LeapBand: Learning to Tell Time is tons of fun!

Features you might not expect on an activity tracker can be found on LeapFrog’s new LeapBand.

By Michelle Owens

USA Track & Field certified youth coach and parent of three

Michelle coaches elementary and middle school Track & Field, encourages family fitness in & after school, and obtains funding to promote fitness at school through grant-writing. With her background as a scientist and as a NCAA Division I student-athlete, she’s on a mission to share with youth the strong association of being physically fit with improved attention, behavior, and learning. Married to an early adopter of all-things-tech, she’s had the opportunity to interact with many fitness devices, apps, services, and social networks. Michelle is a paid contributor to the LeapFrog community and receives free product in exchange for her feedback.

Because the form factor of LeapFrog’s new Leapband™ activity tracker is watch-like with a band you might expect it to tell time. You’d be right: LeapBand has a few nifty features that a parent might expect in a watch, but they have been transformed for kid usage and fun learning! I love that my kids can practice telling time with a good ol’ analog clock, made by a monkey who, very fortunately for us, has arms of differing length :) We’ve found a bunch of uses for it: It’s great for discussing the “o’clocks” with my 3-year-old and calculating “a quarter past” and “a quarter ‘til” with my 7-year-old.

For quick time checks there is also a digital clock on the main screen. I can ask my kid the time of day and he can feel so grown-up AND helpful with a quick response. We decided to start bicycling to school and when we practiced the route this weekend my 7-year-old was in charge of time checks and calculating our trip time! We’ve also used the clock to (anxiously) count down the minutes until cookies finished baking in the oven (yum!)

[announcer voice] But WAIT there’s more: There is a stopwatch that counts up to 30 seconds, but does so using big, clear numbers. For my 3-year–old, this is great for learning to identify the written numbers that match the ”song of numbers” that he has memorized. Also, the LeapBand ticks off the intervals by counting aloud “10,” “20” and “30” so we can discuss counting by 10s.

Mostly, I’m just psyched to see my kids have so much fun telling time! You should’ve seen how excited my 3-year-old was to be included when his big brother and sisters were earning their Junior Ranger badge at Marin Headland!  He was the “official timer” while they counted how many waves crashed on the beach in 1 minute. They went on to calculate how many waves hit the beach each day, while he checked on his step count.