The Leap Frog Learn-Around Playground is a great way for your child to learn counting, ABCs, colors, shapes, textures, and opposites. The combination of colors, music, singing, and lights engage your child and stimulate learning. There are two different modes – Learn Mode and Music Mode – which can be changed with the flip of the little book. Each mode has something different in store for your child.
This mode teaches ABCs, numbers one through five (1-5), colors, shapes, opposites, and textures.
First of all, the Playground comes with three balls – one red, one yellow, one blue. Each time your child puts a ball in the “smart ball drop,” a voice says the color of the ball and then music is heard.
The entire alphabet is arranged in a line with Leap the Frog sitting on a bicycle above it. When your child “zooms” Leap back and forth, a voice sings, “Bicycle, tricycle, vroom vroom vroom. From A to Z, I zoom zoom zoom.” The voice then proceeds to sing the “Alphabet Song.” The “Alphabet Song” tune can also be recognized if your child presses each letter in sequential order.
The numbers one through five are arranged in order on the top of the Playground. In this mode, when your child presses each number s/he will hear a song. For example, when the four is pressed, a voice sings, “Rockin’ through the numbers, sing some more. Rock and roll to the number four. 1-2-3-4!” Each number has its own jazzy tune.
Below the numbers there are five plastic flaps each with a different color and shape. Depending on when your child moves the flap, each will either say the color of the flap or the shape that is displayed.
To the right of the flaps there are three strips of material, each with a different texture. When your child pulls on one of the flaps a voice sings about the texture on the material. My nephew likes to pull on the fuzzy strip to hear the voice sing, “Fuzzy [funky music] fuzzy, fuzzy.”
On top of the Playground above the flaps are two different activities. When you spin Lily in her airplane, she sings a song about what she sees as she flies. All of the things that she sings about rhyme, so your child will also learn rhyming words. The other activity is to press Baby Tad down. When he is pressed, the voice will say one word and when he pops back up will say the opposite. For example, when pressed down the voice might say, “Little,” and when he pops back up will say, “Big!”
In this mode your child will learn about rhythm, musical sounds, and some traditional children’s favorite songs.
The “smart ball drop” and alphabet work the same way in this mode as they do in Learn Mode, with the exceptions that the ball drop makes silly noises and Leap the Frog is used to control tempo of the music.
The numbers are used to create music and different rhythmical backgrounds. Each number creates a different rhythm to the same song and sometimes the rhythms will combine. When you press down Baby Tad in this mode, the song changes. If “London Bridge is Falling Down” is playing and then your child presses Tad, when he pops up a voice will say “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or whatever song is going to start. When your child presses any number, the song starts.
The flaps underneath the numbers have quite a different function in this mode. Depending on which flap your child moves, a short harmonica riff is played. It is hard to describe in words, so you would really need to hear it to understand.
The strips of material and flying Lily each create a variety of sounds in Music Mode.
This is one of my 13-month-old daughter’s favorite new toys. She loves to spin Lily and press Baby Tad. She also laughs and dances to the music. I highly recommend this product.
The Playground is recommended for ages 6 to 36 months.
The Learn-Around Playground is available for purchase at Toys-R-Us, Wal-Mart, and the Leap Frog Website. Retail price is approximately $60.