Exploring the Alphabet
(Today at Sweetspot, there’s a new post about toddlers biting.)
This is the Alphabet Explorer by Leapfrog. Sorry this is the AlphaPet Explorer by Leapfrog because it has a dog on it, I guess. All of the LeapFrog toys feature this green dog as the voice of the toy, his name is Scout. I’m not sure why Leap Frog has a green dog named Scout as their mascot and not, you know, a green frog. If I take off my glasses and squint slightly, Scout looks like a frog. Sort of.
The AlphaPet Explorer is a phonics learning toy. Despite her use of letters throughout the day, my daughter really has no understanding of the alphabet. This toy is designed to help get her hooked on phonics.
There are 26 “letter biscuits” on the toy and one missing “letter biscuit” outline for the yet-to-be discovered 27th letter of the alphabet. The 27th letter of the alphabet sounds like that noise your pants make when you slide across a leather couch.
The Four Modes to explore on the AlphaPet are:
1) Find the Letters.
The toy says a letter. You have to find it. This is “too complicated for my not quite two-year old daughter” mode.
2) Letter Music.
The Letters make musical sounds. Pressing the paw button plays the alphapet. I mean, alphabet. This is by far, my daughter’s favourite mode. She presses the paw button and sings along with the ABCs. Some of her letters in the middle of the alphabet are unintelligible. But she loves to sing along.
3) Letter Names.
This is confusing because letter names are the letters. So A’s name is A. Isn’t “letter name” redundant? The letter names are followed by a musical sting. One of the musical stings is a rimshot like the kind you’d hear at the end of a lame joke.
“C. Ba dum pssh.”
This should be followed by a crickets sound effect.
4) Letter Sounds.
This is my daughter’s second favourite mode. She loves to hear the sounds of the letters and the accompanying noise.
“E makes the sound eh as in Elephant. (Elephant Noise).”
When we press E my daughter makes an elephant sound and extends her arm like a trunk. E is pressed a lot. I’m not even sure what half of the other letter sounds are because E dominates this mode.
There is also a LeapFrog logo at the bottom of the toy. My daughter mistakes this for a button. She keeps pressing the logo and getting disappointed that nothing happens. She’ll press the ‘button’ and say “Daddy, broken.”
B makes the sound buh as in broken.
There’s also a secret 5th mode, it’s called off. Off makes the sound of nothing.
G makes the sound guh as in Giveaway.
To win your very own AlphaPet Explorer from LeapFrog: Leave a comment below with a valid email address. Contest ends midnight EST June 30, 2011. Winner will be chosen at random.
Like the Distracted Daddy Facebook Page (mention this in a comment below).
This contest is only open to residents of Canada. FYI, Americans this toy pronounces the letter Z as Zed.
Disclosurey Stuff: The fine folks at LeapFrog sent me an AlphaPet Explorer to review. The opinions expressed in this review are all mine. Okay, maybe partially my wife’s.