When tidying up the toys recently, I've realised that I'm a bit of a fan of LeapFrog products. We have the LeapTop, the Tag Junior reading system, Lettersaurus, Musical Movers, Cook and Play Potsy, and the Fridge Farm Magnet Set. See what I mean? Therefore when LeapFrog asked me if I'd like to review the Count & Draw learning console, I thought about it for about one second before replying with an emphatic affirmation!The LeapFrog Count & Draw is a handheld console designed to encourage mathematical skills. Through tracing over the blinking red light with the 'pen' (attached and stores in a hole on the back), children can develop their ability to correctly draw shapes and form numbers. Scout is one of the guides, as always, along with a friendly, male British voice. Both Scout and the narrator are encouraging in their interaction with the child, praising when the child has finished the shape or number and has pressed the paw button to signal they've finished.
There are three modes to the Count & Draw:
- numbers – press a number button and follow the blinking light to draw the number. The Boy can manage 1, 4 and 7 at the moment, and has attempted 2.
- shapes – varied shapes: circle, triangle, zig-zag line and square are within The Boy's reach, hexagon etc. is a little too advanced at the moment,
- games – the games consist of following the red dot, and it's quite fast-moving so is above The Boy at the moment.
I'm very impressed with this new game from LeapFrog; I think it's fun, educational and helps to develop pre-writing skills. The 'pen' fits well inside the hand of a pre-schooler and the console is light-weight enough to be easily carried in one hand. It is aimed at children 3years+ and I would agree with this. While The Boy enjoys doodling on it, he isn't managing the tasks set (he's 2years 4 months) because his fine-motor skills aren't as developed as an older child. I am confident that he is learning (number recognition apart from anything else) and he's definitely enjoying it.
My only 'wish' for the Count & Draw (and it's a small one) is the fact that the console praises regardless of whether the shape drawn is correct or not. However, for the incredibly reasonable price of £14.99, I'm ok with that.
The LeapFrog Count & Draw is available from a number of outlets with an RRP of £14.99.
We were provided with this for the purpose of this review. My opinion is honest and unbiased.