Leapster, Didj or explorer.....is He Too Old?

Updated on October 10, 2010
S.H. asks from Troy, TX
11 answers

I asked yesterday about the Nintendo Ds and got some great responses that helped me alot and I will definitely be buying one for my 9 year old for Christmas. However, I realized lately that my 7 year old (2nd grade) seems to be having some trouble with his basic math skills. I would like to purchase him one of the more educational handhelds such as the leapster, the Didj or explorer. He had a v-smile handheld and has way outgrown that. He will be 8 right after Christmas. I know some of these systems say they have games for 9 or even 10. I am ok with the fact that he may only use it for a year or so. I have a younger nephew we could pass it on to after that. I was leaning toward the Didj which I know is the older version of the Explorer ,but looked more for older kids. I have seen some review that said the Didj had problems though. So my question is do you think he is too old for one of these systems? Do you have one or more? Which do you like better? If your kids have a Didj did you have issues with it?....thanks and sorry if it's repetitive :)

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answers from College Station on

I would still get the DS for the little one. There are math games available on it and it will last much longer. My boys very quickly outgrew the Leapfrog games and kiddy-ness of the game system.

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answers from Houston on

The didj has been discontinues, and there are very few games. It was a system with good potential, but Leap Frog abandoned it.
The Leapster & Explorer system really are for UP TO 2nd grade. The chances are, you son has already outgrown them.
I love Leap Frog, and my 8 yr old son loves their systems. He still plays with them, but that's probably because we have resisted getting the DS. For him, the games are familiar. The educational value just isn't there anymore.



answers from Charleston on

We have the Didj and I am not happy with it at all. The Didj cartridges/games are hard to find, and it works off of 4 AA batteries which it goes through like water! I do not understand why they did not make this with a wall charger. I would go for the DS - it's more expensive, but in the long run will last him longer. And there are educational games out there for it as well. Good luck!



answers from Austin on

I would recommend DS. Math Blaster is on it though I am not sure of the age it is for.

It may be worth picking a Leapster up on Craigslist or borrowing from a friend and checking it out. But at 7 the DS is probably a better fit.



answers from Pittsburgh on

There are math programs for the DS. IMO that is what you should get him. Sorry but I just don't know of any second graders that still use the Leapster stuff. They are all on the DS by this point-at least where I am from. And since you obviously don't object to the DS you will probably be buying one for your younger son in the next year or 2 anyhow.

Maybe get one of the math games for DS and try it out on your older son's DS to see. Also-go online for more DS titles. They sell a limited amount of the educational games in the stores.



answers from Augusta on

Leapster Explorer .
The Didj is not supported and there are only a handfull of games out there.
The Explorer is the next step up from the Leapster 2 not the Didj.
The Explorer is brand new and there are already a couple dozen games out there for it.
We have the Leapster 2 and my almost 9 yr old still sometimes steals it from her brother to play.
Also there is a Math DS game it's called " personal trainer math"
But it's not really "fun" its more like flash cards.



answers from Houston on

We have had leapster and ds. My daughter no longer plays leapster at age 7. My soon to be 5 year old son plays both. I would go with the ds for the 7 year old. They have new games that are for learning math facts. I think they have fixed to overlap so that the ds can be educational just as the leapster is. You will have way more possibilities for games to purchase with the ds. note, if he were 4 I would be saying go with the Leapster. It's a great product, but your 7 year old will feel more grown up with the ds. He's going to take his siblings ds if you go with the leapster for him!



answers from Austin on

Too old for Leapster.



answers from Houston on

We have a Leapster 2 for our 8yo and our 5yo. The 8yo now prefers his DS, but he does sometimes still play with the Leapster 2. We've been very happy with our two Leapsters (2), which we've had since they were 6yo and 3yo. We've had no problems with breaking, malfunctions, etc. The games are high quality, educational, and there are some games that go to age 8 or 9. The Explorer is new and goes to age 10, I believe. DS has games that appeal even to teens and adults.

Yes, there are some educational games for DS, but they aren't nearly the quality of the LeapFrog games. (I'm a teacher.) Yes, the DS appeals more to older children than a Leapster or Explorer. So you have to decide if you want the educational LeapFrog games that your child will outgrow in a year or two or if you want the DS which will grow with him but be less educational.



answers from Chicago on

My son outgrew his Leapster by age 5, although I really liked the programs on it. We bought him a DSi last spring and he loves it! There are a lot of different games and learning programs available, and if you have Game Stops in your area, they provide the games for a lower cost and have a trade-in program.
The DSi vs. the regular DS has a built in coloring program and let's them take videos and pictures - this has proven to entertain my son for hours. :)

ETA: I just found this deal on Leapsters:



answers from Washington DC on

Get him a DS too. There are tons of educational games for you to choose from. Also he won't outgrow it too soon. I found that my son outgrew the leapster too soon and became quite bored with it. There are also tons of resources on line to let your child do. aplusmath.com comes to mind. I have several bookmarked so my son can practice his math facts.

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