1. Kid Tough
Let’s be honest here, kids love iPads but iPads do not love kids. Unless you either add an extra tough case (at an additional cost) or don’t mind a shattered iPad screen. The LeapPad 3 comes kid tough right out of the box. It has a protective screen and shock absorbing frame, plus it’s sized perfectly for little hands to carry it around.
2. Rechargeable Battery
All toys should use rechargeable batteries. Like it should be a law. 😉 Our original LeapPad Explorer went through lots of batteries before we ordered the optional rechargeable battery pack. We are going through the same thing right now with our Xbox controllers. 🙁 The fact that the LeapPad 3 comes with a built-in rechargeable battery makes this mama very happy. Oh and it can charge via an AC adapter or USB (both included).
3. Kid Safe Web Search
The boys LOVE watching videos on YouTube. Video game tutorials, Disney cartoons, music videos, ya know all the good stuff. And if I am sitting RIGHT there watching the videos with them, then it’s no big deal. However, if I step away and they start clicking through related videos, they quickly (like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon) can find questionable videos. With the LeapPad 3 I have no concerns, LeapSearch through a wifi connection will show age appropriate videos and pictures, all pre approved by learning experts. Elliot has already found a few super hero and Mickey Mouse shorts that he loves watching. Plus you can disable this feature for littler kids if you want.
4. Game Compatibility
All the original Leapster Explorer games work with the LeapPad devices, including the LeapPad 3. The games aren’t cheap, so I really appreciate the fact they can continue to play games we already own. Personally I recommend downloading games (vs. buying cartridges though) because they “live” in your account and cane be installed on up to three devices, so there is nothing to lose or break!
5. Peer-to-Peer ability
The kids LOVE playing games together (Mine Craft anyone?) but I am not super hip to their ability to connect with random strangers. Both the LeapPad 3 and LeapPad Ultra allow for peer-to peer play with other Leap Frog devices nearby. It appears it’s only available with Pet Pad Party and Pet Chat right now, I am hoping they expand upon this feature.
6. Educational Content
I know learning apps are available on other devices, the quality of the educational content and fun is dicey at best. I love knowing that the LeapPad adjusts to each of their learning levels and practices skills from math and science to history and art (and everything in between). Plus they truly enjoy playing and learning.
Disclosure: I received the LeapPad 3 from LeapFrog and MomSelect to facilitate my review. As always all thoughts and opinions for this LeapPad 3 review are my own.