LeapFrog's Text and Learn: A Blackberry For Babies?

Posted on February 28, 2009

LeapFrog Text and Learn

LeapFrog has a new toy coming out called a "Text and Learn." The gadget is being called the "Blackberry for Babies" by the media because the device resembles a Blackberry. LeapFrog's website says it is meant for kids ages 3 years to 6 years so technically that does include toddlers.
Text and Learn is designed to let little learners play in a grown-up way! Children can exchange text messages with their puppy pal Scout, check Scout's planner to see what his week entails and more in the pretend browser mode. Other learning modes offer practice with letter matching, shape identification and QWERTY keyboard navigation through silly animations and sound effects. Children also explore letter names and sounds. Parents can connect to the online LeapFrog Learning Path for customized learning insights and ideas to expand the learning.
Unlike a real Blackberry, the device does not let kids connect to the Internet or send actual messages to each other. LeapFrog's Text and Learn is intended to teach children language, spelling and early computer skills. It has a real QWERTY keyboard and a LCD screen. The device is larger than a real Blackberry. NBCNewyork.com shows a Blackberry and LeapFrog's Text and Learn side-by-side for comparison.

Text and Learn will retail for $21.99 and be out this Summer. There's lot of discussion of the smartphone-like device being targeted at small kids in the media and the blogosphere. You can read more about it here.

Here's a video of pediatrician Dr. Lisa Thornton talking about the Text and Learn on CBS Healthwatch.