January 12, 2010

Product Review:

The Leapfrog Didj.

Lael received this for Christmas and I'm sure that it's the coolest Leapfrog toy ever.

Pros:
- Customizable. Lael was able to create her own little character that she uses through each game. There are also customizing kits available with stick-on covers in different colors.

- Focused learning. I can go online and program what types of challenges I think Lael should be getting. Right now we're on multiplication and division. I took out the numbers she hasn't gotten to yet (6,7,8,9) and made sure she's still getting addition review.

- Easy rewards. As Lael plays, she earns "Bitz." When you connect the Didj to a computer, the Bitz are then transferred to a virtual store where Lael can buy super powers or accessories for her character in each game. She LOVES this feature.

- Learning path. When we plug Lael's Didj in so she can download her Bitz, it also downloads her learning path. It tells me what skills she's mastered, what grade level she's functioning at and where she needs to improve.

- Compact. It looks a ton like the popular, handheld gaming systems.

- Fun games. Popular characters such as Spongebob and Hannah Montana would keep most kids interested. Lael got a Super Chicks game that is all about saving the world. Plus it comes with a free downloadable game so right from the get-go kids can be playing.

Cons:
- Games are pricey. We caught Lael's game on clearance at a toy store for $15. For the most part they're about double that. I know that is the going rate for new games but it seems like a lot for a little gaming system.

- Graphics are not the best. My kids don't notice at all, but the graphics are not on par with the newer systems.

- The free game doesn't save your progress. This was incredibly annoying when we first realized it. No matter how far we get into the game, once your character runs out of life you have to start at Level 1. Super annoying.


Overall, this homeschool mom is so happy with the Didj. (I even find myself picking it up to play when I'm bored.) It's become a part of our daily routine for some quiet review. And the best part - there are headphone jacks so Lael can play without disturbing those in the same room as her.

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