Last summer I was invited to the CBeebies studios in Manchester where the geekdaughter and I had an early look at the CBeebies Playtime app before it was released. A couple of weeks ago I was granted early access to the latest update to the app, which adds one brand new mini game, and re-brands one of the others. This update was made available in the app store on 14th February, so if you’ve downloaded the app already you can update it and get this new content right now. And if you don’t have this app already, I can show you what you’re missing…
You may already have noticed that there is a new series, Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures, on CBeebies. This started last week, and both my kids are really enjoying it. In the series, Andy works at a museum. He loves his job, and he loves dinosaurs – but his clumsiness often threatens the ‘grand opening’ of the latest exhibits, so he must travel back in time to come face to face with real dinosaurs and make sure that the exhibitions can open on time. The series is produced by the BBC’s Natural History Unit, and uses footage from the BBC’s archive, combined with digital CGI and green screen technology to make it look like Andy really is interacting with dinosaurs. To tie-in with this new series, a new Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures mini game has been added to the CBeebies Playtime app. In this mini game you get to interact with your very own dinosaur. You can feed it, go for a ride with it and teach it to ROAR. This is a really fun game, but also hugely educational as your kids will learn all about different dinosaurs. My kids have especially enjoyed teaching their dinosaurs to roar – this seems to involve much shouting and giggling, as the app uses the microphone to record your child roaring and then plays it back as the dinosaur.
The second update to the CBeebies Playtime app comes with the existing Make a Picture mini game which has been re-branded with a Swashbuckle theme. Again Swashbuckle is very popular in the geek family so both kids were delighted to see this update. The Make a Picture mini game would actually be a perfectly respectable colouring and drawing app if it was produced as a stand alone. You can either make your own creation on a blank canvas or start with one of 8 different Swashbuckle-themed pictures to colour and decorate. To colour your picture there are a selection of different brushes and stickers, and when your picture is finished you can frame it and it will save to your photo library on your device.
The CBeebies Playtime app is free, and is available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire. It’s already given my kids hours of fun, and with the recent updates I can imagine it will be keeping them entertained for some time more.
Disclosure: We were given early access to the CBeebies Playtime app for review purposes. The iTunes and Amazon links in this post contain my affiliate code – if you make a purchase after clicking on them I will receive a very small percentage. As the CBeebies app is free I won’t actually receive anything on that purchase.