LeapBand, Is It Worth It?

Daniel Sebrands

00597655

Product: LeapFrog LeapBand

Ages: 4-7

This product made me laugh a little inside to be completely honest; I mean, when you think about it this product is to help make children more active in their days which sounds ridiculous as they have not needed encouragement to be active before this product. However, let me explain why I feel like this toy is not a good product for our young ones. I am going to go over some of the points the ad makes from Amazon.com that they claim are positives for getting this toy for children; the first is that you can “preload the device with 50 active challenges to get kids moving”. Things like pounce like a lion are these challenges for kids to do throughout the day. Another claim is that it “encourages active play, nurturing and healthy choices”.  LeapFrog is also claiming that their innovative new toy is “fit made fun”.

This came as a surprise when I saw this device, because I literally thought that children are usually drawn to be actively engaged without technological prodding. In an article I found about the ever growing use of electronic toys the authors state that such use is actually concerning for our youth. A story they use at the beginning sets the stage for their argument that electronic toys can become repetitive and boring as they usually have buttons that can be pushed prompting the toy to react in the predicted way. They gave the other side of the story as well with a child playing with a ball with his grandma. They were able to come up with many different ways to play with that ball and maintain the entertainment value, even over his tech toy that all he could really do was dance, and press the button to activate the toy.

With this watch, I feel like it is an ok idea, but to have a device telling our infants when and how to be active, I can see them losing in a sense their creativity and becoming reliant on their toy to give them ideas. And what happens when they become bored of the repetitious nature of the challenges? The authors of the article listed below explain that it is very necessary for infants to explore and play, this brings me to the story of the infant and his grandmother story; his interaction with his grandmother helps to build attachments and we know that strong attachments can help children throughout the rest of their lives be able to handle life situations easier.

All in all, I feel like this product is not really effective at doing what it says it does. I feel like it hinders a child’s exploration, and play even if it does seem fun at first the repetitions and similar button pressing will leave the child bored and will most likely move on to something more engaging.

Reference:

Levin, Diane E., and Barbara Rosenquest. “The Increasing Role of Electronic Toys in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers: should we be concerned?.” Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 2.2 (2001): 242-247.

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4 thoughts on “LeapBand, Is It Worth It?

  1. Sarah Riley 1129762

    When I was searching for articles for the blog post I originally was trying to find something about leapfrog or leappads. I think it is funny how there is so much talk now about needing to keep kids more active and outside, and less time using technology/electronics. So to try and help with solve this problem all these products are coming out that are electronics to encourage children to be more active. It’s comical. It reminds me of the Wii fit. I agree with you; what happens when they do get bored of the same repitition? Get them a new toy that has different repitition? When they could just be encouraged by their parents to play with their imagination as well as playing outside and being active.

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  2. Nicole McRae
    u0171938
    You know this blog post reminds me of a conversation I heard on a morning show on the radio. The DJs were actually talking about Fit Bits. The one DJ thought it was fun to see and keep track of her activity while the other DJ felt that it was completely ridiculous to use an electronic device to tell you if you need to exercise more. I thought his argument fell flat but now that I see a device like that from your perspective. Fitness is something that we need to learn without something digital telling us when and how. And like how the Leap Band only has so many actvities the Fit Bit is limited in what it tracks as well. Good post.

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  3. Christina Reichhold U0926346
    I never considered the fact that this toy could be repetitive and ultimately bore a child and discourage creativity, but now that I think of it I see this happen all of the time nannying. A child becomes obsessed with a toy and does that action it calls for, but eventually gets tired of it and moves on to the next toy. However, we can’t ignore that the toy overall does encourage physical activity. What could be an alternative or addition to the toy that encourages creativity as well?

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  4. Nurul Wardah Ishak – u1017458

    It’s interesting how you point out the factor of repetition in child’s play. I agree that the repetition won’t really aid in a child’s play and development but I feel like the product will be quite effective for awhile…well until they get bored with it. But with how imaginative kids are, I feel that they would cover the exploration aspect themselves.

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