I was interested to read in Nipper News this week that Penguin Books have launched the first eBook application for the iPhone aimed at babies. I had to test it out!
Ladybird Baby Touch: Peekaboo is available in the iTunes app store for £1.79. It runs on both the iPhone and iPad, and is described by Penguin as “A bright, interactive peekaboo game for babies from six months, based on Ladybird’s best-selling Baby Touch books”. The Nipper News article says that apparently Penguin have tested this app on babies as young as three months. I tested it out on the 7-month old geekson.
It’s a lovely, bright colourful app. There’s a choice of four different themed “books” to start, or you can choose to play all of them as a movie. Navigation is easy – all the baby has to do is tap on the screen. The screen design is excellent – there’s nothing else displayed on screen for the baby to accidentally press, and the “return home” option is out of the way at the top of the screen. There’s a nice “splash” effect on the screen when the baby taps, so they can see they’ve done something.
Apart from in movie mode, a short animation of each picture will appear, and then wait for the baby’s next press. A nice clear voice reads the words as well. The pictures are bold and simple, and catch the baby’s attention well. In movie mode, no interactions are required, as the animations progress smoothly from one to the next.
I must confess I won’t let the geekson anywhere near my iPhone yet, so I haven’t tested how he gets on with the app on the smaller device. I would imagine it would be similarly successful, and the movie mode alone means that even if your baby doesn’t master tapping the screen to advance the story, they will still be able to get a good amount of entertainment out of the app.
It’s a great app, well worth the money, and I liked it very much. But don’t just take my word for it – here’s the geekson trying it out:
And that’s about all he got time to do, because then the geekdaughter wanted to play. And she seemed to enjoy the app too, although I suspect at the age of three she’s a little older than Penguin’s target audience! And to be fair, it didn’t hold her attention for anywhere near as long!
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