Dance Dance Revolution sparked a worldwide rhythm and dance craze when it launched in Japan a decade ago. Since then, game console manufacturers like Nintendo and Sony have created dozens of videos merging exercise and gaming for adults and teens alike. With the Zippity Learning System ($80), LeapFrog delivers the concept to the preschool set.
The TV-based gaming system brings some of The Disney Channel's most popular characters – like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, Winnie the Pooh and Handy Manny – to combine upper- and lower-body movements with educational concepts.
To see what we liked about the Zippity system and what left us wondering,
The Zippity system allows kids to choose from eight games that either use an interactive mat for lower-body movement or a waist-high joystick for upper-body activity. The games, such as a Mickey Mouse version of Simon Says and a Handy Manny version of song creation, encourage number, shape, directional and color recognition. While some of the games are more movement-oriented than others, they all do encourage the participant to be active. The great graphics and variety of games are perhaps the best features of the system, as lil ones can work on several different skills throughout their play. Each game has two levels of play, meaning the system is designed to grow with them – but we found that a 3-year-old was already well-advanced for the first level of most of the included games, leaving us wondering just how long he would be able to play with a set geared toward 3-6-year-olds.