LeapTV, My Favorite LeapFrog Product! Review

LeapTV

We have a family of gamers, ranging in age from 18 down to 4. The younger kids always want to get in on the video game action, but the games are either not appropriate for them, or the controls are too complicated to handle.

Enter LeapTV, the first console gaming system actually designed for children aged 3-8. This system is not only extremely simple to set up (it took me under five minutes. . .even with twin four year-olds clamoring behind me), it is intuitive for the children to play.

I was not sure we needed another game console. However, this is not just another game console! This is true active, moving, learning play. We actually have way more motion in our living room than ever before, and the girls have even forced me to get up and dance (sorry neighbors!). Especially during our long North Dakota winters, it is nice to have the girls moving, rather than watching yet another video.  the learning aspect does not hurt either!

Like all other LeapFrog Products, these games start at a baseline level based on your child’s age, and then adjusts according to ability level, therefore, growing at just the right rate. This is nice for my girls who are the same age, but at different ability levels for some games.

The games have three different play modes, and depending on the game selected, will either require no controller at all ( using the camera, and placing your child IN the game), or pointer controller, where the game is played similarly to a wii remote (but with a cushioned end and more natural grip), or classic control in which the controller is held in two hands and buttons are pushed.

The transitions between scenes in games can be a bit slow at times, but worth the wait, and allows for some downtime for excitable kids. The graphics are fresh and clear, the sound is good, and, most importantly, play value is high! This is a system that my girls will enjoy until they “grow into” the x-box or playstation in their upper elementary years.

As a busy mom, I appreciate the small footprint of the game. LeapTV

As a frugal mom, I would appreciate a rechargeable controller.

If you have more than one child who will play, or frequent playdates, you will want to purchase an additional controller.

Additional games are easily downloaded using the built-in wi-fi, or fun relatives can purchase game cartridges for birthdays and holidays. The system comes with one bonus game, Pet Play World, but you will want to make sure that you have at least one additional game. My girls love the Sofia the First game, and there is a lot in that game to keep them busy! leaptv-educational-active-video-gaming_31511_detail_7 Purchase it: at Amazon, Kohls.com, LeapFrog.com

Disclosure: I was sent a sample of this product to facilitate my review. However, all opinions are my own, and I was not required to post a positive review.

Navigating the Changing Seasons of Family Life

Dakotapastor and I celebrated 18 years of marriage last month. I’ve been a mom almost that whole time, as our oldest was born a week or so after our first anniversary.

In this time I’ve been a stay at home mom to one and then of many. I’ve been a homeschooling mom, I’ve scrimped and saved to be a private school mom, I’ve been a public school mom. I’ve been a part-time working mom. I’ve been a work at home mom.

Now I’m in full-on career mode. Juggling the home and work and work travel and daycare are totally new concepts to this 40 something.

I’m probably not doing everything right.

Others juggle way more.

But, I’m pretty proud of myself. Stepping put of my comfort zone and seeking out not just a job, but a career, was a big step for me.

And now, as I travel around visiting colleges with my nearly-grown firstborn, I know that I made the right decision for our family.

While I would not trade the time spent raising the kids for anything, I also know, all too well, how quickly the children grow.

In a blink of an eye, our children morph from completely dependent to nearly independent.

I knew that I needed an outlet to focus my talents on. I knew that I needed more than a hobby. And, let’s face it, I knew that we needed a second income stream to fund college for six.

I love working more than I ever thought I would. I’m finding that not only am I bringing home a paycheck, which is a nice feeling, but I am gaining much more. Working in the non-profit sector, I feel like I really am making a difference in people’s lives. I am growing in knowledge and experience, I am gaining confidence, and I am slowly (very slowly) beginning to look and feel like a professional.

I am so thankful for ALL of these seasons. I would not trade my stay at home mom or homeschool mom seasons for anything. I feel so blessed to have been the main caregiver for all of my infants. I’ve taught all four boys to read (and hope to do the same with the girls.)

In many ways, I do feel like I have it all. I may not have it all at the same time, but, I truly have experienced the best of all worlds.

My advice? Acknowledge that where you are happy today may not be where you are tomorrow. Realize that no season lasts forever. Be open to knowing when a change may be warranted. Don’t let your past “I’ll nevers” rule your present. Remember that change takes time.

Chime in! Are you experiencing a season change? How are you dealing with the changes?