgrown this toy.

It can be plugged into the computer with a USB port so you can see their achievements. But in reality, the cord itself gets little use. Unless you remember to plug it in on a regular basis, it isn’t that effective in measuring much more than the amount of time spent on playing it.

The biggest expense aside from the batteries is the cartridges. The cartridges are on the small side and without some kind of case, they easily get lost. Keep these cartridges away from younger siblings because they are a choking hazard. If you are looking for cartridges, pick them up when they are on sale.

Stick with the rechargeable batteries or bring extras on long trips. Batteries will last a few hours when playing games.

The console is resistant to some dropping but will break on very hard surfaces. The most fragile component is the screen. If it cracks, the game system is useless.

While it is nice to have on car trips, it has its limitations. It can’t play videos or DVDs. Your child may also grow quite bored of it after a couple of hours.

Your child will get some minor education value out of it. But it merely reinforces what the child already knows rather than teaching them new things.

Drop this from your Christmas list unless they absolutely have to have it. At most, and if your child is extremely interested in it, it will only last two years before they either outgrow it or get tired of it.

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