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My eldest daughter was given a box of old consoles from a friend of ours, unfortunately the only console that still worked (they had been stored in a box in the garage) was the Leapfrog Leappad system.
I have always liked Leapfrog toys they are really great for kids, educational and tend to be easy to use so I was quite pleased that we had been given the system and a great number of books for it for free.
The Leappad comes in 2 colours options, you can get green and blue and then pink and purple obviously aimed at boys and girls although ours is green and blue and I have 2 daughters but the colour of it really doesn't matter. The console is a little old now and many more have been released since this one but you can still buy it from the likes of Ebay for around £10.
The console is made to help children with their reading and it is made to seem like a plastic book, the console is large being slightly bigger than A4 size and the front ¾ of it opens up and then you put the book inside. On the part of the front which doesn't open up there is a small circular speaker and an small on and off button.
The console has a section on the back which is screwed into place and underneath it houses the batteries, the console take 4 x AA batteries and I would suggest using good batteries or rechargeables as this thing eats battery power.
To use the system you have to place the cartridge which comes with each book into the console, the section where the cartridge goes is highlighted in green and it is easy to put the cartridge in and you can feel it click into place. You then need to place the matching book for the cartridge into the centre of the console which opens up when you press down on the side of the flap, turn the console on and you are ready to go. Inside the console there is a pen which is attachhed via a wire and is how your child works their way through the books and plays the games that there are also within the books.
There are a couple of different stages of books for the system, the first stage is from age 4-8 and then the second stage is from age 6-8, my daughter is 5 but we were given a range of stages of books so she has played with them even though some of them are not her stage yet. The books come in a wide range of character options and then there are books which are based around the character Leap, the books help with learning to read, understanding sounds and have games for your child to play too.
The system is really good and very educational, my daughter loves playing on this system and the books even though she has other systems from this company and around the same ideas. The console is really durable, it has been played with by my friends two children and now my own and apart from being a bit grubby it is in perfect working order. I will not tell you about the games as they will feature in other reviews so I won't bore you twice. A really great thing about this system now is that since it is quite old you can pick up the console and the books for it really cheaply.
pink and purple LeapPad Learning System comes with 1 book and cartridge Pre reading Tutter's Tiny Trip Pre school - 5 yrs, Manufacturer: Leapfrog