My high school buddy, Dan, was here visiting from St. Louis when my second package of goodies from LeapFrog arrived. One of the toys inside it was this:

It’s LeapFrog’s My Own Story Time Pad, and since it’s geared toward kids ages 24 months to 6 years (my youngest is 7), I decided to send it home with Dan to try out with his 4-year-old daughter. Here’s his review:

Last week I finally bought an e-reader. Like most of us these days, I’m trying to get what I want while staying on budget. After much debate, I decided to buy a Nook Simple Touch from Barnes & Noble. While my six-year old daughter will no doubt end up “borrowing it” soon, my youngest daughter, who is four, will not. This is where Leap Frog’s My Own Story Time Pad enters the market.

My Own Story Time Pad resembles one of today’s e-readers but has what my preschooler will relate to. The construction is what we can expect from Leap Frog, a solid and durable design. On the front there are four faux e-reader or tablet computer options. I call them faux because they are really meant to resemble the adult version. While they offer limited capabilities, they are enough for my daughter. The four options include alphabet, e-mail, a book and music with a paw print in the middle as the command or enter button.

The “Alphabet” mode allows users to choose a letter on the pad. A character voice pronounces the letter’s sound and uses it in a few words. The “E-mail” simulates e-mail from a character on the reader. The character reads the e-mail while the words are shown on the screen. In the “Book” or “Story” mode, a character tells a short story complete with simple graphics. Finally, the “Music” mode plays either a few children’s songs or allows the user to make music using the Pad’s keyboard using instruments and sound sampling. At the end of the mode function the Pad will ask if you have done another activity, like “have you checked your e-mail?” keeping the child busy and engaged much like we are when using an iPad, tablet computer or in my case, the Nook.

As a father, I think this will both educate and distract. I say distract because my youngest does not need a full-blown e-reader or tablet computer. With this she will know what a tablet computer or e-reader do and be a little more ready for them when the time arrives. The experience left me wanting more, but realizing that this is enough for my youngest…for now.

Pros:

Solid construction

Good platform for learning reading, as well as an intro to electronic devices

Cons:

Small screen

Simple graphics

Dan can be found at his blog, The-DG,

Look for a giveaway on this toy coming soon!

One Response to “Guest Review: LeapFrog’s My Own Story Time Pad”

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