LeapFrog Fridge Phonics – Looking At The Past To Appreciate Today.

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics
How Far LeapFrog Has Grown In A Decade!

Years ago, Leapfrog had this product called Leapfrog Fridge Phonics. It was a very popular toy that was purchased for children.  It was a toy that taught phonics that had a magnet on its back.   The idea was that you would put it on your fridge and your child would plug color coded letters into it to learn pre-reading skills.   The letters were color coded, red for vowels and other colors for consonants.  If your child is colorblind, this may present some frustration.

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics
The LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Toy Teaches Pre Reading Skills.

It was an easy and convenient way for children to learn what letters look like and how they sound.   Now, I need to tell you that I am not the biggest fan of teaching pre-reading skills by using phonics.  The reason is because a lot of words are spelled differently than they would be if you sounded them out, and in some ways getting into that habit can set up challenges with spelling.    It is my personal belief that, while children need to learn how to recognize what the letters look like and how they sound, they need to see words and have a visual recall of what the words look like.   The reason I am writing about this is that if you use phonics to teach your child, please don’t overlook visual recognition of the whole words as well.

The LeapFrog Fridge Phonics toy was made around 2002 or 2003.    It amazes me how far learning toys for kids have come.   LeapFrog has pioneered the development of quality educational toys for children over the years.   Today, the Leapfrog Pads, like the Leapfrog Leappad Ultra and Leappad 2 are at the cutting edge of kids learning.

It is very hard to find the old LeapFrog Fridge Phonics anymore.   If you can, it may be a great toy for the younger children.  Time does move very quickly, and it will not be long before a kid outgrows the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Toys.   For that reason, I would recommend not getting the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics and getting the LeapFrog Leappad Ultra or Leappad 2 Power.    In fact, some stores have some of the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics toys and are selling them for around $100!   That is just simply outrageous.   To thing that that money could be better spent on a more modern toy.

If you still have your heart set on an educational toy for toddlers like Leapfrog Fridge Phonics, there is a newer version called LeapFrog Letter Factory.  Leapfrog Letter Factory uses visual appealing manipulatives to teach the letter names and sounds in an interactive and fun way. It is a learning toy for ages 2 and up.  Youngsters are able to place the 26 letters of the alphabet into the base toy to hear songs that teach the corresponding letter names and sounds.

Being how the Leapfrog Letter Factory is portable, it provides an engaging way for kids to build early literacy skills at home or while on trips.

Again, however, these games will be outgrown relatively quickly so instead of getting the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics or the Leapfrog Letter Factory to teach pre-reading skills, I would recommend this set of games for the Leappad devices, called the LeapFrog Learn To Read Collection.  This is a collection of three very motivating reading apps that kids love!  Lots of skills are taught, and kids have the full word as well as the phonics for full word visual recognition.   Not only is this more motivating for kids, it is a better way to learn than on the original LeapFrog Fridge Phonics.

I would say that these are exciting times for kid’s education and this is only the beginning.  In looking back a decade, at the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics, and looking at today, with the Leappad Ultra, I am amazed how far we have come.  I can’t even imagine were we will be in a decade from now in the future!