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Digital Duo: LeapFrog LeapPad 2, Leapster GS
LeapFrog could expand on their game play and make it worth the price of admission, so to speak. First off, the LeapPad 2 is packed with plenty of apps that let kids play, draw and take pictures...but it's much faster this time around. That means game downloads don't feel like you are waiting "for-ever" (that's the 8-year-old talking). Plus, now there are 2 cameras, including one that is front-facing so kids can now take pictures of themselves. This added capability thrills my older daughter, and allows me a reprieve from playing amateur photographer. And because all her LeapPad games are backwards-compatible, they still work with the newer model-something we can always appreciate. Since my 4-year-old has inherited her sister's Leapster Explorer, she's been hoping Santa will treat her to the LeapsterGS. Even though she's at the beginning of the suggested target age range (4-9), she's already familiar with the handheld game commands and comfortable with following the straightforward directions. What's really appealing for active kids is the built-in motion sensor that lets little bodies join in on the fun, as they tilt, shake and twist the GS along with the game. While some apps may be a little more advanced, like the math-focused Escape of the Sillies, it's encouraging to know she'll be able to move up to that level of game play as she grows.My daughters have reached the age where they're starting to play with some of the same toys. The 4-year-old loves her Calico Critters, and her 8-year-old sister is willing to join in the fun...even if she does turn the furry friends into aliens (that still counts as playing, right?). What becomes more of a challenge is when my little one tries desperately to keep up with her big sister's gaming sessions. While I'm not a huge fan of handheld entertainment (why rely on a machine when you can be using your imagination?), that's becoming a more difficult pill to swallow as the kids get older. So when we can find some electronic games that tap into their creative sides, then I'm all for a little screen time. Now with 2 girls vying for the same toy, things can get a little tricky. Seemed like a good excuse to check out this holiday season's most sought-after gifts: the LeapPad 2 and LeapsterGS. Since my older daughter has both the original LeapPad and the Leapster Explorer, I was curious to see just how
In a Nutshell: Kids pining for the latest gaming devices? The latest models from LeapFrog offer plenty of bang for the buck, and equal amounts of entertainment and education.