LeapFrog Toys prepares for UK launch

US toy manufacturer LeapFrog Toys is launching an Anglicized version of its interactive electronic book that teaches children to sound out and spell words through stories.

LeapPad, which is already one of the US’s most popular educational toys, has been redesigned for UK children with the help of the University of London. It features a speaking voice with an English, rather than American, accent.

Priced at &£59.99, the LeapPad comes with a 30-page book which includes a Winnie-the-Pooh story and a music section where children can play different instruments and melodies.

Children can make the machine read to them by dragging an electronic pen over a story book or practise their own reading and spelling using the LeapPad’s learning modes: “say it” (when a word is read aloud), “sound it” (when a word is phonetically sounded out) and “spell it” (when a selected word is spelled out).

The company hopes the interactive machine will prove to be as popular in the UK as it is in the US – Californian schools are using it to help children in the classroom.

“LeapPad is already the number one educational toy in the US, but obviously it had been developed for children over there with US pronunciations of all the words. We worked with the University of London to ensure that it all sounds like English,” says a spokeswoman for LeapFrog Toys in the UK.

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