You'd be amazed at what kids can do. Give them the tablet and they just take off like a rocket learning. With a few guided lessons and with just the right apps your child will certainly enjoy using and growing with the Leapfrog LeapPad Tablet. we've had ours since my son was 3 1/2 but my God daughter turned 3 this September and she sits down with it and taps away and watches videos, takes photos and tries playing games. great part is they don't grow out of it for a while when they are that long and its so durable that even if a child has the dropsy's its still safe to use. My son has thrown ours several times and it just amazes me that it still works I can't say the same for his other gaming counsel.
My daughter received hers for her 3rd birthday. She's very smart but she does have difficulty with tracing the letters and numbers in the "pet" application. However, for a 2-1/2 year old I'm sure that it would be useful, just as long as it keeps their attention. Some kids do better than others. Mine has a bit more energy and can only play for a short time before wanting to get up and go. If the device lasts long enough, it should be useful for up to 9 years, but I'm sure we'll have quite better equipment to choose from by then.