20 May 2015

REVIEW: LeapFrog LeapBand

Lords a-leaping.

Wearable technology isn't just for grown-ups; after all, kids need to stay fit and active too, especially when the draw of TV and games consoles is so strong. LeapFrog have always been on the cutting edge of blending tech with kids' interests, and as we've seen in the past, go a long way to helping the wee ones keep fit. But can you really market an activity tracker to kids? You can if it's tonnes of fun! We got hands (or rather wrists) on with the LeapFrog LeapBand.

Adult activity trackers monitor your activity as part of your aim to stay active and achieve a fitness goal. Kids don't really give a crap about all of that, preferring to have fun instead. As parents we try to make sure that the fun activities our kids enjoy are also ones that will help keep them healthy, and with the LeapBand, we think LeapFrog have finally cracked it.

Imagine a tamagotchi (remember them?) that you wear on your wrist, but instead of waiting a day to feed the strange little creature again, you copy the fun exercises they do by jumping and running around. The more jumping and running around, the more points the kiddie will score, unlocking more goodies to do with their new digital pet.

Each LeapBand comes preloaded with a choice of eight animated characters (our particular favourite being the unicorn, obviously) which kids can select and interact with, right on their wrists. the LeapBand's speaker is pretty good at blasting out commands and funny noises, while not being too overpowering and annoying for grown-ups. The small screen is also pretty impressive, and while the size reminded us of those late 90s tamagotchis, the brightness, resolution and colours certainly didn't. Watching your little animated pal is a joy, and cycling through menus is a breeze.

Not only can you interact with the character by way of jumping around like a loon, but you must also learn how to feed it healthy food and give it occasional baths. That's right kids; eat vegetables and bathe regularly and you too will be a headband-wearing dragon. Or something.

We really love this little gadget and think it is indeed a good way to keep kids both entertained and active. Built for children aged four to seven, out four year old reviewer loved it, from the crazy times when she was instructed to hop around like a frog, to the quiet times when her unicorn needed a bath. And thanks to the splash-proof build and the several-days long rechargeable battery, it really was non-stop play.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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