LeapFrog Unveils LeapFrog Academy, a Multi-Platform Learning Program
LeapFrog introduced LeapFrog Academy, an interactive learning program for ages 3–6 that guides children on Learning Adventures that they can play anywhere across multiple devices and platforms.
Like other LeapFrog products, the games and activities within LeapFrog Academy are designed to be a balance of education and fun. This new subscription-based service offers access to more than 1,000 learning activities for just $7.99 per month.
The Learning Adventures cover curriculum for preschool through first grade. Activities teach fundamental subjects such as math, reading and science plus problem solving, creativity and social-emotional skills. Designed by educational experts, LeapFrog Academy tracks a child’s learning progress and uniquely adjusts as children play, offering extra activities under My Learning Lab.
The Learning Adventures found in LeapFrog Academy are brought to life through a colorful 3-D world with a customizable avatar. Children can travel along winding paths lined with letters, numbers, paintbrushes, and books to explore an interactive, educational world. Along the way, children can discover a variety of activities they can play to collect marbles and earn rewards, such as clothing and accessories to customize their avatar, pets to join them on their adventures, and collection pieces to complete a dinosaur, castle, pirate ship and more. When an activity is complete, the next one is unlocked. Children can then continue down the path, cross colorful bridges, or take balloon rides to the next activity.
Additional features of LeapFrog Academy include:
- A Wi-Fi-free mode: Kids can add up to 24 of their preferred activities to their “Favorites,” making them accessible to play even without an internet connection.
- Five user profiles: Each LeapFrog Academy subscription includes five free user profiles, so multiple children can each go on their own unique Learning Adventures.
- More than 1,000 activities including eBooks, games, puzzles, videos, music and art activities across Learning Adventures
- A Parent Dashboard: The dashbaord lets parents choose and change their child’s Learning Adventures, check their child’s progress, view their account, manage each child’s profile, and more.
- Ad-free play: There are no ads or links to take children to other websites, and no in-app purchases.
LeapFrog Academy is available now at leapfrogacademy.com and in the iOS and Google Play app stores. New users can try LeapFrog Academy free for one month, then continue the learning fun for $7.99 per month.
Amazon Rapids Launches Signature Stories Program to Help Kids Read
Amazon Rapids announced the launch of Signature Stories, a new program bringing the characters kids already know and love to original short stories on its app. Designed for readers ages 5–12, Amazon Rapids’ illustrated short stories come to life through characters conversing, just like a screenplay. Amazon Studios is the first to join Signature Stories, bringing new stories from children’s TV shows, Niko and the Sword of Light and Danger & Eggs, to the app.
Now available, kids can read along with some of their favorite characters and celebrity voice talent including Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) in Danger & Eggs and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) in Niko and the Sword of Light. These original stories are authored by the shows’ writers and give a glimpse beyond the TV series storylines.
Danger & Eggs follows the endless adventures of a fearless, teal-haired future stuntwoman, D.D. Danger, and her ever-cautious best friend, a giant, talking egg named Phillip. As the daughter of a world-renowned daredevil, D.D. is always chasing her next big thrill.
Niko and the Sword of Light follows 10-year-old Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world. He must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past.
“We’re excited for kids to connect with our characters in new ways as they tag along on epic adventures together while reading on Amazon Rapids,” says Tara Sorensen, head of kids programming at Amazon Studios. “Both pilot episodes were popular among viewers and we’re thrilled that the shows’ quirky, engaging storylines and humor can help inspire kids to read.”
Amazon Rapids is available for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire devices. For more information, visit http://rapids.amazon.com.
Key Amazon Rapids features include:
- Read Along Mode — Kids can listen to voice actors read their favorite stories while following along with words highlighting as the adventure unfolds.
- Tap to Say & Built-in glossary — Kids can simply tap a word to hear its pronunciation or hold the word to see its definition. Each time kids look up a word, it is automatically added to their personal glossary for easy reference.
- New Stories every week — Kids can explore an expanding library of hundreds of titles spanning adventure, fantasy, humor, mystery, science fiction and sports, with new stories added weekly.
- Age-appropriate content — All content is thoughtfully edited to be appropriate for kids ages 5-12.
Spin Master Expands 2017 PAW Patrol Road Tour
Spin Master announced the third annual PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Road Tour. Beginning July 28 and running into October, the PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Road Tour will travel across North America allowing kids to connect with their favorite PAW Patrol characters through an immersive PAW Patrol-branded experience.
Each PAW Patrol Roll Patrol Road Tour stop is free to the public and will make stops at select Walmart, Toys “R” Us and Target retail locations in 13 markets. Kids can explore the inside of the life-size PAW Patroller and meet their favorite PAW Patrol characters as well as reenact their own rescue missions through an interactive play experience featuring the new Sea Patrol theme. Families can celebrate the experience with a photo and limited-edition giveaways.
The life-size activation will also have a dedicated area showcasing Spin Master’s newest entertainment property, Rusty Rivets. Kids can combine, design and “rustify” inside Rusty’s life-size Rivet Lab and meet the heroes from the show, Rusty and Ruby. Alongside Rusty Rivets, kids can play with Kinetic Sand and experience soaking surprises with Soggy Doggy, Spin Master’s newest launch in the games category.
Visit www.pawpatrol.com/tour for the most up-to-date schedule.
JCPenney Opens Toy Shops
JCPenney is opening toy shops in all of its brick-and-mortar locations. Strategically adjacent to the Disney Collection inside JCPenney, the shops feature an extensive selection of toys for kids of all ages including dolls, action figures, toy cars, arts and crafts, board games, plush, and educational toys from brands such as Hasbro, Mattel, Playmobil, Fisher-Price, and more.
“JCPenney has a nostalgic history of selling sought-after toys in our early Christmas catalogs, so we brought toys back last holiday season to see if they would resonate once again,” says John Tighe, executive vice-president and chief merchant for JCPenney. “We were extremely pleased by customer response and confidently made the decision to grow our toy assortment in stores and at JCPenney.com…Toys are an exciting product category for JCPenney and an in-store attraction that will drive traffic and sales as we continue to focus on increasing revenue per customer.”
Located within the children’s department, many of the shops feature an area that kids can play with select toys that will be available for them to try out and enjoy while in the store. JCPenney has also doubled its online assortment of toys over the last year with plans to expand even more by the holiday shopping season.
Toca Boca Launches First Consumer Products Program
Toca Boca, the mobile-first kids’ brand, announced the company’s first collection of consumer products for kids. The line brings the elements from the award-winning Toca Life digital toy series to real life. The collection includes apparel (sizes 4–16), accessories, sleepwear, backpacks, lunch bags, bedding, and activity books and is now available exclusively at Target retail stores and Target.com.
“The cult following our digital toys have amassed among kids around the world is awe-inspiring,” said Caroline Ingeborn, COO, Toca Boca. “Toca Boca’s vision is to be a category-independent brand, and the move into physical products marks a major milestone toward that goal.”
Toca Boca worked with a core group of licensees to create the unique line of consumer products that is accessible to as many kids as possible across the U.S. and remains true to the company’s design principles as well as its values around diversity, quality, and playfulness. Those licensees include FABNY, The Foundery, Franco Manufacturing, and Random House Children’s Books.