I’m going to start this post with a huge admission: I’ve never been a fan of tablets for kids. Go ahead and call me a judgemental so-and-so all you like, but I’ve always thought they were a bit of a cop out. Parents looking for an easy way to distract their kids, without having to actually play with them. Mums and dads using a tablet so they don’t have to go outside in the mud and get dirty running down hills. They’re not educational, are they? They’re just turning our kids into mindless zombies….
Yeah, I was wrong.
I am happily holding my hands up right now and admitting that, after trying out the LeapPad Ultra, I am the first to say that, actually, there IS a place for a child’s tablet in our home.
We were recently sent a LeapPad Ultra to review. Here’s a video of it in action….
So why have I suddenly changed my mind about kids and tablets?
Well the LeapPad Ultra is packed full of educational games. If my child is going to sit in front of a screen (which she is at some point in the day, whatever my protestations) then at least she’s DOING and LEARNING something.
Come 4pm and all my 3 year old wants to do is lounge on her beanbag and either scroll through my (snitched) phone or watch TV. She is lethargic, tired after a busy day being active. And I’m busy making tea and getting clean PJs for bedtime. The LeapPad Ultra has full parental controls, so I know I can let her have a play, learning something at the same time.
There are gazillions of educational games on the LeapPad Ultra, along with a camera (Frog’s latest obsession) and video recorder. So, as a mum who is intensely aware of the need to limit screen time, I have no qualms about letting her play with the LeapPad Ultra for a limited amount of time.
The (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine is an IT teacher with a healthy obsession in tech and gadgets. On these things, I bow down to his greater wisdom. He tells me he was impressed with the graphics, hi-res screen and endless options of activities. In fact, he admitted to being a little jealous.
As a screen-phobic parent I’m surprised to find myself readily recommending the LeapPad Ultra, even for a child as young as 3 and a half. I suppose, as with anything, it all comes down to moderation. Every afternoon running around fields getting muddy or going on the swings at the park simply complements half an hour on the tablet, learning about the alphabet, colours and letters.
My verdict? The LeapPad Ultra is worth every penny.
The LeapPad Ultra is available from a range of retailers from around £100. We were sent this product for the purpose of this review. All views remain my own.