My daughter was already 6 years old when she learned to read on her own and Leap Pad was one of the reasons why she learned to read fast.
I thought her the basic of Phonetics and bought her Leap Pad too when she was just 5 years old so my husband and I could prepare her for Kindergarten level. I was amazed by how fast she picked up the sounds and combined them to be able to read certain words not normally read by children her age. At 6, she was able to read more than 5-letter words without our help.
Leap Pad is an educational toy for kids and tweeners. It comes with an interactive pen and booklets and cartridges which come with the booklets. The pen is used to point on certain symbols on the booklet and it Leap Pad gives instructions or some games will commence. I bought her several booklets for reading, maths, and science. I also bought her about dinosaurs and other Disney booklets.
Her favorite is the Science booklet on how food is digested. Although she is past her "leap pad learning" days, she still uses this toy for entertainment as she has new booklets like Spongebob and the other Disney princesses.
This is really a great toy. It is expensive, yes but you do not put a price tag on "learning." Right?