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Following on from my Leapster console review I thought I would recommend a couple of games that I have found useful for my children. We initially chose the Pixar Pals game as nearly all of the games focus on one particular well known character or film but this game has several Disney Pixar characters from Toy Story, Wall-E, Ratatouille and Up.
Most children's games are educational but we particularly like that this game is quite challenging too. Games include building words, solving problems and completing sequences.
Children can explore the worlds of the characters and each game is different dependant on the character. Along the way they can collect collectables and unlock more mini games as they progress through.
The more the child plays the more games are unlocked and puzzles are opened for them to unscramble. My daughters particular favourites are to use maths skills to connect stars together and to sort food by colour, food group and sound with Emile and Remy from Ratatouille.
The games are particularly good for letter recognition. While my eldest daughter can just about read now, my youngest is still in nursery but is starting to learn about sounds and basic phonics so this helps her, although she does need help from mummy or big sister.
Other skills that are emphasised in this game are building words, writing skills, math skills, sequencing and it also touches a little on healthy eating and nutrition which I haven't really come across before. This is great as they don't really know they are learning, they think they are having fun playing a Ratatouille game!
The Leapster is a particular favourite in our house and it helps confidence as the levels automatically adjust to the child's skills and needs. There are also tutorials for new challenges. The instructions at the beginning of the game are very clear and guide the child step by step through what they need to do, including explaining the functions of the keys. This was really helpful for my daughter and gave her the confidence to have a go on her own without any parental help.
The option to connect to the online Leap World is also a great feature as this allows them to complete extra activities and rewards. Here, parents can also check the child's progress and perhaps where they need extra help or guidance.
The only downside of the game is that it is slightly more challenging than some of the other age appropriate games. We quite like this though but she has to be really focused to play some of the games. The mazes may be slightly more complicated for some but after a few goes they soon get the hang of it. As this game is slightly more challenging, I wouldn't recommend starting off with this game first, and would recommend buying one of the others first (particularly for younger children), before moving onto this one.
This game is for ages 4 to 7. The game is for the Leapster 2 but can also work with the original Leapster.
Priced at £19.99.