Cramming a whole lotta learning



Ever since I got my iPod last Christmas, The Pea has been after us to buy her one of her own. Lo and behold, here comes Leapfrog to the rescue with the Crammer, a learning tool for school-aged kids that just so happens to store and play mp3 files. Designed for ages 8-14, the Crammer allows kids to study on the go -- while listening to music! -- in two ways:

1) downloading over than 1,000 quizzes for various subjects, for grades 3 to 8.
2) creating your own flashcards

As with all other latest-generation Leapfrog products, the Crammer can be hooked up to your childs Leapfrog Learning Path so parents can keep track of what their kids are learning.

Although the cool click-screen is fun to navigate with, the cheap-looking, monochrome display belies the $60 price tag. I'd love to see more downloadable Crammer games on the Leapfrog site. And I wish a belt clip came standard (they do sell a carrying case for $10) so it didn't keep pausing or forwarding my music every time the screen bangs against my hip when it's in my jeans pocket.

Despite these flaws I think it's a nifty device for our always-on-the-go-lifestyle, an easy way for us to tie Pea's love of music to developing regular study habits. In fact, I think I may have given the game away with my last complaint -- I've actually been using the Crammer myself. While The Pea is at school, I've been creating flashcards for myself so I can use the Crammer to cram -- er, study -- for my upcoming US citizenship test. Don't tell The Pea!

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