Learning Path: Great ideas for on-the-go parents

Learning Path provides fun activity ideas while helping you stay up-to-date on your child's progress.

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.

It’s Friday morning. My toddler twins don't have their usual playgroup and my preschooler is home due to parent-teacher conferences. On this rainy Portland day, my kids are bursting with energy. I'd love to get them engaged in fun, educational activities that are developmentally appropriate. But let’s be honest… that takes time to pull together. Lucky for us, the lovely and smart folks at LeapFrog have bundled it all into a handy little app.

The Learning Path is everything you could ever want as a parent. It's an on-the-go version of LeapFrog’s Learning Path that is found on their website. The app setup is quick, it’s easy to navigate and is a treasure trove of educational games, activities, tips and researched-based articles.

The first time I used the app, I signed in with the LeapFrog account I created when I set up my kids' LeapPads. This allows the app to provide learning ideas specific to their ages. 

The What’s New section highlights current activities to explore with your children. You can find holiday printables, seasonal songs and activities using simple items found in any house, all of which highlight specific learning skills such as logic, problem-solving, mathematics, reading and writing. As a mom, I love the activities because they are easy, purposeful and fun. I want to provide an educationally rich home environment for my kids as much as possible. The Learning Path App provides a practical way for me to do just that without having to spend a lot of money buying materials, or spending tons of time researching ideas online scrolling through blog after blog.

Goals & Discussions are both clear and simple tools for checking in with your child’s academic and social development. The Goals category provides descriptions for milestones to look for with your child. For example, my five-year-old daughter just successfully memorized all of her letter sounds and is starting to recognize common words, yay! That was the final subcategory under the Reading and Writing goal I was waiting for her to meet. Now I can check that goal off and focus on others that she needs more practice with. What’s helpful about this feature is I am able to track where my kids need more support and practice in order to gain mastery. I can then cater my activities & games to reinforce skills that allow them to move forward academically and socially. Similarly, the Discussions category provides answers from child development experts covering a wide-range of topics. These topics allow me to monitor how my kids are performing and also provides tools for when difficulties arise.

To top it off, the real icing on the cake is I get a weekly email from LeapFrog that reminds me of new ideas from the Learning Path, which I love for the weeks I am busy and don’t remember to hop on the app. In addition, the emails for Wren detail what skills she is practicing while playing on the LeapPad 3. Within the emails I can see the achievements she's earned, how many questions she answered and the percentage that she answered correctly for all the games she played. It also breaks down how much time she spent on each game. This is great because I can easily monitor Wren’s academic progress AND her screen time. What else do you need, right?! These tools make it so you don’t have to look anywhere else for educational content for your kids. Between the emails, the Learning Path app and the online resources, LeapFrog is covering it all and as a result, I feel like I am too. Just call me Super Mom.