Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Rainy Afternoon of Learning with the LeapFrog App Toys

*Disclaimer- I was provided free LeapFrog App Toys as a part of a promotional program with LeapFrog and MomSelect. All opinions and experiences are my own.

My daughter is counting down the days until she gets to ride the big yellow bus off to Kindergarten, just like her big brother. Till then I am trying to encourage her inquisitive mind and find projects and toys that will let her learn now.

LeapFrog is a brand we love in this house. I have purchased several of their products over the years and am always excited to see what their latest and greatest toys are. This year I think it is going to be all about the LeapFrog App Toys.

I was sent both the Creativity Camera Protective Case & App, as well as the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App. My daughter is very interested in photography since Mommy is almost always carrying around a camera. I knew the writing app would also be a big hit because we already own Mr. Pencil Saves Doodleburg for my son's LeapPad. 

Both toys are just part of the app. In fact, the app is free and will work without purchasing the toys, but the stylus and camera case unlock more activities  and fun for the child.

The Creativity Camera requires the addition of an iPhone or iPod touch to work. I downloaded the App from the App Store and was able to get it set up right away. Again, the app is free.

My iPhone nestled right into the protective camera case. There are instructions inside the case on which way to face the phone and a QR code inside to activate the extra games and activities that are only available for camera case owners.

There are several ways to use the App. You can use it to take pictures, you can also take portraits and outfit yourself or your subject with crazy hats, glasses and mouths. This is a picture of the baby. I liked this one so I saved it to my phone to share on social media channels.

My daughter loved taking pictures around the house and yard and then adding creative borders, stamps and other fun items.

Her favorite game was the augmented reality game (AR) where she had to catch the "Peek-a-Bugs" and then sort them by color. She has played this one over and over!

There is also a photo album activity where the child is prompted to find items that fit a letter or emotion for each page. My daughter enjoyed taking pics of herself showing the prompted emotion like "happy".

Yes, it does look large on my 4-year old's face, but remember, my iPhone is cleverly hidden in there.

My only complaint was the shutter button was hard for her to press. She usually defaulted to touching the screen on the back. Don't worry and little finger smudges, there is protective screen over the actual iPhone screen.

I set up the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil Stylus and Writing App on the iPad. It can also be used on the iPhone or iPod touch, but I wanted her to have a larger writing surface, and am always hesitant to just hand over my phone to her.

The download for this is again free, and available at the APP store.It took a little longer to download this program.

I was really excited about this toy because my Kindergartener has horrible penmanship. I have purchased several books for him to practice writing, but he becomes bored quickly. In class he usually races through his work so he can draw on the backside of the paper. *Grrr...*

The game format and letter stroke order prompts worked for my 6-year old just as well as my 4-year old who is just starting to write.

The Mr. Pencil stylus is cute and easy for small hands to hold. I think this will really help both my kids practice drawing straight lines as well as basic shapes, letters and numbers.

These are two pieces of tech both my children enjoyed. They would make great additions to any 3-6 year old's Christmas list.

Who in your life would love a LeapFrog App Toy?
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