Win a LeapPad2 Explorer from Target!







***This contest is now CLOSED!  Megan is the winner!***

By now you all know how much I love Target, right?  Not simply because I spend half of my life and a good portion of my money there (although what’s not to love about one-stop shopping that also keeps the kids happy?).  And not just because they sometimes send me amazing products and pitch in when I ask them to help me help hurricane survivors.

What I really love about Target is their commitment to education.  As I’ve shared with you before, Target’s commitment to learning, especially reading, has them on track to give $1 billion to education by 2015.  They are focused on literacy.  They are renovating and restocking inner city school libraries.  They are working with local food banks to provide food to families in need so that students have the energy to learn.  They are making the world a better place one step at a time.

But it doesn’t end there.

Target offers a great selection of educational toys for kids both in stores and online.  We can’t stick our heads in the sand and hope that technology will go away.  It won’t.  But, as parents, we can be proactive by purchasing tech toys that are educational in nature.

Target recently sent us a LeapPad2 Explorer to test drive.  While my kids are no stranger to the iPad and they know their way around a touch screen better than most adults, they honestly LOVED (I mean really loved) the LeapPad2.

Here’s what Riley (age 6) had to say about it:  “It’s the best size for me to hold and I’m not worried about dropping it.  I really love the game where I make my own pet and practice writing and spelling (Pet Writing App – included) because I love the Stylus Pen!  And it’s purple, which, you know, is my favorite color.”


Here’s what Liam (age 4) had to say about it:  “I like the caterpillar game (Roly Poly Picnic 2 – included with free download) because I can hunt for letters and the art game (Art Studio App – included) for painting trucks and things.”


So what do I think?

I love that these tablets are made specifically for small hands.  They are light, durable, and easy to use.  I love that all of the apps are educational in nature.  There are over 325 stories, math games, and literacy games available for download, and you don’t have to worry about skill level and appropriateness for children.  They are ALL designed for children.  Another great feature?  You can program up to five different users and profile them according to age, so Riley gets Kindergarten level content while Liam’s is Pre-K.  It really takes the guess work out of it.

I am married to a musician and we are an Apple family.  These kids can use iPads, iPhones, and MacBook Pros beyond what you would expect for their ages.  And I am an enforcer of everything in moderation.  When they get tech time, which isn’t very often, I set a ten minute timer and they hand it over when the timer beeps.  No arguments.  No tears.  We have it down.

But there’s something very nice about having a safe technology device meant just for them.  I don’t have to worry about an accidental opening of something like Facebook (despite hiding it in a special folder) or Liam rearranging my apps for the 90th time.  And they love having something built just for them.  Although I never thought we need a LeapPad2 around here, I’m really glad that we had the opportunity to try it out.  It’s a keeper.

And…I have one LeapPad2 Explorer, courtesy of my friends at Target, for one of you!  Yes, you read that right.  This is the place to grab a LeapPad2 Explorer before Christmas arrives!

Here’s the deal:  Christmas in basically in five seconds, so this giveaway will go FAST.  You have 24 hours to leave me a comment detailing your favorite family holiday tradition (that does NOT include technology).  Want a second chance to win?  Stop by Target and check out the LeapPad2 stories and games they have.  Then head back here and leave me a 2nd comment telling me which one you think looks interesting for your child and why.

What are you waiting for?  Get your entries in NOW!

By the way…this LeapPad2 Explorer comes loaded with 5 apps, 2 built-in cameras, and video recorders.  It also has a Stylus Pen attached and a USB cable.  Warning:  You do need batteries.  And it’s purple – although, for once, Liam doesn’t seem to mind.  That’s how engaging this thing is!

Disclaimer:  Target sent me a LeapPad2 Explorer to review for you and a second one to give to one of you.  My kids have never used a LeapPad 2 Explorer prior to this.  All opinions contained within the post are my own (and those of my children).  We think this product rocks and we want you to have one too…so get your entries in and MAKE SURE that I have your email address!




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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes freelance for Everyday Family and allParenting, and blogs for The Huffington Post. She has a rock and roll husband and two kids. Katie believes in love, lattes, and the power of play.


  1. Wow, this would be a dream. With three girls, one of these would get plenty of love! Big sister is using technology at school and a Leappad 2 would help her along really well! We love Target :)

  2. My favorite family tradition is that we go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve!
    It’s a fun time of chatting with NO electronics.

  3. Sarah Scarola says:

    My favorite holiday tradition is that Santa leaves the presents unwrapped. Everything is set up, out of boxes, ready for play as soon as the kids come barreling down the stairs. Makes the morning so exciting to see their eyes dart from gift to gift in utter amazement.

  4. Last year we started reading a Christmas theme children’s book each night in December before Christmas day. That was a great tradition. I wish I had done it again this year.

    Also, on Christmas Eve, my dad and step-mom always host a BBQ steak supper. Yum!
    Insane Mamacita recently posted..Erin’s Cancer Story: A Little Girl’s WishMy Profile

  5. Well angelas out, but I am IN! My son LOVES leappad aps! Unfortunatly I am a single mom, like so many ithers, and cant afford these things. Here’s to hopeing!

  6. This is really the first year we are starting traditions with just our family. Our son is three and is just getting this Christmas thing. (This is the first time in years I have set up our tree early.) We always get a live tree. That is the one thing I have done every year, even before child was born. Child loves the Christmas tree. He also enjoys seeing all the Christmas lights on houses on houses in our neighborhood.

    Last year, we left a couple of presents open under the tree. That went over well, and we will likely do that again this year.

    We are also a Mac family, though we use droid phones. (We also are google family, so iphones will not work for us.) Child loves daddy’s ipad, and that is usually how we get through dinner. We let him watch something on netflicks. I suspect the leap pad would go over well with him, too. He might enjoy having his own “ipad.”
    vablondie recently posted..WeaningMy Profile

  7. My family started a tradition a few years ago with sharing our favorite memories with each other from the year. I love hearing what everyone’s favorite moments were and laughing over the memories that were created.
    Julie (@juliedutch) recently posted..I forgive…My Profile

  8. Because I’d be entering to win this for my nephew, I know (because it’s his most favorite thing ever) that the Thomas the Train book. He would love that! :)
    Julie (@juliedutch) recently posted..I forgive…My Profile

  9. My favorite holiday transition is getting together for Christmas Eve dinner with all the cousins. The children have a ball getting into their pjs before they go home to fall asleep for Santa.

  10. My favorite holiday tradition is breakfast Christmas morning consisting of Fried Chicken, hocakes and gravy with my Daddy’s side of the family including my Grandfather’s generation down to my children’s generation.

  11. My girls would love to explore and learn with this Leappad2 explorer, they would especially like the Learn to Read Adventure stories and the Cinderella ultra ebook. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  12. Christy K. says:

    Our favorite family tradition is decorating the tree every year. We’ve recently moved and most of the decorations I had collected over the years were lost :-(

    So we are starting over this year with new ornaments etc. My kids have been really enjoying making their own choices of the things they like-who knew nutcrackers were the ‘in’ thing LOL

    We’re all sad over what’s missing but I know our holidays will be even more special in the years to come.

  13. Christy K. says:

    I was going to say the Jake & the Neverland Pirates because it is a MUCH watch show around here! But then I saw the Kidz Bop Music and that is the one my kids would want. They love music & always want on youtube to watch videos-which is fine if I can sit right there with them. But with this LeapPad2 they can be ‘big kids’ and watch their videos any time they want!!

  14. My favorite holiday tradition is our Christmas tree advent “calendar.” It’s made from plastic canvas, and I had one (that my mom made) when I was growing up. Every morning from Dec. 1st until Christmas you add one ornament to the tree. Last year my mom made one for our family, and I have LOVED watching my little Stephanie shriek in excitement each day when it’s time to put up the ornament. She spreads them all out on the table just like I did as a kid, and deliberates very carefully over her decision. I love passing this tradition on to her :)
    Megan recently posted..SilenceMy Profile

  15. Both the Thomas the Train and Cinderella ebooks would be choices….Stephanie loves both of those characters!
    Megan recently posted..SilenceMy Profile

  16. Our family tradition is to do a light tour in our PJs, just after dark on Christmas Eve.
    Carolyn Y recently posted..Millet MuffinsMy Profile

  17. My favorite tradition that my mom started with my sister and I, and we both continue with our little ones is new PJs that you get to open Christmas Eve. That way, on Christmas morning, we had cute matching PJs for pictures!! I love it!

  18. Pajamas from our elf on the shelf and beautiful christmas books. we also spend it crafting and enjoying the company of best friends.

  19. We always make cookies & candy together. Even though it takes forever to eat all of the cookies and candy we love doing it.
    Also… there are the fun holiday jammies that the kids get to open up before Santa comes!
    Jackie recently posted..Family PlaydatesMy Profile

  20. Oh my… Andrew would love Thomas and Friends – The Great Penguin Rescue! He likes trains and Thomas most of all.
    Jackie recently posted..Family PlaydatesMy Profile

  21. My favorite holiday tradition is a toss up between going up to the snow and letting our son pick our tree and then help daddy cut it down and drag it back to the car.. And, loading up in the car with blankets and hot coco in our pjs to look at Xmas lights. My son loves them and points out every color and thing he sees :)

  22. As for games we would defenetly have to buy the cars and Thomas ones. My son is a little obsessed. :)

    Thanks for the opportunity. Fingers crossed!!

  23. I have a couple….we love making gingerbread houses together as a family with no cell phones or tv…just good old fashioned Christmas songs. Another one that has carried down a generation is letting the kids open one present on Christmas Eve…Christmas Pajamas!!!!!

  24. My kiddos would love the Pet Pals! They want a dog…mommy is not ready for that one!!!!

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