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Toy Review:    Count and Learn Desk by LeapFrog

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Top Pick This educational electronic toy from LeapFrog is inviting to play, and as educational as it is fun. Besides helping children identify numbers 1-20, the toy encourages them to try to learn how to write them. And, depending on the mode selected, kids will also learn numeric order, counting, addition, and subtraction.

A happy, clear voice names the numbers as children press the buttons. They can select any of 6 modes of play. The first level is called "Learn". Children simply press any number from 1-20 to hear its name. Then, kids are shown how to write the number, and can try their hand at it on the erasable writing screen. The "Count" mode asks kids to press any number, and the toy then counts to that number. The third mode is a "mystery" game in which kids need to find any number that is bigger than or smaller than a given number. Again, kids can practice writing the number on their "magic" screen. The fourth and fifth modes teach addition and subtraction respectively. Kids select the starting number, and the toy asks kids to either add or subtract another number. When kids make mistakes, they are prompted to try again. They are shown how to arrive at the answer if they continue to either press an incorrect answer or take their time answering. The final mode is a "beat the clock" game. Kids are given 45 seconds to answer a series of number and counting questions.

The toy is encouraging and busy with variety in its activities. Children will enjoy the challenges, and they get help when they are making errors. There are counters at the top of the unit that kids can use to arrive at their answers. The writing screen is similar to that of a MagnaDoodle, which may not last for a long time, and the toy is unable to recognize whether kids have written their numbers correctly. Otherwise, this is an exciting toy that is ideal for independent learning.

This toy is hugely educational, and equally as entertaining. It is affordable too at approximately $29.99 US. 

  • Both free-play and directed modes.
  • Children develop math skills at a number of different skill levels.
  • Educational and entertaining at the same time.
  • Encouraging feedback.
  • Six levels of play means the toy will grow with a child's abilities.


  • Though the audio is more clear than many electronic toys, it is sometimes difficult to discern numbers (example, fifteen can sound like fifty).


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Electronic Toy By: LeapFrog       Ages 3-6  


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Reviewed February 2002   Comments? Email us.

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