13 answers

LeapPad - Waste of Money or Worthy Investment?

Hi all,
We are going to be driving to Florida (from MN) for spring break. I have 3 kids aged 3, 5 and 6. I am starting to think about things to keep them busy for 28 hours in the car.

I have two friends who bought LeapPads over the holiday, but haven't used them much yet. I'm curious if you all can give a recommendation. I saw some pretty negative reviews on Amazon.com complaints about cost of applications, difficulty with set up and support, and the fact that the games were pretty spendy.

Part of me wants to have my kids read and color and entertain themselves like we had to do when I was a kid... we never had a DVD player or Tablet to entertain us and we drove to FL every year... but we also drove in a VW bus and did not wear seatbelts :) So - we could play board games and play with each other.

Let me know what your thoughts are if you have purchased a LeapPad,.

Thanks!
J.

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Featured Answers

I just bought my son one for Christmas (he's 4). I loved the leapster and so did he, but we had such a hard time keeping track of the cartridges and he would always drop them in the car. The leappad is wonderful, you can use cartridges or dowloand apps. I don't think they are that expensive, we got 4 apps for about $22. The variety is good. Well worth it - and they do have car adapters on Amazon too.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

If it makes you slightly less nervous... we have a "no electronics in a moving car" rule (aka no games on the phone, movies, etc.)... and I've driven all over the country with my son. We talk, listen to music, listen to audible books, stare out the window and use imaginations.

We DO stop a bunch for runaround time, and when he was little we'd leave point A at noon (just after lunch... playing in the hotel room/pool/breakfast/ etc. then get in the car and have lunch in the car), he'd sleep, we'd stop when he woke up, play/eat, drive, stop to play eat, he'd sleep, then we'd play/eat/pjs, and he'd sleep till the hotel (around midnight) be a little goofy for half an hour or hour, and sleep till morning.

Now that he's older (9) he rarely sleeps in the car for more than an hour nap maybe once a day. But we have GREAT conversations.

There's very few things I won't do with my son JUST because I didn't when I was a kid... but movies & videogames in the car is one of them (which may be kind of ironic, because we have a LOT more screentime than most people at home). There's so much to SEE out those windows!!! (Planes are boring...and you can't pull over a jet for an hour on a playground for the cost of 99 cent fries... so we do movies and laptops on planes... but the car is pure freedom).

3 moms found this helpful

My son (just turned 6) has a LeapPad and LOVES it. My parents bought it, so the initial cost was theirs, but I've had to buy all the games for it.

The activities are engaging and fun and have academic components that grow with the child which is very cool.

That being said... THE GAMES ARE PRICEY.

For me, it's not terrible. He has four cartridges as well as the bookmaker and pet apps. He'll play one cartridge game for a week or so, then get interested in another one and so forth.

On our end, it's worth it... but he's an only child, so often has to entertain himself. With three, it might not be as big of an issue... but that is a LONG drive.

HTH

2 moms found this helpful

I just bought my son one for Christmas (he's 4). I loved the leapster and so did he, but we had such a hard time keeping track of the cartridges and he would always drop them in the car. The leappad is wonderful, you can use cartridges or dowloand apps. I don't think they are that expensive, we got 4 apps for about $22. The variety is good. Well worth it - and they do have car adapters on Amazon too.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know about the LeapPad but my son received a Leapster when he was 4 (he's now 7) and logged hours of use on it during our long car rides. One person commented about the cartridges being hard to keep up with. To prevent that problem, I bought a small zipper top cosmetic bag (it was blue so as not to look "girly") and we kept all the game cartridges in there. He has now moved on to a Nintendo DSi but the blue bag is still around with DS games in it.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter got one for Xmas and has already lost interest in it. There isnt much on the initial setup, it is hard to figure out as far as adding things to it (apps) and the apps are super expensive. I wish Santa wouldnt have wasted his time on this one.

1 mom found this helpful

I think they are worth the price. My daughter (3) and my son (5) both have them and play on them often. I do recommend buying rechargable batteries for them because batteries only last about 8 hours, so they get expensive. Apps cost between $5 and $25 and can be downloaded onto 2 leappads.

1 mom found this helpful

Leapsters have my 100% recommendation. They're like little video games, but educational.

LeapPad - no experience with, but we'll be getting one soon enough b/c of our experience w/ leapster. The games run about $25 - for either.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister in law sent my son (5 1/2 yrs) one for Christmas. He loves it. He has the leapster which he also loves. I like that the games are fun and educational. We are going on a long plane ride this summer. I plan on buying the headphones for it. You can get the games cheaper on amazon. I would definitely say it is worth buying.

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