LeapFrog Zippity High-Energy Learning System
Rainy days and indoor playtime don’t have to be boring: with the Leap Frog Zippity, preschoolers can get on their feet and get moving, all while playing interactive, educational video games that feature favorite Disney characters. The Zippity is designed for children ages three to five.
Featuring Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, this interactive video game system plugs directly into your TV. View larger.
With 8 different games, the Zippity encourages kids to be active and helps develop skills like coordination and memory.View larger.
Giant Joy Stick Get Kids Moving
Designed to get kids moving and learning, the Zippity is an educational video game system that preschool-age children play by stepping, dancing, and jumping, and moving their arms. The system consists of a main unit, which the child uses to control the onscreen game, and a console that plugs into any television with a standard video/audio input. Both the main unit and the console require four “C” batteries each, as well as a Phillips screwdriver to install them.
The main unit, which requires minimal assembly, is essentially an oversized joy stick–so instead of sitting sedately with a game controller in hand, kids play the Zippity game with their whole body and get plenty of gross motor coordination practice. It consists of a large activity mat with different colored sections, and the “bopper,” which is a joystick-like pole that requires big arm movements for moving backward, forward, and side to side.
Play and Learn
The Zippity’s eight games feature favorite Disney characters in quality, three-dimensional animation. All are designed to introduce preschool-age kids to a wide range of learning skills–not least of which is practicing listening and following directions. The game system starts out with Mickey Mouse teaching your child (and you!) the basics of how to use the controller, and each game is introduced with either a narrator or a character giving instructions.
Listening, memory skills, and coordination skills are also developed in several games, such as “Darby’s Honey Pot Jam,” “Goofy’s Fancy Dancing,” and “June’s Twist n’Twirl.” These games ask the child to do certain “moves” in a short sequence to create a dance, for example, to step on the green section of the mat or to push the bopper in a certain direction.
The Zippity introduces plenty of other learning skills through the eight fun games, including color recognition, letter and number recognition, and even introduction to classical composers and world cultures. In games featuring Handy Manny, kids get a little introduction to Spanish vocabulary; and in “Super Sleuths on the Case,” kids put their problem solving skills to use by helping Winnie the Pooh collect clues to answer questions.
The “Learning Path” in the system’s onscreen main menu provides a bit more information about the learning skills the Zippity introduces to your child. Leap Frog also has a more robust online Learning Path Web site, which is touted as a complement to all of its products, including the Zippity. We found, however, that the Learning Path Web site is better suited to use with Leap Frog’s other Internet-connectable toys and doesn’t augment the Zippity experience in a substantial way.
Different Learning Levels Customize to Child’s Ability
Each game features two levels of difficulty, and at each level the game calibrates itself to the child’s level of advancement, so the games can grow with your child. We found that our three-year-old toy tester is just old enough to start using this toy. She required an adult to reinforce the directions given by the game–more practice would make the process easier, and older children would also be able to catch on more quickly.
Be warned: although the picture on the box shows a child energetically leaping on the interactive mat, the pace of the games is much slower, especially at Level 1. But the slower pace and the level of challenge doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. Although our toy tester found the games challenging, she had a lot of fun trying– and she would only get better with practice. And once the included games are mastered, other game cartridges are available for separate purchase.
What’s in the Box
Zippity main unit with “bopper” and interactive mat; console with attached AV cable
Gets preschoolers dancing, jumping, playing and learning with Disney characters they love
Durable mat and bopper interact wirelessly with the TV console,
Eight built-in activities, each with two levels of play, feature characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Additional Zippity software (sold separately) features more Disney characters kids love as well as new preschool skills to expand the learning
A built-in Learning Path lets parents see the skills their child is exploring as they play
Parents can create a personal LeapFrog Learning Path online for more in-depth insights and learning ideas
My Friends Tigger and Pooh, Little Einsteins and Handy Manny
Kids of ages 3 to 5 can move freely as they put their whole bodies into the learning action