Leap Frog or Other Game System for Young Child

Updated on March 28, 2011
B.P. asks from Bedminster, NJ
13 answers

Hi Moms,

My son is 3 and he really enjoys playing the computer games on the Sesame St. and Thomas the Tank Engine websites. We have a laptop so he can't use the mouse to play himself. I would like to get him one of those little kid computers or game systems so that he can play educational and learning games. I don't know anything about them though. What do you reccomend?

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answers from Jacksonville on

We gt my son the Leapster Explorer for Christmas and he loves it!! The games range from 4-9yrs old so he should be able to pay it for many years to come!!

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answers from Youngstown on

The leapster explorer is great.Also we have a wireless mouse for our laptop so my 5 yo can use it. I don't know if you have one but they are nice if you don't. He would probably enjoy a handheld game system though he will feel like a big boy..lol

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answers from New York on

I got my daughter the Leapster when she was just turning 3. Now that she's 4 1/2 she has the Leapster 2 & the Leap Frog Tag pen. She loves them both & has learned a ton of stuff on both. With the pen she has started to learn words & LOVES to read! The pen has so many books & different things you can get including maps. Well worth the money - I just recommend rechargable batteries for all of them. She loves using them so much that it was cheaper to invest in a good set of rechargables & charge them every night!

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answers from Los Angeles on

My mom got my son one of those toy "laptops" that are character-themed (the one she gave him was Batman, but there's also Spongebob and Buzz Lightyear and other ones). He learned his alphabet and counting from it, so it was pretty nice. A little obnoxious, though, so you might want to pick one that has sound control. :-)

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answers from Augusta on

My son has a Thomas "laptop" that he loved when he was that age, and he also has a leapster explorer and he loves it , he had a leapster at age 3 , then moved up to the leapster 2 and now the explorer , the explorer is just the newest version of the leapfrog hand held game. it also has a camera attachment that he can use to take pictures and manipulate. You can track his learning progress online and when he gets older there are games you can specialize with school spelling lists etc.
We've been pleased with leapfrog products. we had the orginal leap pad + writing when our daughter ( now 9) was small.



answers from New York on


That is the link for the leapster 2 from leapfrog. My kids LOVE it. (5 and 6, but they got it when they were 4 and 5) *I* love it because you can plug headphones into it so you dont have to listen to the noise! It will also connect to the computer so you can track their progress and the like.


that is the link for the v-smile v-motion. Think Wii for little kids. Again they LOVE it. This one hooks to the TV and has the wireless controllers. This one mine got when they were (a younger) 3 and 4 and they still play with it. The one drawback is that you need to either run it with batteries OR get a wall plug for it. (we had one for something else thankfully)

We also have the nitro laptop.. but they dont like that one as much and I dont see it on the v-tech page...



answers from Portland on

My 5yo grandson got a Leapster this year, and I have personally been disappointed by the quality of the 'learning' I see on it. The graphics are poor and the voices are irritating (to me). Each game follows a simple pattern that involves little more than memorization and repetition. It does seem to amuse him a bit, but less now that a couple of months ago.



answers from Provo on

We got my son a leapster hand-held system when he was 3. My 2 (almost 3) year old girl loves playing with it (when her 5 almost 6 year old brother lets her!). But we use the leapster in the car since we live far away from everything. My kids have a touch screen computer (it was a tech bonus from my hubby's work about 3 years ago) that they love to use -- PBS kids will keep my 3 year old occupied for hours. The touch screen is important for the little one, the 5 year old is using the mouse and keyboard now. That's what we have for my kids and it works great. (Except when they both want to play different things at the same time :)



answers from Kansas City on

My 3.5 year old loves his VSmile Pocket. I don't think they make them anymore, just within the last year they've gone out. But you may be able to pick up one on Craigslist with some games for cheap? I like it because the games also work with the home game system for the tv, so you don't have to buy two different kinds of games. Also a suggestion would be to buy a mouse for your lap top, just one that hooks into the USB.



answers from New York on

My kids LOVED the leapster when they were 3 and 4 years old. It was great b/c the games are very educational. For their 5th bday they got the Nintendo DSi. While they love it, I don't love the non-educational factor. So try out the leapster. Should be great!


answers from Rochester on

My daughter had both the VTech VSmile (which I think they recently quit making, but it's a SUPER system and you can probably still buy them on Amazon, along with games) and a Leapster (just the regular one.) She is turning six tomorrow, and still plays with her Leapster, three years after she received it as a gift from an uncle. There are games for both of those systems that go from pre-K, which your son would enjoy, right up to grade school...and the Leapster has been an occasional blessing on long road trips, etc.

Introduce him to pbskids.org and teach him how to use the laptop mouse, or buy an external mouse (very cheap, plugs right in!) My daughter still likes to play pbs games. They have SO many...probably 20 Sesame Street games, plus lots of fun others.



answers from Houston on

We got my daughter a leapster last year when she was 3. She loves it. She has about 8 games that she plays. You can pick up to 3 levels depending on how hard you want the game to be. We really want to buy her the new leapster explorer but we have so much stuff for her regular leapster so we are going to wait another year.



answers from Pittsfield on

Has he recently turned 3, or is he closer to 4? Might make a difference in whether or not he quite gets what the game is asking him to do.

We got my daughter (just turned 3 last mo.) the "Elmo's A to Zoo Adventures" for the Wii- which we already had for my older 3. She loves the idea that she's playing Wii like she sees her big brothers do, but she really doesn't quite get it yet. She'll grow into it, but for now it really doesn't hold her attention for more than 5 min.
We've had the Leapster 2 or 3 times- they're nice while they last, but all of them broke. We also had the v-smile pocket (I don't think they make it the same anymore-ours didn't have the flip-up screen). This one lasted a lot longer than the Leapsters, and was quite nice. Again, she may or may not be ready for either.

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