When she opened it, she seemed really excited and even more so when she got it out of the box. Once I put in the batteries (4 AAs) and turned it on she was really excited. I let her put in her name and play around with it until she decided that she needed my help. I helped her put in a game cartridge (Puppy Pals) and began to show her how to play. She loves it– Leap Frog’s Leapster 2 is a winner with my little girl.
Here’s the Leapster 2 breakdown:
- It comes with the game system, a USB cable, and a Leap Frog Connect installation CD.
- It does NOT include batteries or an AC adapter.
- It does come with Art Studio pre-loaded.
- It has a stylus attached to the system and a touch screen.
- Accessories (i.e. carrying case, charging dock, etc.) are sold separately.
This educational handheld requires 4 AA batteries to operate. I purchase my batteries at my local dollar store since “all” kid’s toys are battery operated, and I am happy to say that I haven’t had to change the batteries yet. She has not been playing with it non-stop but she hasn’t been ignoring it either, moderate play describes the usage best. I should mention here that I do have every intention of purchasing the AC adapter regardless of the battery duration.
EASE OF USE
Using the stylus takes some practice, because it needs just the right amount of pressure (sometimes applying solid pressure with a finger is enough). The up, down, left, and right arrows are pretty basic, as are the A and B buttons. Beware, if your child is anything like mine, the stylus may seem like more fun than the buttons, in which case take care to instruct your child to listen carefully to the instructions so that they can play the game properly.
The buttons are a good size for little fingers and not to shabby for grown up hands either. On the bottom of the Leapster 2 are “function” buttons (screen contrast and volume). I’m glad they’re on the bottom because it’s true what they say: Out of sight, out of mind. There is also a universal headphone jack on the bottom. Good spot, because the cord isn’t in the way of the action.
The screen is a little small, so it can be a little difficult to provide assistance and give both you and your child a good view of what’s happening. Also, getting the game cartridges in and out requires a little bit of oomph. These are my only semi-complaints.
I also like that I don’t have to have a screwdriver handy to open the battery compartment. All you need is a quarter (a key, a coin, a butter knife, almost anything really) and a quick turn to remove the battery compartment. Unlike most toys nowadays the Leapster 2 does not require you to have skills in breaking and entering. It isn’t glued, bolted, or shrink wrapped into the box, so you can get it out and get to playing with it quickly.
We have three games for my daughter’s Leapster 2, Ratatouille, I Spy, and Puppy Pals. So far, her favorite seems to be Ratatouille, I agree. It teaches rhyming, letters and matching, letter and number recognition and more. It sharpens listening and memory skills. Did I already say that this game was my favorite of the three she has? The games are engaging and include brief tutorials for ease of play. There are also skill levels, the game grows with your child’s development.
Puppy Pals is a little dry, but it she enjoys it. It teaches math, listening skills and sharpens writing skills. If you’re thinking about getting a real pet, this may be a nice game to help prepare your child for helping out with that responsibility.
I am a single mother in grad school and was hoping that the Leapster 2 would be a tool that could buy me some less-interrupted time with my studies. Leap Frog’s Leapster 2 could definitely do the trick. I plan on giving her all the tutorial time she needs to become Leapster 2 proficient during this winter break so that when the spring semester begins I can have some peaceful study time (did I mention that I purchased earphones as well?). I am very optimistic about this Leapster and I look forward to it and my daughter becoming closer. Already my 4 year old is having a blast with her new Leap Frog purple Leapster 2, and I am sure that yours will too.
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