LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker Review
LeapFrog are claiming that the LeapBand watch is “the world’s first activity tracker for kids”, or at least the first worn on the wrist. It brings the motion sensing technology of the Wii or LeapTV down to wristwatch size, comes in 4 bright colours that kids will love, and offers plenty of games and challenges that encourage kids to be active.
LeapBand Review Video
LeapBand Activity Tracker Features
* Games and challenges encourage kids to be active
* Parental controls can set challenges and limit time
* Also works as a watch
* Strong and durable
* Rechargeable battery
* Age range: 4-7
LeapFrog LeapBand Review
LeapFrog are known for their innovative technological toys, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that they’ve now come out with the first wristwatch-style activity tracker for kids. We want to encourage kids to stay fit and active, and just like adults, they are motivated by having something that tracks their progress. Adult fitness trackers aren’t suitable for little kids for a number of reasons – they’re too complex, too sensitive, and just simply too big for their wrists.
So LeapFrog have hopped into the breach with their LeapBand activity tracker. It’s designed especially for kids from age 4 to 7, so it’s bright and colourful, simple to use, and of course, tough and durable. It’s water resistant and comes with a 3.65 cm (1.44 inch) LCD high resolution colour screen. Fortunately for parents, it also comes at a very good price.
You have a choice of 4 colours: pink, blue, orange or green (orange is not available in the USA at the time of writing). And there are plenty of different activities to motivate kids to move.
For the youngest kids, there are simple, fun commands that will have them “pouncing like a lion” or “wriggling like a worm”. So if you come in the room and wonder what they are doing writhing on the floor, that’s probably it!
The parental control features do more than on many electronic devices for kids. Here, it’s not a question of controlling what they can access, because the LeapBand doesn’t pick up the internet. Instead, you can select challenges that will be most appropriate for your individual child, limit the time that they can play on it, and, most important for many parents, switch off the volume!
As you’d expect for something they wear on their wrist, there’s a regular LeapBand watch mode which can help them learn to tell the time (and keep track of it). But for the kids, probably the biggest attraction of the LeapBand is the customizable electronic animal helper who appears on the display and helps them to complete the challenges. Kids can pick the animal they want, with a choice of real and imaginary creatures from penguins to unicorns and dragons.
It’s compatible with certain LeapFrog tablets and smart devices when it comes to storing data and downloading more challenges – since it doesn’t access the internet directly, you have to do that through a compatible device and then connect them up, but it does come with a good number of games preloaded, in case you don’t have that option.
To help with motivation, kids are rewarded with medals for achieving certain goals and completing challenges. All of this is tracked through a motion tracking device and what they call an “accelerometer”.
Negative points? There’s no pedometer, which might have been nice, and some parents thought the LeapBand watch was too big and clunky for a four-year-old. This is going to depend on your child.
As far as getting kids active, it’s perhaps not as successful as the LeapTV which offers a lot more options. On the LeapBand, kids may figure out a way to win the rewards for having done activities they haven’t really done. But the price is way lower than LeapTV, and also a little lower than VTech’s competing Kidizoom Smartwatch. In fact, we think the price of the LeapBand activity tracker is amazing, considering everything it does.
Published 11 December 2014