September Fall Photo Card Sale + Free Shipping Today! (2+ sets, SchoolFreeShip)

Leapfrog Little Leaps – better than a Playstation!

creaturesSpeaking of great birthday presents, Lil’ Duck got a fun product to review this past week. Leapfrog’s PR firm sent us their new product, Little Leaps Grow-with-me Learning System, along with a bunch of DVD learning discs and a few stuffed animals (who were quickly initiated into toddler-land with several markers and some stray Vapo-rub).

Speaking of those stuffed creatures, they ARE washable, as we quickly discovered ;). They are soft and cute, and sturdy enough to withstand flying across the living room and being mashed into trucks with hundreds of other toys.

The main thing itself can best be described as a baby Playstation controller that flips (see the photo). It has cool buttons on the baby side and a nice joystick and buttons on the toddler side. controller imageIt’s a little back-heavy with the batteries, but if you actually set the thing down on a coffee table rather than trying to balance it on your lap along with a toddler, a duck, a stuffed Clifford, and ten other items of interest, it would certainly refrain from doing back-flips off your knees.

As soon as I got this controller out of the box, Lil’ Duck was yelling at me that, “wow, mama, MINE, wow, wow, WOW!!!” – he wanted it ;). He didn’t even know yet that it controlled something on the TV. Now, trying to pair this thing up with my Playstation 2 (works with almost any DVD player, not just playstations) with Lil’ Duck pushing all the buttons and trying to claim it as his own…..

Honestly, it is easy to pair, it has simple instructions, takes only a few minutes, definitely not hard or anything that any mom couldn’t handle. I’d recommend doing it if your little one ever sleeps though, just for avoidance of that long battle ;). Once you set it up initially, all you have to do is push a button each time you put in a DVD to pair it up again. For an impatient toddler, it’s hard to convince him to WAIT while you hold the thing down, circle it around in the air, and generally convince it to pair, but sometimes it pairs up right away, so who knows.

Now, I did have some technical issues with the DVD’s themselves – one of them refuses to work after about halfway thru the thing, no matter what I do, and another just won’t work, gives me errors, despite them quickly sending me a replacement (thinking it was just the one disc). It’s a brand-new product, so I expect they’ll have those bugs out soon, and it could just be my DVD players too, who knows.

For all the DVD’s that do work, we had a blast! Since he’s never played with a controller before, he does better with the baby games than with the toddler game – the concept of moving the joystick side to side and up and down to select certain animals is just beyond him, but he’s just barely two and it is recommended for 2 and up. I imagine he’ll get the hang of it within a month.

Do beware that for some reason, even though we didn’t pair it with the DVD player in our other room, it is able to control any DVD like a regular controller or remote, so if they are just playing around with the controller while you are trying to watch a movie, you’ll have to remove the batteries or banish it ;).

He loves all the animals and the actors in these, he is always telling me about the bunny or asking to play “bounce” with the mommy and daddy and baby. When he asks to play it instead of watching his beloved Clifford and Backyardigans shows, you know it’s a great thing!

I wish we’d had it sooner, as I know he would have loved watching this from about 6 months on, and he would have gotten the hang of the baby button-pushing DVD’s about a year ago at the latest. It’s definitely something that will last for a few years (still works in spite of being smashed on the concrete outside, actually, altho I didn’t purposely test it for durability and I’m sure that Leapfrog doesn’t recommend doing that ;)), I can’t say that about most of the technological toys on the market, especially at this (affordable, in my opinion) price.

I was just on their website and it looks like they have the live product demo up and running, so go check it out, I’d definitely recommend this and I’m so glad that we got to review it!

Comments, Questions or Reviews:


9 Responses

  1. Clint January 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    No need to banish it while watching a movie. Just press a different setting number on the little leaps (i.e., if your DVD player is set as “1”, press “2” or “3”) and the little leaps will no longer control the DVD player until you press the corresponding button again (“1″ in tihs example).

  2. My Bambino December 27, 2009 at 4:56 am #

    Great Post…..

    I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

    Thanks for sharing….

  3. Charlie Elks December 9, 2007 at 12:19 pm #

    I lost the instructions on how to set up the little leaps system to a new DVD player. ASAP

  4. She September 5, 2006 at 3:18 pm #

    well i hope someone finds p-nuts blog so we can start reviewing some products. that would be awesome! *crosses fingers*

  5. Tonya September 5, 2006 at 12:24 pm #

    Yeah, we have a Little Touch LeapPad and Nate has folded the pages and the books just look rough lol. They are still usable but for the $$$ I can’t stand to see it get ruined.

    I’ve saw something similar from Crayola where they can color on the screen too by pushing buttons.

  6. MamaDuck September 5, 2006 at 8:56 am #

    I know, I was thinking the same about that Leapster or the 3-5 year olds Leappad thing. I like this better because a) it is less able to be destroyed by the toddler walloping that it is getting and b) he loves pushing buttons and can’t rip virtual pages on the TV screen like he can on the Leapfrog books (even tho they are laminated, he ripped one in the store *gasp*).

    She, they contacted me after reading my blog (and yes, I get a lot of that, and no, I won’t try your product/review your idea/read your book unless you are a publicity company, a real company who I can check up on and make sure it is reputable before giving out our home address, as I don’t yet have a business address/P.O. box/other place to get MORE mail).

  7. Tonya September 4, 2006 at 6:03 pm #

    That looks really neat! Glad to hear that it can stand up to Lil Duck testing lol. We are wanting to get Nate a Leapster but I’m not sure that it would keep his attention enough to justify spending $50+ for it.

  8. She September 4, 2006 at 5:00 pm #

    how did you get your little toddler to be able to try out new products? is there a website or something? I’d love to have my little one trying out products for companies, that would be so neat! Do you have a referral? Thanx.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Instructions for Little Leaps - quick links for troubleshooting - February 11, 2013

    [...] we reviewed the Leapfrog Little Leaps system back in September, we did not have any technical issues with pairing the controller to our Playstation 2, or with the [...]