"smart toy" from electronic toy
experts, LeapFrog, allows kids to color as they learn key
concepts. Kids place one of the included coloring sheets onto the
board, press "Go", choose a game mode, and begin. In
Learn mode, they can simply color the images (with crayons only!)
and listen to friendly voices that talk about the picture they are
coloring. Game mode offers kids challenges to find specific images
and letters on the page; and music mode lets kids color as they
listen to playful tunes. A special overlay transforms the toy into
a press-and-learn box in which kids can learn to identify numbers.
toy is well-designed for the most part--it has a handle for easy
toting, a case in the back for storing coloring books and
templates, and a small compartment on the front for crayons.
Volume can be set to one of two levels, and a slider allows kids
to change the modes easily. The Imagination Desk is colorful and
attractive, and kids will love to get feedback on their coloring
(although it is sometimes confusing). The included coloring book
features 26 pages, each of which is devoted to a letter of the
alphabet. The name of the letter and its phonics sound is taught,
the pictures are described, and a word beginning with the featured
letter is spelled out.
is sometimes too excessive--bordering on intrusive. Although
positive, it grew a little old fast.
This toy is rather educational,
and attractive to preschoolers. The most powerful quality of the
Imagination Desk is its promotion of play. Children do not realize
they are learning as they color. Owners can buy new coloring books
for the toy, and are offered unlimited replacement pages
- Both free-play and
- Children develop
alphabet recognition and phonics skills as they color.
More books that focus on numbers, shapes, and more, can
be bought separately.
- Educational and
entertaining at the same time.
- The appeal of the toy
may not be long-lasting.
- Not always responsive,
which can confuse younger learners.