After getting to interview Mia Hamm about getting kids active and learn about the LeapFrog LeapBand, I thought I would post my own review of the product. (Don’t forget we have a giveaway going as well!!!)
When LeapFrog sent me the LeapBand, I was a little nervous as to how Brady would receive it. He is autistic with dyspraxia, hypotonia and a lot of motor coordination disorders. He also doesn’t do well with things around his wrist due to his sensory issues as well. When you put all that together you think, “How is this even going to work for him?”
When I first introduced the LeapBand to Brady I wore it around my wrist first. We turned it on and played with the characters you could create. After a few minutes he was ready to try it on himself. I was amazed that he tolerated wearing it for a while (just a few minutes at a time at first) and I attribute that to the bright screen and colorful characters.
Once we played with creating his virtual “pet” we started with some of the pre-loaded activities. I was pleasantly surprised that the activities were easy for Brady to interpret the way he wanted to. “Hop like a Bunny” was a great gross motor skill that we have been working on in his various therapies. “Walk like a Crab” was a much harder one for him to accomplish, but we just had him try to walk sideways, another great skill for gross motor!
Brady would only allow the band to be worn for 10-15 minutes at a time, so we just do a short activity in the afternoon to get him active (as if you really NEED that with a child on the spectrum! LOL).
The band is geared for kids aged 4-7. Brady is 6, but with his challenges, I can see him using the device much longer than just for the next year. Even my 10 year-old son likes playing with the LeapBand!
One thing I do wish is that there was the option to use it as a clip to put on your pocket or a belt loop or similar for kids with sensory issues who don’t want to wear the LeapBand around their wrist.
Okay, now for the full details…
What is LeapFrog’s LeapBand activity tracker?
The LeapBand activity tracker comes with eight different customizable pets from LeapFrog’s popular Pet Pals franchise – a cat, dog, dragon, monkey, panda, penguin, robot and unicorn – which can be customized by color and name. With their very own virtual pal, children can play 10 preloaded active games and challenges with access to 40 additional free challenges. As they move and earn points, kids can unlock each of the additional eight pets and earn virtual toys for each of them as they stay engaged and learning with mini-games including Pet Boogie, Pet Chef and Pet Salon. Kids will have fun completing a variety of activities including “Walk like a crab,” “Spin like a helicopter” and “Pop like popcorn” no matter where they are. LeapBand activity challenges are designed to keep kids active by tapping into their own individual movements without any required equipment.
You can learn more about the LeapBand on LeapFrog’s website.