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LeapFrog Tag Reader and LeapPad Explorer Review

A toddler shuffling in Mom’s heels. A teen donning Dad’s hat. A preschooler reading Grandpa’s crossword puzzle.

Kids just can’t seem to stop themselves from emulating the grownups in their life—and there are plenty of toys designed to encourage just that. Shopping carts, tool belts, kitchen sets and, now, tablet & smartphones toys—just like Mom & Dad have.

I had the opportunity over fall break to host a LeapFrog party—we just love LeapFrog, but they’ve really outdone themselves this time around.

The Tag Reader goes beyond reading assistance & learning, featuring fun activity books for the kids to play. And, the maps? Um, genius! The grownups had a fun time playing with that one, even if a couple of us (ahem) had a hard time with the seek & find game.

The map states ages 4-8, but my almost 9-year-old is seriously into geography, and we’ll be buying one for her this Christmas. It’s the sort of thing that transcends ages.

In fact, my tiny niece loved reading the Tag books with the rest of the kids. Along with the Tag Reader, I was introduced to their LeapPad Explorer—or, as my daughter & nephew like to call it, the Kid iPad.

Lorelai is beyond thrilled to have her own iPad, and my nephew is hoping Santa will bring him one of his own. She has seriously spent hours playing with this toy. When I saw the price tag, I’ll admit I was skeptical, but whoa—this thing is totally worth it!

The Explorer features a touchscreen, downloadable apps, eBooks and camera & video—just like a real tablet. The touchscreen is kid-friendly, with larger buttons for inexperienced hands.

In addition to the dowloadable games, apps and books, you can purchase Leapster Explorer cartridges at a variety of levels. And, the reading apps adjust automatically, based on the skills children exhibit as they play.

Plus, it’s already taken a tumble (or two) and is none the worse for wear. Not that I’d recommend testing that out, of course. But with Lorelai carting it everywhere she goes, it was just bound to happen.

My one complaint is that it takes batteries, instead of being chargeable via a power cord. We got about 10 hours out of the first set of batteries, but since she’s playing this practically every waking hour, we’ve moved on to rechargeable batteries.

She hasn’t asked to touch my iPhone or the hubby’s iPad since we got this. Of course, since there’s no zombie app, I’m sure that’s only a matter of time. Still, LeapPad Explorer is the perfect kid-friendly alternative to grownup tech toys. And, it’s all hers!

Buy Leapfrog Toys on Amazon:


I was given a LeapFrog party pack, from Mom Select, that included the items mentioned in this post as well as coupons & activities for our guests. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Article by justheather

Heather Sokol is the married mother of many amazing, active children through birth, adoption, and foster care. They have created in her a Sports Mom, Scout Mom, Band Mom, Dance Mom, Allergy Mom & avid coupon clipper. Is that miscellaneous enough for you? She shares her deals & tips at Inexpensively.com and reports progress on learning to be a grownup at JustHeather.com. justheather tagged this post with: , , , Read 94 articles by

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2 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Liz says:

    My daughter got the leap pad explorer for Christmas. Do you think it’s worth it to get the tag system as well?

    • justheather says:

      They’re such completely different products! I suppose it would depend on your daughter’s age and interest in books. The Tag system is more of a book reader. There are games & activities within the books & maps that you can buy to go with it, but it’s primarily designed for non-readers.

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