Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Choosing an Educational Toy for Kids (Holiday Shopping)

This post brought to you by LeapFrog. With baby number three arriving before Christmas this year, I want to complete my gift shopping early to reduce my stress levels! Today's post has some tips for choosing the right educational toy for kids. I hope that they will helpful to any parent, family member, or friend who has special boy or girl to shop for this holiday season. Last week, I interviewed Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos, a childhood and learning expert, and she shared some insight with me on behalf of LeapFrog, which is my favorite source for educational kids' toys. And be sure to stay tuned this week for a fun LeapFrog Prize Pack Giveaway!

My questions for Dr. LeVos included:

1. What are the benefits to a child having his/her own electronic gaming system versus just playing on mom and dad's phone or tablet?

2. For readers on the fence about purchasing a LeapFrog product with separate games/apps, what is the difference between LeapFrog games/books and apps or games you can download to a phone or tablet?

3. What is an appropriate time limit to give young kids for screen time?

4. Can you recommend any specific games or apps that will challenge a young student in their reading or math skills?

5. How can parents reinforce the reading/learning skills that a child is growing through playtime with LeapFrog?

Here is her brief video response (you'll need to click over to the blog if you're viewing this post in a reader):

I hadn't thought about the fact that LeapFrog has really done the work for me...distributing apps and games that are designed and/or approved by an educator. Like most parents, I've tried wading through the free app choices on my phone and have wondered just how "educational" they are...even though they may be marketed as such!

I most appreciated her suggestion of allowing screen time as part of a "balanced diet." Someone affiliated with a company that distributes electronic toys for kids could have easily plugged "stay plugged in, all the time," but Dr. LeVos cautioned against that mentality.

If you have time to watch the short interview video above, I highly recommend it. She gave some great insight to adults looking to purchase educational toys this upcoming holiday season!

Thanks to Dr. LeVos and LeapFrog for sharing with us today!

What's your number one criteria for choosing an educational toy or app?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by LeapFrog in exchange for product. It is not a financially compensated post. My opinions are, as always, my own.


  1. My kids are now 6 and 9 and still enjoy their Leap Pads/Explorers that they've had for years. These are truly fabulous products that stand the test of time. My youngest feels so grown up when he downloads apps and such onto his Leap Pad....and I don't have to worry about it!

  2. Great questions, thanks for asking them for us! My kids love the Leap Pad and I like how easy it is for them to use. Good idea to get started on Christmas now. :)

  3. Great questions! My kids loved Leap Pad when they were younger.

  4. I have a 3 and a 7 year old and we have an Explorer that they love! The Leap Pad looks so fun too though!

  5. I am currently home schooling my preschooler and I love educational yet fun things for her to do. Great post!!

  6. I love your questions. My kids have accidentally purchased things before so I second that point. ;) We love Leap Frog at our house!

  7. I really appreciate LeapFrog's dedication to making really good, fun educational toys!

  8. I like to select toys that will last more than just a few months before the child outgrows it. That's what is great about Leap Frog their products have the ability to grow with their child for a while.

  9. Have you checked out Vinci products? My kids have them and we like them quite a bit. A lot of similiarities between them and leapfrog products.


I love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave comments...just don't send me spam asking me to buy stuff off your website! I've got three kids and no money to purchase your magic weight-loss pill or bust enhancement, or whatever else you might be selling. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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