Movie Review: LeapFrog Math Adventure to the Moon

Hi there!

Back in May, I had a chance to review LeapFrog Letter Factory with my youngest daughter who will be starting kindergarten in the Fall. We enjoyed exploring the alphabet with Tad on his musical journey. And we were on the lookout for more fun educational videos to help give her a head start and the LeapFrog brand has always provided.

Now we have seen the LeapFrog Math Adventure to the Moon, which focuses on counting, sorting, patterns, and simple addition. This time we have Tad and Lilly learning about counting for a school project. They have to come up with a collection of ten things, but they are having a hard time counting that high or figuring out what to collect.

For the next 30 minutes, the viewer, Tad, and Lilly are led on a long trip by their good friend Edison, the firefly. Edison has a few tricks up his sleeve to help the kids learn how to count by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and so on as well as other math-related skills. Where does Edison take the pair? To the moon of course! What would be more cool than to show a collection of ten moon rocks in class?

The LeapFrog team has once again put together a great lesson integrating fun songs, activities, and comic elements as well as a bit of suspense. The suspense part surprised me a bit, as it seemed a bit dark and destructive for a kindergarten-age audience. In this case, it was a space storm threatening to either suck everything in or blow everything away. Everything worked out alright in the end and the trio managed to save the day for some space aliens along the way.

I was impressed with the seamless integration of patterns into the story. The characters had to unlock the launch code to take off in their spaceship. And to do that they needed to figure out the pattern of shapes and colors and enter the right pattern to start the ship. It was a great way to introduce the pattern concept while also introducing the idea of a password or “launch code” to start something up.

My only complaint with this adventure was that it seemed too short. That however may have been because we were enjoying ourselves and didn’t want it to end. At 36 minutes long, it’s about the same length as LeapFrog Letter Factory so I shouldn’t have been surprised.

In addition to the main adventure, the DVD includes a few special features including a Sorting Game you can play with the DVD remote, a few sing-along songs, and the Alphabet Song from Let’s Go to School (another LeapFrog adventure).

If you’re looking for a good math-based educational adventure for your kindergarten-aged youngsters, LeapFrog Math Adventure to the Moon should be a great fit. I know we’re looking forward to finding other LeapFrog adventures to enjoy!

–Fitz

p.s. Click below to find this and other LeapFrog adventures at Amazon!

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DVD Review: LeapFrog Letter Factory

Hi there!

As the parent of a child getting ready for kindergarten, I am always on the lookout for new educational materials. One of the best sources of educational tools is LeapFrog. They’ve been producing a variety of read-along-style and game products (such as their LeapPad and Leapster products) for a number of years and we’ve always been quite satisfied.

So when this series of DVDs from LeapFrog and Lionsgate was announced, I knew we’d have to check it out. One of the first of the re-released DVDs is LeapFrog Letter Factory, which walks viewers through the alphabet with a colorful, engaging, musical tour. The 35 minute feature not only teaches the letters and what sounds they make, but reinforces that information regularly throughout the program to allow the child to build on that knowledge.

Leap and Lily are the well-known older siblings in LeapFrog products and Tad is just a little frog who doesn’t know his letters yet. He’s enthusiastic, but tends to get in the way when he tries to help the family with the big presentation they’re giving at the Letter Factory. When his brother and sister get wrapped up in the preparations, Tad wanders off into the factory and eventually bumps into Professor Quigley. With the wacky Professor, Tad works his way through every letter in the alphabet, learning what each sound they make as they train to be part of a talking alphabet book.

My four-year-old was entranced by the story and enjoyed singing along with Tad and the Professor. Tad flew with the F’s, jumped with the J’s, and kicked with the K’s. My favorite was the X’s x-raying. Each letter had a creative little process to go along with it, from the A’s screaming in fright to the Z’s taking a nap.

The feature used simple, crisp, 2D animation to explore the Letter Factory with Leap, Lily, and Tad. I found the style very similar to Dr. Seuss‘s ABCs, which we’ve seen in book, video, and computer game formats. However, LeapFrog updated the images, which made it more current than the classic Dr. Seuss material (including a hip-hop act and a bunch of letters swinging like Tarzan).

In addition to the main feature, there is a learning game where you receive a clue and use the DVD remote arrows to pick the letter that matches. Though it was fun to play through once for a few minutes, I can see my daughter getting bored with it quite quickly.

Also in this series of DVDs is LeapFrot Talking Words Factory which builds on the Letter Factory. New DVDs are heading to retail stores sometime in Fall 2009.

If you’re looking for a fun way for a child to work on their ABC’s, LeapFrog’s Letter Factory would be a great addition to your video arsenal. For more information on other LeapFrog products, check out the LeapFrog website.

–Fitz

p.s. Check out LeapFrog Letter Factory and other items at Amazon:

    

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