The LeapTV from Leapfrog is an educational learning console that turns your TV into an interactive gaming experience for little people. I will admit that we don't very often use our LeapTV because, until now, Holly had really been too small to play on it and when her big sister did so, she really wanted to join in but we've recently discovered Sofia the First for LeapTV which is a game suitable from age 3 upwards and, as Holly's co-ordination, learning and understanding is improving, she is able to join in.
Sofia the First, Picnic Games on LeapTV features the Disney trainee princess taking on lots of training challenges in preparation for a grand royal picnic. Your child has to use the hand-held controller to navigate through the gardens to find picnic challenges to play such as growing and arranging magical flowers for the table decorations to flying Sofia's magical horse, Minimus.
Some of the games practice very basic phonics skills which is perfect for Holly who has recently grasped the concepts of letter sounds and can recognise her first simple letter shapes. The growing game encourages your child to select one letter shape over another based on the sound and Holly feels very proud when she gets it right. The flying game encourages hand-eye co-ordination and it is really interesting to see the different levels of skill between Lara (nearly 6) and Holly (nearly 3) as they play with the interactive controller. Holly has to concentrate very hard to get the characters on the screen to do what she intends them to do but she really does understand the concept of cause and effect.
I like this game (I wouldn't play it myself!!!) for Holly as the language is clear and the instructions easy to follow. My one concern is that there is quite a lot of time at the start-up of the game where we have to sit and wait for the game to be ready to play. Additionally, as each mini-game loads up it seems to take FOREVER for the game to load. This is a big problem for someone as small as Holly who simply doesn't understand the delay and quickly loses interest.
That said, for a slightly older child such as Lara, there is a lot to get out of this game. Many of the mini-games that use numbers, letters or vocabulary are quite easy for Lara now but she enjoys the challenge of completing them so that she can earn medals (and there are lots of medals to earn). Lara can see and explore all of the more in-depth parts of the game such as collecting gems and hunting for horseshoes. This is the secret which causes them to come back to a game over and over again.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Leapfrog Blogger Panel and was sent the LeapTV game to review. All opinions are my own.