September 18, 2008

Summer Review: LeapFrog Click Start!


The folks at LeapFrog were kind enough to send Daughter a LeapFrog ClickStart computer with a BackYardigan game to review on MamaLaw. The Click Start computer is one of LeapFrog's newest gaming systems that introduces your preschooler to not just using a computer, but also to games that are fun and, of course, educational. It's almost like the preschool version of a Nintendo.



The ClickStart comes with a base for game cartridges and a big bright wireless keyboard (shown right). The keyboard has an attached mouse that adjusts for righties or lefties. One of the greatest things about the ClickStart is that I was able to set it up in less than a few minutes, without even reading the directions. I plugged the base right into the TV and Daugther put the cartridge right in the base. "Voila!," she was playing. There's nothing worse than a toy that requirs extensive set up.

Using the ClickStart was just as easy. It is suitable for children ages 3-6 so Daughter began playing with no difficulty. During the first game, I heard Oldest trying to give her directions but she insisted she didn't need any help. The ClickStart comes with four to five games pre-installed in the system. Some of the games installed include a neat matching game, games that help with those fine motor skills (practice using the mouse), and games that introduce letter and number recognition. They are very basic, yet perfectly suitable for any three year old. You can also select the leve of difficulty so a more advanced preschooler can enjoy it as well. Youngest gave it a shot but he was totally lost, poor thing. He's not yet three so we still have a ways to go. He didn't realize he wasn't playing, so I guess that's good. One thing I thought was really neat was that the child "wins" at every game. Every few minutes, the game rewards the child with something and yells, "You win five dog bones!" or something like that. Great rienforcment. You can tell Daughter was just so proud of herself. Even Oldest, Mr. Seven Year Old, wanted to get in on the excitement and played several games. What he didn't like was that graphics of the game seemed "babyish." I think what he meant was that they were not as "sophisticated" as he is used to. He has a Nintendo DS and the LeapFrog Didj (the subject of my next review!) so he is used to high-tech, high-graphic games. I think when you consider the audience, though, it's just fine. On that same note, the game requires batteries. Since the ClickStart will run you about $60.00, I think it should come with a rechargeable battery. It does, however, have the ability to use an AC adapter, but that's sold separately.
Overall, I think it's a great game for kids; it introduces the computer in a way that's understandable to kids, but more importantly, the games are educational and fun. It is sure to keep your little one entertained for at least 30 minutes at a time. That's hours in mommy time. But the best thing I love about the ClickStart, is that it reinforces exactly what Daughter is learning in preschool in a very user-friendly, age appropriate kind of way. I can't think of another type of gaming system like it.
Thanks LeapFrog! The ClickStart computer get's 5/5 gavels from Justice Jonesie.



24 comments:

A Shorter Mama said...

This is so cute! DC is always trying to get his hands on our computer and I am so afraid he will mess something up. this is perfect!

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