I got a really sweet package in the mail a while back. I was tempted to use its contents as leverage to get my kids to finish their chores, but in the end excitement over came me and I let them have the stuff. Score one for the kids. While they set to work exploring the mother load, I settled in to observe which things the kids liked the most. Now I’m here to tell you about which items made the favorites list.
The LeapTV category winner is…Mr. Pencil’s Doodle Craft!
Shocking, I know. Mr. Pencil isn’t featured on the Disney channel, nor is he found on Nickelodeon, yet this is the game the kids keep begging to play. It was up against some stiff competition. Other games that came in the package included: Disney’s Frozen, Disney Princess: Cinderella and Rapunzel, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and the Letter Factory Adventure.
*I’ve included links to my Amazon reviews of each of those games, too. 🙂
Now that I’ve had a chance to see what Doodle Craft is all about I can understand why they enjoy it so much. It all started when my husband set my kids up with their own Sim Cities on their devices, but it was a little too complicated for them. He always has to go fix their cities to make their citizens happy because the kids are forever building houses they don’t need yet. Who needs a sewage plant, I ask you?
THIS game is perfect for their skill level and my seven year old LOVES coloring and designing the facades of the buildings before building them. It’s like Sim City and Minecraft had a love child and it happened to match my kids’ developmental stages so they can play without frustration.
The kids get to wander around their neighborhood helping citizens who need it. They can do anything from raking leaves and washing houses, to designing the facade of their next building. I guess it helps foster the boy scout mentality of helping people, now that I’m thinking about it. Great!
There is movement in this game, though the periods of movement–when the kids are cleaning houses, raking leaves, or recycling–are farther between because the kids spend so much time coloring and designing their buildings. They love it though!
Another thing I like is that it helps the kids develop spatial reasoning. They color and design the walls before the building is assembled, and once it is constructed they can see where each individual wall and rooftop piece goes and how they all fit together.
Winner of the favorite Toy is…Number Lovin Oven!
LeapFrog sent several toys in the box. We received the Word Whammer (my favorite, but you’ll hear about that next), Scout’s Build and Discover Tool Set, and the Number Lovin’ Oven. The kids enjoyed all of these, but … over the past few weeks I have noticed that the Number Lovin’ Oven consistently gets a lot more action than the other two.
I know the packaging says 2+, and I definitely agree that a two year old would reap more academic benefits than my 10 month old, but this happens to be a great toy for my baby. All of the pieces are too large to be a choking hazard, it sings and it makes fun noises. He loves it.
But that’s not why it’s a winner. My seven year old and my five year old love playing with it, too. They already know how to count and whatnot, but they still love playing with the toy. So do their friends. This gives me hope that by the time my baby turns two and he’s ready to start counting, we can use this cute singing oven as one of the tools in our arsenal to teach him his numbers.
It sings a song about the different foods you can bake. Some of the food items break into smaller portions that you can count, or learn fractions with. It tells you to change the setting on the oven (numbered 1-5) and then counts the same amount of seconds until the food is done.
Also, it tosses out helpful hints on hygiene. What mom doesn’t appreciate reminders to wash your hands?
Winner of the Mom favorite award is…the Word Whammer!
I love this game! It’s like a much simpler version of the Bop It, but –wait for it– it teaches phonics! Okay, there are a few reasons I think my kids overlooked this one in the long run, the biggest and most important being that we took it on a road trip straight out of the box and after we got there, it ended up floating around beneath the back seat until I cleaned out the car *ahem* two weeks later.
The good news is that while neglecting the Word Whammer, they were outside kayaking and swimming and biking. But, the kids loved playing it on the way there, and probably would have enjoyed playing it on the way back if they had been able to locate it. I mean, they even spurned the opportunity to watch a movie in the car in favor of taking turns with the Word Whammer, which is nothing to sneeze at.
I was amazed at how much fun they had with it, even though both my kids are well beyond this stage in their literary pursuits and I think if they were just a little bit younger it would have blown the Number Lovin’ Oven out of the water.
Truth: this game was a bit too easy for my kids, but it would be perfect for beginning readers, just starting to put sounds together into words. Perfect, I tell you. It starts you out finding the right letter to finish the three letter word and the rest of the games are of a similar simplicity.
Anyway, I’m just saying, I don’t think this thing got its due at my house, but it would probably be very greatly appreciated by kids just a little bit younger than my kids.
And those, my friends, were the fall LeapFrog lineup winners here at Family Tech Zone. Keep your children’s brains developing and growing as they play!
*Even though I got this stuff for free (thanks LeapFrog!), these are %100 my real, true opinions.
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I’m a technological enthusiast with a completely unrelated degree in English Literature. I’ve also been known to dabble in photography and DIY furniture refinishing, with occasional stints of fitness sprinkled among all of the above.