LeapPad3 Explorer learning games help develop educational skills

See how the LeapPad3’s Explorer Learning games helped my child develop and master a variety of skills!

By Sheena Portrait

MA, Early Childhood & Elementary Education, teaching endorsement in Special Education

As a former Elementary Educator, Sheena's passion for children and technology integration fueled her seven year teaching career. You can now find Sheena strolling around Portland, Oregon with her 19-month-old twins and 4-year-old pigtailed daughter. Read more about the Portraits’ adventures on her blog sheenaportrait.com. Sheena is a paid contributor to the LeapFrog community and receives free product in exchange for her feedback.

The  LeapPad3 on its own is a fantastic educational tool for kids. So I was excited to dive into the Explorer Learning games with my four-year-old and see what other skills she could practice and hopefully master! We spent some time working with four of the games, all of which we enjoyed. She got a kick out of using the tablet independently because the games are THAT kid-friendly. Very little guidance is needed with the clear and explicit directions. Directions are step-by-step and modeled first before the users begins a task. I loved seeing all the educational skills that were secretly embedded in these fun action-packed games.

When given the choice between Hello Kitty Sweet Little Shops, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Cooking on the Road and Sesame Street Solve it with Elmo, Abby and Super Grover 2.0 it was no surprise Wren chose Hello Kitty to play first. The main story within this game is Hello Kitty helping her friends while using a variety of math skills. From problem-solving how to get treats to fit inside a gift box, to estimating flower arrangement sizes at the florist shop, this game offers vocabulary that is rich and mathematical reasoning practice that is perfect for younger children. Wren really liked all aspects but continued to go back to the treat shop to organize cookies. Typical kid, always trying to sneak more sugar.

Next was Cooking! Recipes on the Road. I personally love this game the most because of its real life application. It involves working in a food cart on the beach, taking orders and making delicious meals. The process starts with selecting the ingredients and moves to prepping the food, then making a main dish and lastly serving it to customers and seeing what their reaction is to the final product. Within this process Wren had to follow step-by-step directions while gaining information on food preparation. Culinary and math vocabulary words are throughout the entire game along with extremely realistic visuals of all the food being used to make the final dish. Wren felt very grown-up running her own food cart and I was impressed with the important life skills it reinforced.

Now we are off to Neverland! Jake and his pirates take you on wild journey searching for treasures while counting coins and rebuilding ships using geometrics shape. This game reinforces number recognition, problem-solving, sorting and classifying and is targeted for kids who love adventure! Watching Wren’s face when she successfully identified all the triangles to get herself across the river of hot flowing lava was epic. I could she see her confidence building right before my eyes.

Our journey ends on Sesame Street with some of our oldest friends. Grover 2.0 leads the way experimenting with simple machines while helping out his friends. After the completion of each task Wren had a blast testing out scientific processes such as using a lever to flip an egg and crack it in a pan, and using kinetic energy with a hamster wheel to turn on a light. With these science-based activities, I observed Wren having to really focus and exercise her listening skills to understand what she needed to do in order to complete each task. As a parent and teacher I think that’s the highlight of this game. It gets the brain working hard while exploring many new ideas and high-level vocabulary words.

Explorer Learning games provide a positive and rich educational experience for kids. With purposeful tasks being performed independently and extensive vocabulary embedded throughout, kids can make huge academic gains reinforcing and mastering new skills. Another perk to these games are a user can only move on to the next level when mastery of the current skill had been reached. This creates a solid foundation of understanding that is tailored to each child’s specific academic needs. If you own a LeapPad3Leap Pad 3, I highly recommend adding Explorer Learning games to kick-start an exciting educational journey for your child.