For Christmas “Santa” brought us a LeapTV (affiliate link). It was a huge debate among the elves about if
we they should get this. Bear had been showing interest in Hubs gaming habits. We have a small apartment so we pretty much know what’s going on most of the time. Not many doors. And since he wanted to pay games “like Daddy” we thought he might be ready for his own system. Now before I get too deep into this, we’re a geeky, nerdy family. We always have been and always will be. From Firefly to Fallout we geek out with our Tardis out. So I knew at some point our little ones would want to join in. But I’m not quite ready for him to join in Daddy’s raid parties. Or have him sitting for long periods of time zoning out at a screen. So we did some research on different gaming systems out there.
There’s a lot to be said about letting your kids play video games. The pros and cons list will go on for days. There’s the video games create violent kids debate. And the video game inspire creativity argument. I personally fall in the middle. I think of them as great ways to explore the imagination but that need to be kept in check. Ever try to take away an iPad from a tired kid? Technology can be addictive. So we knew going into this we would have rules on time allowed and what sort of games would be allowed. One way we have enforced this is the 5 min heads up tactic. We tell Bear “5 min and then we’re done” Now this could be stated anywhere from 5-15 min before we actually need to end. But the key is making him repeat it back to us. “Ok Mommy 5 minutes and then I’m done.” By doing this his little mind can at least register that it’s coming to an end soon. We’ve had a few total melt downs but if we give notice and stick to the routine he seems ok following this rule.
So back to the LeapTV. We saw some good systems like Playstation and XBox. Wii seems to have changed completely. But then we stumbled upon the Leap TV. It has games that are designed to get kids to move to win them. There are some racing games and the normal seek and find games as well. But I was really impressed with how all their games are educational or active. They are all made for kids so there’s nothing violent that any relatives who might not know better could accidentally buy. They have a lot of the characters Bear loves (Blaze, Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol affiliate link to name a few) So it was easy to get him interested in playing. But the huge bonus was he kept playing. I’m happy to say the Leap TV got us thought winter without too many “I’m board” days. and there were even a few days where we worked up a sweat from the bonus games 😉 Set up was a sinch. We just plugged it into the TV and an outlet and we were good to go. The camera that it uses to see your movements had to be tested out in a few different places before we got it set just right. Little bear has since changed it to his liking. A few times a day. So maybe set it up high if you have little ones who won’t be playing.
Another bonus of the Leap TV system is you can buy games on line and download them directly to your system. No need to run out when they don’t want to play any of the games you already got them. They set it up so you have to access it from a computer to get the games, but that works fine for us. No chance of Bear downloading 48 games at once. And since he gets to see the games on line we’ve even worked out a system for the games to be a reward based on his chore chart. (which with a 4 year old means he gets a new game once every 6 months 😉 ) The price isn’t too bad either. You can get a good game for about $10 and a new name for about $20. You do get a $5 coupon to use for games when you buy the system so that’s a nice little extra.
I give the LeapTV
One word of advice, buy two controllers (affiliate link). Even if you only have one kid. You
might will get wrapped into playing a few rounds of Blaze vs. Darington.