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What is a Leapster?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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A Leapster is a handheld electronic game system designed by LeapFrog, a leading manufacturer of educational toys and games. The Leapster learning game system is portable and powered by AA batteries. The system supports an educational software library also designed by LeapFrog with games for kids ranging in age from pre-K through 4th grade.

The Leapster handheld learning game system was the first system released by LeapFrog. Available in both pink and blue, the system has a large color screen with both push-button and stylus controls for game play. The Leapster educational software library consists of numerous titles, many of which feature licensed characters such as SpongeBob Squarepants, Bratz, Spiderman, and The Incredibles.

Each game title incorporates learning into game play and focuses on different skills. Number and letter recognition, math facts, phonics and reading, music and creativity are just some of the skills taught and reinforced in the games. Other titles are educational interactive videos, and some parents may be pleased to know that the timeless cartoon segments School House Rocks! are included.

In 2005, LeapFrog began heavily marketing the release of their second system, the Leapster L-Max. The handheld design of the first system remains the same, but this second system also includes the ability to plug into any video/audio input on a television and play the games on the TV. Though the two systems are different in this capacity, the games for both systems are interchangeable, an aspect most game systems lack.

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Besides appealing to kids because of the game concept, the system appeals to parents because the games are educational. With titles featuring Disney Princesses or Batman, boys and girls alike will find plenty of games to choose from. Both the systems and the games are reasonably priced for consumers and both products have received awards, including the 2005 Learning Magazine Teacher Choice award. Accessories are also available, including a carrying case, a rechargeable battery system, and headphones.

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