Leapfrog Leapster Explorer Review: Does it Really Deserve to be Toy of the Year?

LeapFrog Leapster Explorer

The Leapster Explorer is another cool educational toy from LeapFrog. It won the Toy Industry Association’s 2011 Educational Toy of the Year Award. Let’s explore why:

 

What are the features of the Leapster Explorer?

The Leapster Explorer  is suitable for kids aged 4-9 years old and comes in Leapfrog’s signature green as well as in pink and a special red “Cars 2” edition.
The main feature of the Leapster Explorer are:
  • A 3.2″ full color, high resolution, touch sensitive screen
  • Over 40 cartridge and dowloadable games available featuring ebooks, videos, flash cards and more
  • Integrates with the LeapFrog Learning Path
  • Access to the kids-safe LeapWorld online learning world.

How durable is the Leapster Explorer?

Like all LeapFrog products, the Leapster Explorer is housed in a plastic case making it safe to handle for toddlers and older kids alike.

There is a Leapster Explorer Fashion Bag and a Leaster Explorer Carry Case available to purchase separately, which are great accessories to use to store your child’s Explorer at home and while traveling.

The Leapster Explorer runs on 4 AA batteries, but one cool thing from a practical point of view is that you can buy a charger pack that includes an AC adapter, a charger and 4 rechargeable batteries, making it easy to keep your Leapster addicted child happy!

 

 

Is the Leapster Explorer easy to use?

The Leapster Explorer is a great size for little hands, with the rounded corners making it easy for your child to keep a firm grip. The touch screen makes it easy for even the youngest players to navigate around the screen. The fact that the games can be personalized to your child’s level is a great feature, making almost every game suitable for a variety of ages and skill levels. Using this in combination with the Learning Path where parents can see the areas where their chid is excelling and where they need support makes the Leapster Explorer an excellent way to keep track of your child’s skills development.

What free games come with the Leapster Explorer?

The Leapster Explorer comes preloaded with the Pet Pad game where your child gets to create and look after 3 pets. Kids love this game and it’s on the home screen every time the Leapster is switched on, however parents have complained that they need to connect the Leapster Explorer to the computer to purchase more supplies such as food or shampoo for the pets! You can also buy Can I download more games for the Leapster Explorer?

There are over 40 games available for the Leapster Explorer, including games featuring favorite characters such as Dora, Spong Bob, Disney Princesses and Star Wars. Game cartridges can be bought online and from stores, but the far cheaper option is to download learning apps form LeapFrog Connect. These games also feature a variety of Disney, Nickelodeon and Pixar characters and include games, videos, ebooks and flashcards. The games from the app store are around half the price of the cartridge games, but of course do require a computer connection.

 

What other features are available for the Leapster Explorer?

 

LeapFrog has an optional camera/video available that can be connected to the Leapster Explorer. Your child can take pictures and videos (up to 1000 can be stored) edit them on the Leapster Explorer and then upload them to share with family and friends. There are also 8 activities included; your child can turn their photos into puzzles, cartoon characters and play letter and number games which integrate the photo into the game.

Should I get the Leapster Explorer or the LeapPad Explorer?

The Leapster Explorer is a smaller (and cheaper) console compared to the LeapPad Explorer. You can read my full review of the LeadPad Explorer here
See what other differences there are in the table below:

So how much does the Leapster Explorer cost?

As you can imagine, the price for such a popular product changes daily. Amazon has free shipping on the Leapster Explorer, and at times there are competing companies actually on Amazon offering this and other cool kids portable consoles at even lower prices. You can see who’s got the best price today by clicking this link: Leapster Explorer – Today’s Best Amazon Price.

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