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I love my fitbit and I’ve always wanted to give it to N to see how much activity he does during the day compared to me. But instead of risking him losing my Fitbit, Leapfrog sent us a Leapband to try out.
N was excited as soon as I opened the parcel up. He loves wearing a watch so the Leapband went down well immediately even before he knew it spoke to him. Yes, he’s a typical child and loves anything that is personalised to him and does exciting things. Typically N though, trying to persuade him to try it out in any order so I could see what he thought proved to be a nightmare…working with kids (even my own) is obviously not my strong point!
The Leapband is a children’s activity tracker, and it provides 2 different ways of tracking activity. Children can choose the pet they want to have, then care for the pet when the different care icons show. The leapbands can track activity general movement – clocking joules the more they move and seeing progress via the energy bar. By totting up activity levels and earning enough joules, other pets are unlocked.
Kids can also have fun with challenges which are timed. These could be balance, jumping, acting like animals, or various other fun tasks. There are also games on the leapband.
N got really excited about having a screen on his arm, and like most children just wanted to poke the buttons and not listen to which he needed to press for what. He chose his cat pet, and then wafted his arm around for a while. I tried to get him to do some activities but he just looked at me like I was strange. Oh, the joys having a school child with a mind of his own.
To be honest, he does his own activities when he wanted to anyway – balancing, or stretching, showing me what he’s learnt and been told in gymnastics, so most of those activities are covered in the tracker anyway. He just hasn’t worked out that to gain joules he needs to have the leapband set up to track rather than him going off piste.
The set up of the leapband is really simple. Just download the application to a computer, then plug the leapband in via the USB cable provided. I registered the parent account, and downloaded the settings and it was ready to go within about 10 minutes.
While N was really keen on trying the Leapband out, it wasn’t that comfortable for him to wear because of the size. He also got a bit bored, and I’ve had to suggest to him that we put it on while he’s in the garden or out and about. He gets more excited just playing his own way whether inside or out the house and would likely be more interested in clocking up steps from a simple pedometer than a children’s Leapband. Maybe that’s my encouragement in just letting him use standard gadgets like cameras and tablets, than opting for children’s versions. N also isn’t motivated by getting rewards towards something (he’s still using the same reward chart that he had since potty training – still 5 stars off getting the toy chain saw he wanted and not fussed about completing it) so the points thing isn’t encouragement for him.
The Leapband would be great for children who aren’t as active, to combine a love of technology, apps, games and activity. Especially to those who already use Leappads or similar gadgets. I think the idea of activity trackers for children are brilliant, but the size of this put me off. It’s too big for N to wear to school (and would be a distraction) and that meant he didn’t want to keep it on for long.
If you’ve got a child who likes games which gain points or rewards, and who loves to follow little tasks, then this could be the activity tracker for them. You can buy them from most toy stockists.
Have your children got the Leapband or anything like it? How do you encourage your children to get active?
Disclosure: We were sent a Leapband for the purpose of review. All opinions and words are our own.